This is not your typical roster of plenary speakers! We’re excited to be welcoming fresh voices and new, emerging perspectives to the #AllIn2019 stage. Meet our 2019 event emcee and the featured speakers of the main plenary sessions.
President and Head
Pearson College UWC
Désirée is the President and Head of Pearson College UWC, a two-year pre-university school that was the first educational institution in Canada to offer the International Baccalaureate program.
In 2017, Désirée was appointed by Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change to serve on the China-Canada Council for Cooperation on Environment and Development.
From 2008-2015, Désirée served as Executive Director and President of the Montreal-based Jeanne Sauvé Foundation. Prior to that, Désirée was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada and Director of Policy for the Minister of International Cooperation. In this capacity, Désirée coordinated all key files in the areas of sustainable development, stakeholder relations and multilateral organizations with direct involvement in Canada’s response to humanitarian crises.
Director of Programs
Urgent Action Fund
Shalini Eddens joined Urgent Action Fund as the Director of Programs in the fall of 2015. She brings to her work a passion for women’s health and rights grounded in her deep belief for justice and equity. Shalini has over 15 years of leadership experience in the grassroots public health sector providing direct services, training, education and advocacy for women living with and affected by HIV within the United States and abroad. She also has expertise in facilitation/training and capacity building, program development and design. An Oakland, California native, Shalini currently resides in the Republic of Brooklyn.
Women Moving Millions
Born in Vancouver and based in New York, Jessica Houssian fell in love with feminism as a little girl and has focused her career on advancing women’s equality ever since. Jessica is currently a Senior Advisor for Women Moving Millions, a global community of women philanthropists who invest boldly with a gender lens. Prior to her work with WMM, Jessica was a partner at Inspired Philanthropy Group — a boutique consulting firm supporting individual philanthropists and corporations to help create authentic, effective impact. Jessica currently serves on the Board of Directors of Landesa, RefugePoint and as Co-chair of The Houssian Foundation.
President & CEO
Canadian Women’s Foundation
Paulette Senior has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. She faced her own set of barriers when she immigrated to Canada from Jamaica as a young girl — an experience that ignited her interest in justice and activism.
Paulette began her career on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. “I realized that the roles could easily have been switched; that it could have been me living in those circumstances.” She saw first-hand the urgent need for social resources and systemic change to transform women’s lives. Through her work and advocacy with shelters, as well as employment and housing programs, she has earned numerous awards and become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada.
Moderator: Jess Tomlin
President & CEO
MATCH International Women’s Fund
Named by the Stevie Awards as 2017’s Most Innovative Woman of the Year, Jess is the President and CEO of The MATCH International Women’s Fund — Canada’s only global fund for women. Emphasizing the role of innovation in social movements, The MATCH Fund resources women’s organizations around the world working to change systems and dismantle barriers. Jess has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia for a range of actors including the World Bank, the UN and USAID. Prior to her appointment at The MATCH Fund, Jess was with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, managing large-scale reform for the Agency that supports Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.
Community Foundations of Canada
Andrew joined Community Foundations Canada in 2013 and became CEO in 2017, following a six-year tenure as Vice-President of Finance for the London Community Foundation and his long-standing service as a finance and regulatory expert for Canada’s philanthropic milieu. Now at the head of the community foundation movement, Andrew is working closely with the Community Foundations of Canada Leadership team, Board and foundations in Canada and abroad to help the philanthropic sector transform, innovate and meet the new challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. An increasingly active public speaker, Andrew is helping raise awareness for how the philanthropic sector’s convening power, leadership and action around targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals can help Canadian communities reach their full potential.
Outside of Community Foundations of Canada, Andrew has been highly active in the nonprofit community for 15 years, serving on numerous boards including Community Living London and Art for AIDS International. In 2014, he was appointed to the Board of the Southwest Local Health Integration Network by former Minister of Health, Deb Matthews. In 2015, he was among 250 selected emerging leaders to participate in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. He recently joined the Board of WINGS, the global network of grantmaker associations and philanthropic support organisations.
With a background in education in economics and commerce, Andrew obtained his chartered accountant designation in 2002 and began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as a manager in the Assurance and Advisory Group.
