Members of the community are invited to participate in the first Hate Free Muskoka event taking place at Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The free event features four leading anti-hate speakers and is sponsored by the District Municipality of Muskoka’s IDEA Advisory Group whose mission is to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism (IDEA) by providing advice and recommendations to District Council about partnerships, community engagement, public education and policy development that can help it to achieve its goals. Find out more about the District advisory group, here (pdf).
The Hate Free Muskoka event will include topics such as how to be an upstander in the community, the gifts of the Seven Grandfathers, Trans-inclusion, and cultural competency. An afternoon panel entitled “Rising Up to the Challenge” will be presented by the District of Muskoka’s IDEA Advisory Group chair and feature prominent members of the public and private sector.
Speakers in the morning include:
Bernie Farber (Human Rights Advocate) – This talk will be a historical journey detailing some of those elements within Canadian society that engage in extremism, bigotry and hatred. The journey ends with methods in which we as citizens can do the right thing and become “Upstanders” in difficult times.
Kelly Brownbill (Indigenous Awareness Educator) – This presentation focuses on the gifts we have as a people and how to utilize them in a modern context. Uplifting and hopeful, it’s a broad strokes blueprint for recovering from the past and embracing the future. Equally effective for people of all races and backgrounds, it can be the first brick in a bridge to reform relationships that are in tatters after generations of assimilation policies.
Michelle Emson (Gender Diversity Consultant)- Michelle’s presentation will have a particular focus on 2SLGBTQI and specifically Trans inclusion.
The afternoon includes a speaker and panel:
Shelly Skinner (Uplift Black) – With a focus on establishing an environment as a leader that allows the serving community to thrive by creating a space that is healthy, brave and courageous, her talk will focus on cultural competency and awareness as the root of all Diversity, Equality and Inclusion work and how everyone has the ability to become a co-conspirator for systemic change regardless of their position in the community.
Rising Up to the Challenge Panel: A panel featuring Ricky Veerappan, Director of the Respect, Inclusion, Leadership Division of the OPP; Tina Kilboune of the District of Muskoka; Jennifer Johnston, Superintendent of Learning at the Trillium Lakelands District School Board; and Eva Zachary, Executive Director of Muskoka Victim Services. The panel will be moderated by Mark Nakamura, Chair of the District of Muskoka’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Anti-racism Advisory Group.
Coffee, Tea and breakfast snacks will be provided as well as lunch. Registration is welcome but not necessary.
Families with children of all ages and abilities are welcome to attend the event. Accessible washrooms are available. A break-out/quiet room will be available for those who need a safe space during the day.
Free Shuttle Details
A shuttle bus is offered free of charge leaving in the morning and afternoon from Huntsville and Gravenhurst. The Huntsville bus departs from beside the Pharmasave (29 Main Street East) at 8:15 am and 1:00 pm and the Gravenhurst bus departs from the Shopper’s Drug Mart (511 Muskoka Road South) on the same schedule. Return trips will be made at the end of the day and at lunch break for those who are unavailable to stay the whole day. Registration for the shuttle bus is not necessary. Please arrive at the designated area 10 minutes in advance.
If you have any questions about the event or would like to volunteer, contact [email protected]
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!