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600 Bay Street, Suite 302
Toronto, On, M6B 1B5
(416) 901-5355

"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.


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.

H. Roy Wellington | Keynote Speaker

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.

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

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.

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. 

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

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.

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).

Laura Liscio | Panelist

Laura Liscio was called to the bar in 2009 after attending law school at the University of Calgary, where she also articled. Laura opened her own practice in 2013. Her practice focuses on "highly policed " neighbourhoods, racial profiling and other social justice components. Laura also has an interest in youth work and the rights of young people in the criminal justice system.

Uma Kancharia | Panelist

Ms. Kancharla worked as a law student with Parkdale Legal Services, the experience gave her an insight into the issues faced by the diverse population of Toronto. Ms. Kancharla has tremendous experience in trials at the Ontario Court of Justice Superior Court of Justice, and has appeared in all levels of court in Ontario. Ms. Kancharla firmly believes that equality in justice will only be achieved if all persons in society irrespective of any differences in social status, ethnicity, education etc have the same access to justice.

Bev Salmon | Panelist

Bev Salmon is a respected community elder and former Metro Toronto councilor. She, has joined others in calling for Toronto Police to end the practice of racial profiling and carding. Beverley Salmon was a municipal Councillor in Toronto for 12 years and continues to give leadership and volunteer support. She chaired the Black Liaison Committee of the Toronto Board of Education, providing anti-racism training for teachers. Her late husband, Dr. John Douglas Salmon, was Canada's first board-certified African Canadian surgeon


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.

Jackie Richardson | Performer

Jackie Richardson is the Matriarch of the Toronto Jazz scene. Jackie Richardson is a three-time nominee for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Gemini Award, and won the Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series for The Gospel According to the Blues. She is also a noted stage performer, winning a Dora Award in 2004 for the musical Cookin' at the Cookery. She is loved by all that meet her for her warm, inclusive and generous nature; not to mention her explosive larger than life singing voice and talent.

Angelique Francis | Performer

Angelique made her American national television debut at age 13 on the Oprah Network for writing and composing an original theme song for the Gayle King Show. Angelique is known for wowing the audience with her eclectic mix of musical genres, mixing Blues, Soul, Folk, Jazz and Rock.


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


Kevin Cato | Performer

Kevin Cato is an accomplished musician who has been making his mark in the Toronto music scene for over 16 years. Kevin is a versatile saxophonist with a number of accolades including a 2008 GMA nomination and the Elm-Bedford prize for up and coming jazz musician. Kevin holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, and has worked with some of the best musicians the city has to offer.


Rachel Dacoste |