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600 Bay Street, Suite 302
Toronto, On, M6B 1B5
(416) 901-5355
info@equaljusticecanada.ca


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere …” | Martin Luther King Jr. 

conference flyer

The 2016 POVERTY & JUSTICE conference is dedicated to
Citizenship Judge Stanley Grizzle who devoted his life to
fighting racism, especially in the Justice system.

The Poverty & Justice Conference will focus on Prevention and Positive Education for Positive Choices using role models who have faced insurmountable obstacles and overcome them to make positive changes in their society.

For YOUNGER GRADES: Grades 3 to 6, we will be using more poetry, music and small group activities.We will be talking about self control and thinking long term and the power of making good choices. We will also be looking at the word "courage" and being kind to ourselves - being our own best friend.

The conference will appropriately and gently educate children and youth about the justice system so they stay out of it!

The February 22, 2017 Black History month Conference theme will focus on Black Role models who survived in very difficult situations, came out of them and changed society for the better.

These main role models are Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr,. and Ontario's Judge Stanley G. Grizzle.

KEY THEME SYNOPSIS: POVERTY & JUSTICE and CHANGING INTO A PRODUCTIVE SOCIETY OF SUCCESS FOR ALL

Dwight Drummond | Host

Dwight Drummond is an award-winning journalist and the host on CBC Toronto News, which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. on CBC television. Dwight has been a reporter and news anchor for over two decades. With Dwight at the helm, CBC Toronto News has been nominated, yet again, for 'Best Local Newscast' at this year's Canadian Screen Awards (CSA). Dwight has also received a number of awards for his police reporting and commendations for his community work. Dwight lives in west end Toronto with his wife and children. When he's not dedicating his time to community events, he can be found in the cheering section at his daughters' basketball games.

In today's social crisis we are seeing an undeniable influx of youth in the criminal justice system. Sadly, even though there are alleged crimes being committed by other racial groups, the detention rate at provincial jails is extremely high for men and women of socially impoverished backgrounds and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Much is being said about the inherent problems in the charging and bail process, but the wheels of justice turn very slowly and many youth do not understand the consequences of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, even in the most minor way.

Our focus is to provide them with first hand authentic accounts from young influential people in our community who have had brushes with the law in the hopes that this real life look will deter and prevent many future acts of crime in our diverse communities.

Discussions and an analysis of why the criminal justice system doesn’t work for some people and an honest authentic look of how it works for different racial and social groups.

Students will be inspired to live their best life, to choose alternatives to crime and to become reinvested and recommitted to educational and service goals.

Students will become civic minded and civic engaged in terms of seeing the world around them, what roles they play in creating a better society and how to make their lives better for themselves and others.

Different age appropriate activities on the criminal justice system and its impact on diverse social and racial groups.

Mitch Worsoff | Keynote Speaker

Mitchell Worsoff is a practicing lawyer based in Toronto litigating criminal and administrative matters across the Province of Ontario. He has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1997.

Worsoff was born in Montreal and attended McGill University graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and then moved to Toronto to study law at Osgoode Hall. He graduated law school in 1995.

Worsoff is a strong believer that a judicial system can only function properly when the individual is afforded his or her rights and freedoms and not to be interfered with by the government and its agents unless justified by law.

We are also looking at potential dates in February to hold the conference and are open to input from various schools as to which calendar dates would work best for teaching staff and organizations.

It is our goal to have the Speaking Tour celebrate diversity, empower children and youth and most importantly, equip them with the information and skills they need to succeed in our very complicated society.The paramount goal and objective of our speaking tour is prevention and education; in that we want our children and youth to be aware that stealing a chocolate bar in a store, pushing a friend at recess or even threatening to harm another person are all criminal acts which could change their lives and that of their loved ones forever.

In addition, we also want to highlight the importance of education and how poverty often leads to a life of crime and loss of family, friends and loved one. The price tag of crime is simply too high!

We will be looking at the social conditions of the justice system; the biases and assumptions of the justice system and the role of race in the justice system.

All of our speakers are teachers, lawyers and experienced speakers who have had years of experience in the Criminal Justice system either as professionals, volunteers, lawyers or through the personal experience of a loved one in the justice system.

