Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World


Conversations That Matter: Civic Engagement Speaker Series

Canada's Rich and Diverse Cultural Fabric

Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Location: Hamilton Public Library: Central Branch, 4th Floor
Cost: FREE!
Register today!

Join us for a FREE information series. From First Peoples to newcomers, learn about the challenges, benefits and opportunities of Canada's diversity.



Moderator: Gary Warner
Professor (retired), McMaster University

The Hamilton and McMaster communities have been the beneficiaries of Dr. Gary Warner’s commitment to human rights, equity and social justice for more than 30 years. An award-winning educator, he has inspired thousands of students, and it is no coincidence that his students become powerful advocates and activists for the ideal of social justice. His involvement with the Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO), Strengthening Hamilton’s Community Initiative, the Youth Making a Difference peace conference, and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction have had a significant impact on the way people think about human rights issues and the role individuals play in creating a more humane world.



Speaker: Sarah Wayland,
Senior Project Manager, Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council

Topic: Canada's immigration landscape

Sarah Wayland is Senior Project Manager for the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council. From 2013 to 2018, she was the creator and leader of Global Hamilton, the City of Hamilton’s immigrant attraction and retention initiative.  A dual US-Canadian citizen, Sarah earned her PhD in political science from the University of Maryland.  She has worked as an independent researcher focusing on various social issues, especially immigration-related, and her clients have included foundations, nongovernmental organizations, and all levels of government.  From 2005 to 2014, Sarah served on the board of Hamilton’s largest settlement agency, including as Secretary and President. 



Speaker: Suad Badri
ESL Instructor

Topic: Engaging the community, versus, community engagement

Suad Badri came to Canada from Sudan as a government protected refugee in 2014. She is an ESL Instructor with an aspiration to continue her original specialty researching Sustainable Energy Policy. She holds a PhD in Geography of Energy, a Master of Science in Environmental Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. The main challenge she has faced as a skilled newcomer is getting connected to employment in her area of expertise. She volunteers with the City of Hamilton and participates in various boards to contribute her skills. 



Speaker: ​Dr. Rama Shankar Singh
Professor, Department of Biology, McMaster University

Topic: Building a compassionate Canada: Join the conversation on life-enhancing values

Dr. Singh is a Professor at McMaster University where he has served for over 40 years. He is an evolutionary geneticist and his area of interest includes sexual dimorphism, human diversity, and human nature. He has published over 150 papers and edited four books for Cambridge and Oxford University Press. 

Dr. Singh is the founder of the Annual Mahatma Gandhi Peace Festival held in the City of Hamilton since 1993 and the Annual Mahatma Gandhi Lectureship on Nonviolence at McMaster University since 1996. He is co-founder of Mahila Shanti Sena (Women’s Peace Brigade International), a women’s peace organization based in India and Canada, and a champion of women’s causes. He also has started an international campaign to stop violence against women.  

Recognized for this national and international work in peace, Dr. Singh has also started a high school for girls in his village in India which he visits regularly. There, he looks after his village school, working with Mahila Shanti Sena and collaborating with academic as well as Gandhian Institutes.    ​



Speaker: Shylo Elmayan
Director of Indigenous Student Services, McMaster University

Shylo Elmayan came to McMaster from the role of Senior Project Manager for the City of Hamilton’s Urban Indigenous Strategy. Shylo had worked previously at McMaster to develop and administer the university’s employment equity census as well as as senior manager of First Nations and Métis relations at Hydro One.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Ryerson University. As Director of Indigenous Student Services, she leads a department that supports all aspects of the student experience and success of McMaster’s Indigenous learners. Among her responsibilities, she serves as a liaison between McMaster and Indigenous communities, organizations, and government. As a member of the Indigenous Education Council, Shylo works to strengthen Indigenous governance and policy development at McMaster​



Not able to attend in person? You can online by visiting the McMaster Continuing Education Facebook page to watch the live stream!​




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