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PEACETALKS #38: PeaceTalk with the White Helmets in Vancouver

Guest Speaker:
Date:
Apr 5, 2018
Time:
6:00 - 8:00PM
Venue:
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue - Asia Pacific Hall

PeaceGeeks and SFU International are pleased to present an exclusive opportunity to hear from three frontline members of the White Helmets in person, in a ‘PeaceTalk’ public panel dialogue here in Vancouver. Also known as Syria Civil Defense, the White Helmets are a Nobel Peace Prize nominated volunteer organization that conducts urban search and rescue of civilians in response to bombings in Syria. Formerly shopkeepers, bakers, teachers and ordinary citizens, these unarmed volunteers have saved over 100,000 lives since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.

 

The upcoming PeaceTalk will include a brief video introduction to the White Helmets’ work followed by a moderated panel discussion with open Q&A between attendees and the White Helmets volunteers.

 

About the White Helmets

The White Helmets, officially known as Syria Civil Defence, is a volunteer organization that actively conducts urban search and rescue of civilians injured by bombings or trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings in Syria. Formerly shopkeepers, bakers, teachers and ordinary citizens, these unarmed volunteers have saved over 100,000 lives since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, earning them a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2016.

A recent documentary film about the White Helmets also won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short in 2017.

 

Mar 22, 2018
Category: PeaceTalks
Time 2:
6 PM

PEACETALKS #34: Talking About Racism In Canada

Guest Speaker:
Seemi Ghazi, Kory Wilson, Hope Sealy
Date:
Feb 8, 2017
Time:
6:00 - 7:30 pm.
Venue:
HiVE Vancouver

After a year that brought us the lows of a xenophobic Brexit campaign and the (re-)normalization of racial politics in the US, many progressives around the world are looking at Canada as a beacon of hope for diversity and multiculturalism. Yet, Canada is neither free from oppressive and divisive ideologies nor immune to their open resurgence—and the country is struggling to confront this reality: “People in Canada generally will do anything to avoid talking about race,” says Desmond Cole, a Toronto-based journalist and activist.

So how do we talk about racism in Canada to affect positive change? On February 8, Peace Talks explores this question with a panel of speakers who have deep experience in confronting racism. Guest moderator Robert Daum - Fellow for Diversity & Innovation at SFU’s Centre for Dialogue - will facilitate a conversation with Seemi Ghazi, Kory Wilson and Hope Sealy.

Thank You To:
Partnership With:
Jan 6, 2017
Category: PeaceTalks
Time 2:
6 PM to 7 PM

PEACETALKS #33: Challenging Extremism in Online Spaces

Guest Speaker:
Adel Iskandar
Date:
Oct 4, 2016
Time:
6:00 - 7:30pm
Venue:
HiVE Vancouver

This talk is part 2 of April 2015 PeaceTalk on Interorogating ISIS: Digital Terrorism, Digital Response.

Since the summer of 2014, the international media has been mesmerized with the spectre of ISIS, a radical jihadist militia in Syria, which has rapidly expanded the territory under its control in recent months to Iraq, Libya and other conflict zones in the Middle East. Yet despite considerable coverage, very little is known about where they come from, their appeal, and their messaging short of the gruesome videos they produce to maximize reach.

This PeaceTalk will offer a historical background to explain where ISIS comes from and how they have leveraged digital media to recruit and radicalize supporters in the region and internationally. This talk will also explore popular cultural resistance against ISIS in Muslim-majority countries. Finally it will touch on contemporary policy and discourse implications of ISIS' media discourse.

About the Speaker:

Adel Iskandar is an Assistant Professor of Global Communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of several works including Egypt In Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution (AUCP/OUP), Al-Jazeera: The Story of the Network that is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism (Basic Books), Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation (University of California Press), Mediating the Arab Uprisings (Tadween Publishing), and Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring (Palgrave Macmillan). Iskandar's work deals with media, identity and politics and has lectured extensively on these topics at universities worldwide. He has given hundreds of interviews to national and international media outlets on global politics and communication. Before joining SFU, Iskandar taught for several years at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He is a co-editor of popular e-zine Jadaliyya.
 

