“Learning from the experiences of Concordia activists”
A PANEL DISCUSSION FOLLOWED BY A SOCIAL EVENT
Concordia is a breeding ground for activism. From the computer riots to the to G20 organizers, activism has been a big part of the Concordia community. Each panelist will tell a 5 minute story of an activist venture that they took part in while they were at Concordia.
Moderator: Erik Chevrier
Speakers: Yves Engler, Alex Matak, David Bernans, Robert Green, Rodney John, Laith Marouf
Thursday, November 19, 2015 l Hall Building 7th Floor Lounge l 5-7PM
Laith Marouf is half Palestinian-half Syrian and has been active on Palestinian and Indigenous rights in Canada for over 15 years. He served as the National Coordinator of SPHR from 2006-10 and was part of a group of students who shutdown a scheduled speech by Israeli PM Netanyahu at Concordia University in Montreal 2002. Laith is also an award winning multimedia consultant and producer who currently serves as the coordinator of Independent Community Television – Montreal, a project to secure a multilingual community television license. He also works as a consultant with the Community Media Advocacy Centre concentrating on aiding Indigenous communities develop and sustain their own broadcasting projects. Laith worked as the Executive Director of Community University Television (CUTV) and developed its Quebec Spring live broadcasts embedded within the movement (2010-13). He served as the Equity Officer and Board Member for Quebec at the NCRA (2009-11). Laith launched and hosted “Under the Olive Tree” the Palestinian community radio show airing on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal and CFRC 101.9 FM in Kingston (2005-10).
Robert Green is a former CSU president (’99-’01). He currently teaches Social Sciences at Westmount High and blogs at MontrealTeachers4Change.org
Dr. David Bernans (PhD York University, 1998) is currently the vice-president of the Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ), a union that represents 25,500 professionals that work for the Québec government and Québec’s parapublic bodies. David was an active member of the Concordia community for years, working as a part-time faculty member in the Political Science department, a researcher and archivist for the Concordia Student Union, and a translator for the Education department. David served as the President of the Concordia Graduate Students’ Association and he helped start two unions on Concordia’s campus, CUPE 4512 and TRAC. He is the author of Con U Inc.: Privatization, Marketization and Globalization at Concordia University (and Beyond) (Concordia Student Union, 2001) and North of 9/11 (Cumulus Press, 2006).
Yves Engler has been dubbed “Canada’s version of Noam Chomsky” (Georgia Straight), “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today” (Briarpatch), “in the mould of I. F. Stone” (Globe and Mail), “part of that rare but growing group of social critics unafraid to confront Canada’s self-satisfied myths” (Quill & Quire) , “ever-insightful” (rabble.ca), “Chomsky-styled iconoclast” (Counterpunch) and a “Leftist gadfly” (Ottawa Citizen), Yves Engler’s published eight books.
Alex Matak is an activist and nerd who was deeply embedded in the 2011-2012 student strike. A graduate from the Geography, she helped this department become the 3rd department on strike at Concordia, and the only one to successfully shut down all classroom activity for 8 consecutive weeks. Alex was also part of a lot of other sneaky organizing during the strike that she would love to tell you about, now that all academic charges for such activity are far behind her! She is passionate about shining light on structures of power, especially within her own beloved circles of resistance, and working to flatten them. Alex wrote her honours thesis on the student strike, and turned it into the slightly less academic-y zine “What Kind Of Allies Are These?: reflections on power and politics within the 2012 student strike at Concordia University”.
Rodney John was active during the 1960s computer riots at Concordia. Born in St Vincent W. He attended Boys Grammar School on a scholarship. Upon graduation, he taught mathematics at two different high schools, before going to Montreal and enrolling at Sir George Williams University to study Biology in 1965 .He was involved in the student uprising over the course of the 68-69 academic year and consequently did not complete the year. In 1970, he returned to SGUW and completed the BSc degree. In 1972, he began graduate studies in Psychology and completed a PhD in clinical psychology in 1980. Until 1993, he worked as a psychologist in Montreal before leaving for Toronto, where he worked as a consultant with victims of motor vehicle accidents. He then completed a BEd at OISE (UofT) in 1998, as well as Certificate in Dispute Resolution at York University in 1999, and an LLM in Dispute Resolution at York in 2002. From 1993 onward he worked in teaching psychology, and mediation (principally as a family mediator), before retiring 6 years ago .These days, he pursues the art of Tai Chi Chuan.