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EquiTalks: Turning Division into Dialogue

EquiTalks: Turning division into dialogue

Join us for the first in-person EquiTalks in Montreal (Tiohtià:ke*) in four years!

Equitas is excited to announce that the next EquiTalks will be taking place on February 15, 2024, under the theme of Turning Division into Dialogue. The event will include an in-person networking event from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm EST followed by a panel discussion from 6:30 pm to 8pm EST. You will have the chance to hear our guest speaker Myrlande Pierre from Quebec’s Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission) exchanging with a diverse panel of human rights defenders from all over the world. Join us in-person or online to listen to a conversation about how we can use human rights education as a tool to turn division into dialogue in an era where polarization on human rights issues is prominent.

This event will take place while partners we work with will be visiting Equitas from Haiti, East Africa, West Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa to exchange knowledge together on human rights education to advance gender equality. This means that dozens of human rights defenders and educators who work with Equitas around the world will be a part of this incredible night. You don’t want to miss this one! 

The panel discussion will be held in French and English with live interpretation available for the in-person participants. American and Quebec sign language interpretation will also be available.

To participate, register for the EquiTalks here

The in-person event in Montreal is SOLD OUT!

Joining us online to watch the panel from 6:30-8 PM EST?

Our Guest of Honor

Myrlande Pierre, Vice-President of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec

Myrlande was unanimously appointed by the Quebec National Assembly as the Vice-President of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission) in 2019.

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She is responsible for the Commission’s mandate under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Act on Access to Equality in Employment in Public Bodies. Ms. Pierre is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of immigration and socio-economic integration, with focus on the integration of racialized minorities. Systemic racism and discrimination, as well as issues affecting racialized and ethnocultural minority women, form the cornerstone of her work. 

Our panelists

Pearl Eliadis

Pearl Eliadis, Human Rights Lawyer & Associate Professor at the Max Bell School of Public policy 

Pearl is a Montreal-based human rights lawyer, a community activist and Associate Professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy.

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She also teaches at the Faculty of Law at McGill University where she is a full member of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. From 2000-2003, she was part of UN missions to Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide and has worked in human rights projects for Iraq and Afghanistan. She was named a Human Rights Change Maker in 2017 by Equitas.

Alejandro Mayoral Baños, Executive Director of Indigenous Friends Association 

Alejandro Mayoral Baños is the Executive Director and Founder of the Indigenous Friends Association (IFA), a community-based initiative which seeks to eliminate education and employment gaps of Indigenous peoples in Canada through digital technologies.

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Alejandro works to promote technology equity, digital sovereignty, and sustainable career pathways for Indigenous communities. Recognized for his transformative work, he was honoured as an Ashoka Fellow in 2023.


Hetera Estimphil, President of Kouraj Pou Pwoteje Dwa Moun 

Hetera Saskya Caïla Estimphil is a transgender woman and a LGBTQI+ activist in Haiti.

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She is the President of Kouraj, an Equitas partner organization, which focuses on advocacy for LGBTQI+ people in Haiti, health and psychosocial support, and community mobilization. She is also a psychosocial counsellor, human rights educator, gender specialist and intersectional feminist. Hetera is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Dignity Network Canada.

Maiwand Rahyab, Founder and CEO of Resilient Societies 

Maiwand Rahyab is the founder and CEO of Resilient Societies, an activist-led platform for empowering at-risk democracy and civil society activists.

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He is a Fulbright Scholar and Asia Society Fellow and has shared his expertise at the United Nations General Assembly on Education in Emergencies. Maiwand also has a rich background in civil society for the protection of human rights and governance reform in Afghanistan.


Our moderator

Elysia Bryan Baynes

Elysia Bryan Baynes, Director of the Bishop’s University Forum

Elysia is the Director of the Bishop’s University Forum, a civic youth leadership institute.

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She is a mentor for young journalists as part of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists mentorship program. In 2013, Elysia became the first Black woman to hold a permanent television news anchor position in Quebec. Her many contributions to the community and journalism since then were recognized in 2022 when Elysia was named a CBC Quebec Black Changemaker 

Video presentation

Oleksandra Matviichuk, Head of the Centre for Civil Liberties in Ukraine

Oleksandra is the head of the Centre for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, an IHRTP (International Human Rights Training) alumna, and a 2022 Nobel Prize winner

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She will do a video introduction about the impact human rights education had on her work and her leadership and her advocacy work in Ukraine and world wide. The Centre for Civil Liberties that she leads was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.


Supporting the EquiTalks

With your support, Equitas strives to build more inclusive communities, where we can turn division into dialogue. 
But there is still so much to do. 

To support the EquiTalks and Equitas’ mission of advancing equality, we invite you to donate according to your ability to give. Donations of $20 or more will be eligible for a tax receipt. All voluntary contributions from the event will go to support Equitas’ human rights education in Canada and across the globe.  

For more information, you can contact Sasha Masabanda at smasabanda@equitas.org.

Thank you to our generous partners!

Your organization wants to make a difference and sponsor this event?
Please contact Kate Monaghan for more information.

*Equitas acknowledges that this event will take place on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) land.