Jay Cox, Piera Savage and Kyle Elliott in Panel Discussion: “The Justice System and Reality” (Spring 2024 Talk #5 Summary)

The final spring talk was a panel discussion with two Black lawyers and a community activist expertly moderated by Peter Drumm. The panel discussion was followed by responses to audience questions. It was a rare opportunity for us in the Academy bubble to hear directly about anti-Black racism in Toronto. The audience listened intently and had plenty of questions in the last 35 minutes.

Piera Savage, a staff lawyer at Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC), works towards racial equity by advocating for BLAC’s clients and breaking down systemic barriers to equality.

Lawyer Kyle Elliott leads diversity and inclusion outreach initiatives at Blake, Cassels & Graydon and is president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.

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Elizabeth Hay: “Don’t Touch That Dial. Reasons to Love Radio” (Spring 2024 Talk #4 Summary)

Elizabeth was born in Owen Sound, as a teenager spent a year in England, then returned to Canada to go to UofT. In 1974 she moved to Yellowknife NWT. For the next 10 years she worked as a CBC radio broadcaster in Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Toronto and Mexico, then New York in 1986. She returned to Canada in 1992 and now lives in Ottawa. Since age 15 she has written 15 books and received a number of awards, including the Giller prize for “Late Nights on Air.” “Snow Road Station,” her most recent novel, was named one of the best books of 2023 by The New Yorker. 

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Elizabeth Hay: “Don’t Touch That Dial. Reasons to Love Radio” on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 (Spring Talk #4)

Elizabeth Hay is the Giller Prize-winning author of six novels, including ‘Late Nights on Air’ and ‘Snow Road Station’. Her memoir about her parents, ‘All Things Consoled’, won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. A former broadcaster for CBC Radio, she spent a number of years in Mexico and New York City, and makes her home in Ottawa.

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Jay Cox, Piera Savage and Kyle Elliott in Panel Discussion: “The Justice System and Reality” On Wednesday, May 8, 2024 (Spring Talk #5)

Toronto activist and community developer Andrew ‘Jay’ Cox is co-founder and COO of myRESET which aims to reintegrate people with a criminal record back into the workforce.

Piera Savage, a staff lawyer at Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC), works towards racial equity by advocating for BLAC’s clients and breaking down systemic barriers to equality.

Lawyer Kyle Elliott leads diversity and inclusion outreach initiatives at Blake, Cassels & Graydon and is president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.

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The Honourable Kathleen Wynne: “How Federalism Can Work Better in Canada” (Spring 2024 Talk #3 Summary)

Margaret Prugovecki introduced Kathleen Wynne. Wynne was born in Richmond Hill, one of four daughters. She attended Queen’s University, OISE and UofT. Wynne had a 22-year political career, as trustee on the Toronto School Board, as MPP in the Ontario Legislature, as Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and as Premier of Ontario from 2013-2018. She continued as MPP for Don Valley West until 2022. Since 2021, she has been a professor at the University of Toronto where she mentors future politicians and change-makers.

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Charles Pachter: “How I Learned to Survive and Thrive as a Contemporary Canadian Artist” (Spring 2024 Talk #1 Summary)

Charles said he hates the words “awesome” and “iconic.” I won’t use awesome but he is a Canadian icon, an “enfant terrible” when younger and Canada’s Andy Warhol with his “iconic” moose art. See “Monarch of the North” above. Charles painted a picture of Queen Elizabeth on mooseback that became famous and controversial overnight (Queen on Moose 1972) and he has been painting moose ever since. In the picture above, that’s Charles as a 4-year-old touching the nose of a moose at the CNE in 1947. As Canada’s moose artist, he did weigh in on Toronto’s Moose in the City project of 2000. “It looked like a horse.” He didn’t like it.

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The Honourable Kathleen Wynne: “How Federalism Can Work Better in Canada” on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 (Spring Talk #3)

Kathleen Wynne had a 22-year political career: as trustee on the Toronto School Board, as MPP in the Ontario Legislature, as Minister of Education and of Aboriginal Affairs, as Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and as Premier of Ontario from 2013-2018. She continued as MPP for Don Valley West until 2022. Since 2021, she has been a Professor at the University of Toronto where she mentors future politicos and change-makers.

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