The Federation of the Social Sciences and Humanities in partnership with the University of Alberta present the Big Thinking series, bringing together leading scholars who address critical issues of our time. Big Thinking events are open to all Congress registered attendees and to members of the general public with a community pass.

Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein

Canada’s hidden cooperative system: The legacy of the Black Banker Ladies | March 9, 2021 | 12:00-3:00pm EST

lack diaspora women, known as Banker Ladies, lead solidarity economics through a form of mutual aid called Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs). Drawing on ancient African traditions, this financial exchange system holds the key to making local economies serve the needs of everyone. Canada has a rich history of corporativism, and Canadian policymakers are called on to support solidarity economies, and to ensure there is space for Black cooperators by creating a Global ROSCA Network. Valuing these informal cooperative institutions, and acknowledging the expertise of Banker Ladies, will help build an inclusive economy, bridge the gap of inequity in Canada, and by extension revolutionize Canadian international development policy.

Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein is Associate Professor of Business & Society at York University in Toronto, and founder of the Diverse Solidarity Economies Collective. She is author of Politicized Microfinance: Money, power and violence in the Black Americas and editor of The Black Social Economy in the Americas: Exploring Diverse Community-Based Alternative Markets. She is also the co-editor of the forthcoming Community Economies in the Global South by Oxford University Press (2021). She holds an Ontario Early Researcher Award (2018-2023) and her project “African origins in the Social Economy” is funded by the SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2017-20).

This event takes place in English with French simultaneous interpretation.

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Sheila Watt-Cloutier 

Everything is connected: Environment, economy, foreign policy, sustainability, human rights and leadership in the 21st century | June 3, 2021 | 12:00 to 13:00 MDT

An environmental, cultural, and human rights advocate, Watt-Cloutier offers a new model for 21st century leadership by approaching urgent issues such as the environment, the economy, foreign policy, global health, and sustainability not as separate concerns, but as a deeply interconnected whole. 

Sheila Watt-Cloutier is an environmental, cultural and human rights advocate. Her work demonstrates that the pressing issues of today – the environment, the economy, foreign policy, global health – are deeply interconnected. Watt-Cloutier is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee (2007) for her advocacy work in showing the impact of global climate change, especially in the Arctic, on human rights. She is also an Officer of the Order of Canada, and the recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award, the UN Champion of the Earth Award, the Norwegian Sophie Prize, the Jack P. Blaney award for Dialogue, and the Right Livelihood Award. She was Canadian President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council from 1995-2002, and International Chair of the ICC from 2002-6. Her memoir, The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, was shortlisted for Canada Reads in 2017.

Ibram X. Kendi  

How To Be An Antiracist | May 31, 2021 | Time TBD 

With opened minds, people are actively trying to understand racism. In this deeply personal and empowering conversation, Kendi will shift the discussion from how not to be racist to how to be an antiracist. He will also share his own racist ideas and how he overcame them.

Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Kendi is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

He is the author of many books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He also authored three #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an AntiracistStamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. His newest books are Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action; and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, co-edited with Keisha Blain, which will be out in February. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

For more information on Ibram X. Kendi, please visit www.prhspeakers.com.

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