This year’s eclectic and dynamic symposium promotes a multi-media pedagogy. Our speakers will conduct virtual tours in Vienna, video conferencing from the Great Lakes region in Africa, and a moot court examining the limits of free speech. In addition, we are fortunate to have among us Holocaust survivors to offer their stirring personal testimonies. The underlying aim of the Symposium is to alert young people to discrimination, racism, and genocide in their many manifestations, and to encourage historical understanding in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Eyewitness and first-hand accounts are often the best motivators to spark students’ awareness, concern, and action. One of the main strengths of the Symposium is its capacity to impart important lessons about ethical citizenship and moral courage.
The theme to this year’s Symposium is Change: One Person Makes a Difference! and aims to empower students to overcome personal difficulties and to acquire the requisite confidence and sense of commitment with which to promote social change. Our speakers include Barbara Coloroso, an international bestselling author and for the past 38 years, a speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution, and restorative justice. Barbara’s latest book is Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide…and Why it Matters.
Dr. Catherine Chatterley is a respected historian of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust who founded the Canadian Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism (CISA). Dr. Chatterley’s first book, Disenchantment: George Steiner and the Meaning of Western Civilization after Auschwitz, was a 2011 National Jewish Book Award Finalist.
Anne Lagacé-Dowson is the director of the former Tolerance Foundation. The Foundation changed its name to ENSEMBLE to better reflect its promotion of diversity. The name, ENSEMBLE was selected because it is believed that as a society, we should strive for something more than tolerance.
Andreas Schnitzer was born near Klagenfurt, Austria. While living in Vienna, Andreas chose to serve in Holocaust Memorial Service activities as an alternative to compulsory Austrian military service. Andreas will present a unique multi-media educational program, Moral Responsibility: Witnesses for the Future. The Shoah and the Armenian and Rwandan genocides are used as paradigms to address the contemporary need to oppose the worldwide threat engendered by ignorance, indifference, discrimination, racism, and moral cowardice.
Other guest speakers will address a variety of issues. Corrie Sirota MSW, PSW, is a Clinical Social Worker in private practice, who has helped numerous schools and organizations address the issue of bullying. Steven Slimovitch, LL.B., is a Montreal based attorney who provides legal counsel to individuals and corporations in the areas of criminal, penal, and Charter of Rights litigation. Sid Stevens’ dedication to young people and Montrealers in need is well known. He is the founder and driving force of Sun Youth. Jacky Vallée teaches anthropology and methodology at Vanier College. He is also working on a PhD in anthropology at the Université de Montréal. His personal and professional interests include aboriginal rights in Canada, LGBT2QIA (lesbian / gay / bisexual/ transgender / Two-Spirit / queer / intersex / asexual) rights and autism awareness.
All presentations are open to the public without charge. Check the schedule for details.