Marie Wilson, Lee Maracle, Desmond Cole & Barbara Hall discuss racism & reconciliation with young leaders at ChangeUp

Delegates convene at ChangeUp 2015 to accelerate movement on some of the toughest social and cultural issues in Canada.

While the issues of racism, reconciliation and respect for diversity are hot button topics on the streets and in the news, they remain largely absent from federal election discourse. Fortunately, 80 young change leaders from communities across Canada will arrive in Toronto this Thursday to envision the critical path required to end ethnic, racial and religious discrimination. Hosted by the Inspirit Foundation, a national charitable organization that works to foster a pluralist and inclusive Canada, ChangeUp 2015 has delegates participating in a 4-day conference at the the Ismaili Centre and Aga Khan Museum to explore issues challenging their diverse communities, exchange ideas and solutions, and build the practical skills required to activate change.

“ChangeUp 2015 is about connecting a generation of promising change leaders who are restless to create an even better Canada,” says Inspirit President and CEO Andrea Nemtin. “Looking across the country and around the world, we see how important it is to create spaces for civil dialogue and social innovation.”

Two nights of panel discussion focused on the themes of racism and Indigenous/non-Indigenous reconciliation will inform the delegates’ conversations, and public participation is welcome. The sessions will be held at the Social Hall, Ismaili Centre 49 Wynford Drive in Toronto and tickets are $10 for either session for those who can attend in person. Online participants can follow the conversation highlights via @inspiritfdn or join in using the hashtag #ChangeUp2015 on Twitter.

Dialogue one: Reconciliation and the Way Forward features journalist Rachel Giese in conversation with Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Dr. Marie Wilson and Indigenous author and activist Lee Maracle on Thursday, September 17, 2015 7:30 PM – 9 PM. Purchase tickets here.

Dialogue two: #BlackLivesMatter: Public Protest and Human Rights features journalist Rachel Giese in conversation with journalist and activist Desmond Cole and former Toronto Mayor and former Chief Human Rights Commissioner for Ontario Barbara Hall on Friday, September 18, 2015, 7:30 PM – 9 PM. Purchase tickets here.

ChangeUp 2015’s skill-building sessions will be guided by over a dozen experts including author and Trampoline Hall host Misha Glouberman, author and journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee, LeadNow Executive Director Lyndsay Poaps, and academic and activist Hayden King. In these hands-on sessions, delegates will learn everything from handling difficult conversations and navigating cultural conflict to creating coalitions that deliver and managing the business of change.

On Sunday, the delegates will conclude the conference by issuing a ‘Call for Change’ which will identify the issues and concerns they believe Canada must address in the coming decade. Learn more about the ChangeUp 2015 conference by visiting:

Follow and participate in the ChangeUp 2015 conversation through Social Media:

Twitter/Instagram: @inspiritfdn



About Inspirit Foundation  Inspirit is a national charitable foundation that supports young people building a more inclusive and pluralist Canada. We fund, convene and champion powerful ideas—media & arts initiatives, programs & events, research projects & publications—that foster learning, collaboration and innovation.


For more information or to request interviews with delegates and session leaders, please contact: Anna Withrow.

Office: 416-516-2174  Cell: 416-805-2174

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