Thank You To:
Partnership With:
Sep 12, 2016
Category: PeaceTalks
Labels:
Time 2:
6 PM to 7 PM

PeaceTalk #32 - Tech on Ending Violence Against Women

   

     In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we hosted our 32nd PeaceTalk — Tech for Ending Violence Against Women at the HiVE studio where we partnered with Amnesty International. We had an amazing panel of empowered and inspiring females: Rebecca Chiao from Harassmap, Denise Williams with the First Nations Technology Council and Jessica Ladd from Sexual Health Innovations (SHI). These accomplished women discussed ideas about helping mistreated women through the medium of advancing technologies.

    Rebecca Chiao, our first speaker of the night introduced Harassmap. Harassmap is an online platform created in 2010 that addresses the sexual assault and harassment conflict arising in Egypt. She further explains how many o these victims little or no aid. These women feel compelled to avoid public spaces where they could become exposed to sexual harassment. Harassmap acts as an anonymous channel for these victims to connect to people for support and aims to stop harassment by changing cultural norms by placing more pressure towards local authorities.

    Next we had Denise Williams discuss her concern regarding the lack of access to technology many First Nations communities are faced with. Technology provides users with access to education, healthcare, opportunities to employment and much more, however these First Nations are not able to access the same information as conveniently. With the help of her team members, Denise aims to ensure that all 203 BC First Nation communities have access to technology resources and support.

    Our final speaker, Jessica Ladd spoke about an online platform called Callisto  that acts as an online sexual assault reporting system for colleges. She explains that victims feel reluctant to report the act because they worry that they lack information during the reporting process and victims are often uncertain of whether the act was serious enough. These worries lead to delayed reports of sexual attacks, and unfortunately less than 10% of survivors report their assaults. Callisto aims to address these issues by allowing survivors to report their assaults by offering a judgement free environment.

    To end the night off, we received thought-provoking questions from the audience. Questions ranged from whether these organizations were predominately volunteer based or staff based and how they can help to what could the be cause of disconnect with colleges from accepting an online platform such as Callisto. Jessica responded saying fear is the issue. Universities fear that accepting help would mean that there is an actual problem. In addition, the news may affect donations made by alumni and affect the reputation of the school overall. Thus, Callisto is there to help students who face these issues and support them through this process.

A big thank you to all that attended and helped make this event a success! We hope you all feel more empowered to make a difference and help those in need. 

Mar 11, 2016
Category:

Violence Against Women

Though women’s rights have progressed in the past 100 years, violence against women is still a global phenomenon. Amnesty international reports that one-in-three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during their lifetime. These numbers are also reflected among Canadian statistics, with 67% of all Canadians reporting that they know at least woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted. Despite a 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of violence against Women by the UN, the problem still persists today.

The violence that women face globally includes genital mutilation, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, domestic violence and rape. Globally, and here in Canada, domestic assaults and homicide from an intimate partner or family member is disparate towards women. Globally 70 percent of women have experienced physical or sexual assault from an intimate partner, and in Canada 83% of all police-reported domestic assaults were against women. For homicides, in 2012 on a worldwide scale of all female homicides nearly half were committed by an intimate partner or family member. In Canada of 89 spousal homicides in 2011 over 85% of victims were women. A prime example of how Canada is not adverse to this global issue of violence against women is the case of 582 missing or murdered Aboriginal women. Between 2000 to 2008 10% of all female homicides were aboriginal women despite accounting for only 3% of the Canadian female population.

 

Though violence itself is not a gender-specific issue, the threats facing women are unique and deep seated in gender discrimination. In many instances laws are not in their favour of women or not in accordance with international standards. Specific to these issues is the reluctance of women who experience violence to step forward and ask for help or report the abuses. Under 40% of women actually do search for help, those who do most likely turn to friends and family and only 10% go to the police.

As international organizations work to collect more data on this issue and strengthen laws and institutions globally, is there space for technology to contribute to alleviating this issue? Local Vancouver companies and global companies are using apps, GPS, mobile phones and other technology as tools to empower women to contribute to their safety and security. Join PeaceGeeks on March 9 for our 32nd PeaceTalk to learn more about how tech is working to end violence against women.

 

 

Mar 5, 2016
Category: Thematic Issues
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