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough
Nicole Gagliardi helps underdogs in the non-profit sector build capacity to deepen impact. She has a background in community development and social planning, and has also developed her skills in strategy, design and evaluation at the grassroots level. Nicole has conducted research for Social Planning Toronto and the Social Planning Network of Ontario, developed the City of Peterborough’s successful pilot project for a downtown youth centre and supported emerging community hubs with the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network. She is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough where she leverages community knowledge and philanthropy to drive positive change in the Peterborough area.
UBC Africa Awareness Initiative
John Michael Koffi is a poet, musician and author of Refuge-e: The Journey Much Desired. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he has lived and travelled in multiple countries as a refugee. He appreciates multiculturalism, is highly passionate about youth empowerment, and advocates for recognition and resolution of minority issues – especially issues affecting the refugee youth. He is currently working with members of a youth club he co-founded in Mpaka Refugee Camp in Swaziland to improve existing educational resources, establish an educational fund and build recreation facilities for all young people in that refugee camp. John Michael is a United World Colleges graduate and currently studying International Relations at UBC, where he is the President of the UBC Africa Awareness Initiative and volunteers as a wellness peer. John Michael joined Vancouver Foundation’s LEVEL advisory committee in 2018 — where he, along with 14 other Indigenous and racialized migrant and refugee leaders, work alongside staff reviewing and making recommendations for grant funding.
Vision 2020 Fundholder
Heela Omarkhail is an aspiring philanthropist and current Fundholder at the Toronto Foundation. As a participant in the Toronto Foundation’s inaugural Vision 2020 cohort, she set up the Aspire Fund in 2018 to focus on improving outcomes and unlocking opportunities for youth, women and immigrants.
Heela is also Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives at The Daniels Corporation, one of Canada’s largest and pre-eminent builder/developers where she is responsible for Daniels’ community engagement portfolio. Heela works closely with a broad range of stakeholders to create and implement initiatives that look beyond the bricks and mortar to ensure that the social, cultural and economic infrastructures of communities built by Daniels are as strong as the new buildings.
Michael Redhead Champagne
Michael Redhead Champagne, born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End, is an award-winning community organizer, public speaker and a proud member of Shamattawa First Nation. He is solution-oriented and passionate about building system literacy, encouraging volunteerism, and engaging communities to be involved in the design, delivery, and evaluation of any initiative that affects them. Michael believes in leading by example and now travels across Canada sharing his gift with others. Whether he is speaking to educators, youth, the business community or the not-for-profit sector his goal is the same, to help heal, shape and create a call to action for everyone. Michael is known for his straight-up and heartfelt style that will leave you moved, inspired and ready for action.
Author, Chair of the Board of Directors
Native Americans in Philanthropy
Edgar Villanueva is an internationally-recognized expert on social justice philanthropy and author of Decolonizing Wealth, which offers hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and is a Board Member of the Andrus Family Fund, a national foundation that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.
Additionally, Edgar is an instructor with The Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education. There, he oversees grant investment and capacity-building supports for education-focused justice campaigns across the United States.
Previously Edgar has held leadership roles at Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina and at the Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle. In addition to working in philanthropy for many years, he has consulted for numerous non-profit organizations and national and global philanthropies on advancing racial equity inside of their institutions and through their investment strategies.
Edgar holds two degrees from the Gillings Global School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Media and Outreach Coordinator
We Matter Campaign
Linnea is an orator, activist and writer from the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nisga’a and Tsimshian nations. She is currently working as a Social Media and Outreach Coordinator for the non-profit organization We Matter. She became involved in Indigenous activism in 2013 with a conviction to create social change and help heal the injustices faced by Indigenous people. Through this work, she began to heal and recognize her purpose in life: to advocate for Indigenous youth, culture and sexual assault victims through public speaking. From 2015 – 2017, she worked closely with UBC, where her late father, Beau Dick, was an artist in residence. He continues to be one of the biggest inspirations in her storytelling. Since 2015, she has had many of her written works published, including autobiographical pieces, short stories and poetry. Linnea continues to share her story through different avenues, and in her spare time enjoys writing, hiking, meditation and yoga. She chooses to live as her ancestors did: on the path of sobriety and with love for her community.
Women’s Voice and Leadership Caribbean, the MATCH Fund
Amina Doherty is the incoming Program Director of the Women’s Voice and Leadership for the Caribbean at The MATCH Fund. Through actively supporting transformational work from artists, dreamers, activists, and organizations that strengthen social change, Amina is focused on helping to build a more colourful, equal and just world. She is a founding member and coordinator of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, and previously managed funding for women’s rights organizations at the Sigrid Rausing Trust in London. She has worked with a diverse range of clients including governments, international NGOs, community-led groups and individual philanthropists. She serves as a Caribbean advisor to Mama Cash, and currently sits on the boards of Just Associates and the Global Fund for Women.