We have spent considerable time working on the Poverty and Justice Speaking Tour and there are two age groups which we can bring the tour to:

Grades 3 to 6
Grades 7 to 12

EXTENSION ON LEARNING:
Students will have the opportunity to share any situations or opinions they have on the Justice system and how society can make it more accessible.

Students will be encouraged to write letters to members of parliament and to pick a specific area of the Justice system they believe needs the most improvement.

Students will be encouraged to work in groups and make voluntary presentations on Justice through a visual form they choose, such as drawings, writings, graphic novels, speeches, debates, games, etc.

Tonya Williams | Speaker

Tonya Williams has worked in the entertainment industry as an actor,producer and director for the past 40 years - she is also the Founder and President of non profit companies Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Foundation going into their 17th year.

"Born in the UK to Jamaican parents and living in Canada and USA impressed on me how important it was to believe that we all in total control of our destiny, that we are in no way victims of our circumstances - that our circumstances are necessary to build our strengths. It's all a matter of perception. We presently live in a society that looks first to blaming others for our situations - but that leaves us powerless - embracing your power means you must also recognize that you are responsible for the all the choices you make and the repercussions of those choices. No matter how old you are, or your financial circumstances, you have all the power you need to get out of any situation you choose to."

 

Stanley Grizzle Jr.

Mr. Grizzle was Appointed as Citizen's Advisory Committee at
Warkworth Institution, Correctional Service of Canada in 2001 and remained as Chair of the Committee until 2008. He was also with the Service as Ontario Region Representative for Medium and Minimum Security Institutions, and Chair of the Outside Review Board until 2008. 

Enzo Rondenelli | Panelist

Vincenzo (Enzo) Rondinelli, is a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto, where he argues appeals regularly before the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He joined the adjunct faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003 and is co-director of the Criminal Intensive Program and co-instructor in the Forensic Science & the Law course. He is an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association (Criminal Law Section).

H. Roy Wellington | Panelist

H. Roy Wellington is a determined and committed criminal lawyer who has taken on difficult cases with a wide variety of clients who found themselves in impossible circumstances. Roy brings a human approach to his practice as a personal tragedy led Roy to re-examine his views about the criminal justice system. Roy decided that he needed to be an active player in the system to ensure that each and every person has fair representation and a chance at equal justice. Roy and his dog, Morpheus, are great fans of Toronto sports teams.

Honorable Mitzie Hunter | Panelist

 

Honourable Yasir Naqvi | Panelist

 

Barbara Hall | Panelist

Barbara Hall CM is a Canadian lawyer, public servant and former politician. She was the 61st mayor of Toronto, the last to run before amalgamation. She was elected mayor of the pre amalgamation City of Toronto in 1994, and held office until 1997. On November 28, 2005, Hall was appointed chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.[1] After having her term extended four times, she retired February 27, 2015, after almost a decade in the position.

 

Cameron Brown | Panelist

Cameron Brown is the manager of the Toronto Bail Program, which is a private, non-profit, charitable organization which provides Bail Verification and Supervision services Many people would still be in jail if it were not for the BAIL PROGRAM. However, many people do not know about it and one thing we should lobby for is to make it mandatory that every accused person meet with the bail Program. Bail Programs provide needed and significant support to Accused person such as housing, addiction programs, mental health resources, applying for work permits and health coverage.

William Leathers | Performer

In 2013, at 12 years old, William Franklyn Leathers became the youngest trumpeter to be accepted in the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra. This accomplished young pianist was one of 8 musicians from around the world invited in 2010 to perform in the “Young Artists Inspired by Glenn Gould” concert at Rideau Hall, for His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnston and other dignitaries. William was the 2015 winner of the HMYO concerto competition and the 2015 MARTY emerging performing artist award, presented by the Mississauga Arts Council. William has been playing the piano since he was four years-old. He made his Jamaican début on November 21st, 2016, at “Devon House” in Kingston Jamaica at their 134th Anniversary Benefit Concert”.

Euterpe | Performers

*EUTERPE* is a well-established non-profit charity that is dedicated to awakening young minds to the joy of music. Performers bring life performances of classical, jazz and other genres of music, as well as music education, especially to children who might not otherwise be exposed to these opportunities.  They’ve been enriching the lives of children and their communities for over 10 years.

(Left to right) Sybil Shanahan, Corey Gemmell, Catherine Wilson, Jim Vivian, Norman Hathaway

 

Music by DJ Milestone Sound Colin James