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Visionary Conversations in the Community

What more can Manitoba’s “most powerful” do to open the door to diversity? Join the discussion tonight

May 16, 2016 — 

President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David T. Barnard hosts the next Visionary Conversations in the Community event on Wednesday, May 18, which asks what more can Manitoba’s “most powerful” do to open the door to diversity?

Panelists include:

  • Sharon Harrald – Vice President, Human Resources, Investors Group
  • Melanie D. Janzen – Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs), Faculty of Education
  • Janice Y. Lederman – President, Innovate Manitoba
  • Mary Jane Loustel – National Aboriginal Program Executive, IBM
  • Reis Pagtakhan – Immigration Lawyer and Partner, Aikins Law

Some of the panelists shared their thoughts on diversity leading up to the discussion.

“From my perspective, diversity and inclusion must be inherent to access, privilege and power systems if we are to achieve a healthy, vibrant community and see Winnipeg thrive socially, economically and politically,” said Loustel, a prominent community leader who co-founded SHEday and is on the Winnipeg Police Board. “The future of Winnipeg rests with individuals making the choice to embrace the diversity we present to one another. Celebrating differences allows us to respect one another and build strength across the points of common value.”

Janzen, who was recently involved in the Faculty of Education’s adoption of diversity admissions policies, notes “it is important that as a society, and particularly as leaders who can influence policy, we understand that we all benefit from being surrounded by a diversity of perspectives. That is, working with people from a variety of perspectives enriches everyone’s experiences and understandings.”

Finally, from a business and hiring perspective, Harrald notes that “a range of perspectives and backgrounds improve our decision making, contributes to successful client relationships and helps to engage all staff in our collective success.”

While diversity is widely acknowledged to be a worthwhile goal in education, the workplace, and civil society, how we get there is more complicated. This conversation will explore various perspectives on this issue, examining power and privilege in Manitoba, discussing what a diverse “inner circle” would look like, and reflecting on the steps we need to take as a province to enhance diversity within this circle.

Visionary Conversations in the Community takes place at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 485 Memorial Blvd. on May 18. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the panel discussion runs from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. A reception will follow from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Admission is free but seating is limited, so please RSVP online or to Visionary [dot] conversations [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or call 204-480-1440.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #umvisionary.

Read more about Visionary Conversations

Visionary Conversations


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