Purity is a feminist activist based in Nairobi Kenya and the current Executive Director of Akili Dada, a leadership incubator for girls and young women who are passionate about social change. Purity has previously served as a founding advisory committee member of the FRIDA|The Young Feminist Fund and in early 2015, she was named as one of the 18 Phenomenal African Feminists to know and watch. In 2016, she was named a finalist of the Most Influential Women in Governance and Business in Africa. She is currently a member of the East Africa Girls Brain Trust and a trustee of the Resource Centre for Girls and Women an organization that works to empower girls from rural communities in Kenya.
President & CEO
Joanna Kerr is President and CEO of Tides Canada, a leading national charity that enables community-led transformation advancing environmental, social and economic justice. Joanna led Greenpeace Canada as Executive Director, working to stop climate change and protect precious biodiversity while supporting Indigenous rights. She served as the first female Chief Executive of ActionAid International working in 50 countries with the most marginalized communities to tackle inequality. She also led the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, transforming it into one of the most significant global feminist conveners and influencers on funding for gender equality. Joanna has held senior positions with Oxfam Canada and the North-South Institute. She is the Chair of the Board of The Match International Women’s Fund.
Emilie Nicolas is a public speaker, consultant, anthropologist and columnist with Le Devoir. She is a frequent media commentator on human rights issues, and has been published in several journals, magazines and newspapers. She co-founded Quebec inclusif in 2013, and has since contributed to feminist and anti-racist social movements in Quebec and throughout Canada.
Inovia Capital General Partner Shawn Abbott has over 25 years of experience building and investing in Internet and technology companies. He is the founding chair of the A100, past chair of the Banff Venture Forum, a member of the Creative Destruction Lab, and current chair of the Venture Capital Association of Alberta. Shawn serves as a director on the boards of: Drivewyze, Top Hat, WorkFusion, Bench, and Solium, among others. Prior to Inovia Capital, Shawn pioneered internet security as CTO, then President, of publicly-traded security company Rainbow Technologies. In this role, he saw the company grow tenfold in profitability before being sold to SafeNet for nearly a half-billion dollars. He previously founded, built and then sold the AND Group, an early encryption-based eCommerce success used on millions of CDs. Shawn holds an early patent as an inventor of the USB key.
Lisa Jackson is a cross-genre filmmaker whose works have screened at Hotdocs, Tribeca, SXSW, Berlinale and London BFI, and aired on many networks in Canada. Her work has garnered many awards including a Genie and Canadian Screen Award and Playback Magazine named her one of Ten to Watch. She is Anishinaabe, lives in Toronto, and her recent projects include the VR Biidaaban: First Light and the short IMAX 3D film Lichen. Along with an immersive installation Transmissions, on the power of Indigenous languages, she is also working on more traditional film and TV projects.
Host: Vicky Mochama
Vocal Fry Studios
Vicky Mochama is a podcaster, writer and the host of No Little Plans. Previously, she has worked as the national columnist for Metro News where she has written on race, gender and Canadian politics. She has also written columns for the Toronto Star and Flare Magazine and co-authored the best-selling Canadaland Guide to Canada. Her writing has been published in the Globe and Mail, TVO, NOW magazine and CBC.ca.
Senior Advisor to Evergreen and Future Cities Canada and as Co-Executive Lead for the National Urban Project
Mary Rowe is a project leader who empowers Canada’s largest cities to be economically vibrant, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable as Senior Advisor to both Evergreen and Future Cities Canada, as well as in her role as Co-Executive Lead for the National Urban Project. She is also a Senior Fellow with Shorefast, a charity and social enterprise focused on building place-based economic development strategies that strengthen local communities.
Mary was chosen as one of 300 for 300: An honour roll of individuals selected over three centuries for their unique contribution to the City of New Orleans, where she supported local community leaders to foster resilience after Hurricane Katrina. Mary has led national and international urban initiatives in Toronto and New York City, including Re-Imagining the Civic Commons, an initiative to strengthen elements of the urban fabric that create social cohesion and community resilience, including libraries, community centres, parks and other ‘third places’.