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Anti-Asian Discrimination in the Time of COVID-19: Confronting Racism and Discrimination

May 26, 2020
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Tanya (Toni) De Mello, Director of Human Rights, Ryerson University; Justin Poy, President, Justin Poy Agency

Left, Speaker:
Tanya (Toni) De Mello
Director of Human Rights, Ryerson University

Right, Host:
Justin Poy, RTA ’93
President, Justin Poy Agency


Asian Heritage Month has become an important platform to recognize the many contributions and cultures of Asians in Canada. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we still have a lot to work to do when it comes to human rights and inclusion. From “bat fried rice” t-shirt sales to accusations about Canada's chief health officer, Chinese and other Asian community members are targets for hate during this crisis. What impact does this have on our society? How do we curb these attitudes and beliefs? In this webinar, you will receive important insights and resources to be able to better support inclusion and equity — especially as we navigate these uncertain times.


Speaker: Tanya (Toni) De Mello has spent much of her career focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion in the private, non-profit and government sectors. She is a human rights lawyer and a certified coach and mediator. She has worked in higher education for the last 25 years and is the Director of Human Rights at Ryerson University where she manages all investigations related to discrimination and harassment, as well as sexual violence. Toni has a long history of working across communities and across borders. In addition to founding two NGOs, Tanya has served in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the World Food Programme in Geneva (Switzerland), Senegal (West Africa) and Columbia (South America). 

Host: Justin Poy, RTA ’93,  is an award-winning advertising executive that has built his career and personal life around the understanding and promotion of multiculturalism. As a Director on the SickKids Foundation Board he brought a unique perspective on how to raise funds and create awareness in the Chinese-Canadian community. Justin did similar work with his time on the Board of the Walrus Magazine. He is the recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, and the Chinese Canadian Legend Award. Justin is the Honorary Patron of Asian Heritage Month (CFACI) and a Founding Chair of the Mayor’s Lunar Gala in Vaughan for Mackenzie Health Foundation. He is a Ryerson University Alumni of Distinction award recipient and has received the U of T Arbor Award.

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