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The Force that is with Us: Improving Policing in Toronto

October 23, 2018
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Thomas Lounge, 55 Gould Street

Event Description

Racial profiling. Failure to adequately investigate the killings of gay men. Mishandling of sexual assault cases. Excessive use of force with sometimes fatal consequences.

Policing in Toronto has attracted considerable controversy and calls for greater accountability.  This event explores the role grassroots activists play in reforming policing in Toronto. It also explores what role, if any, Ryerson University should play in re-training officers to improve policing. The event will offer context and historical background to problems in policing and examine the relationship between Ryerson and the police.

Speaker Bios

Anne-Marie Singh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology at Ryerson University. She has an inter-disciplinary and international education with a Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of London. She teaches undergraduate courses on crime and criminal justice, ‘Race, Ethnicity and Justice’ and ‘Criminological Theories’, and has supervised graduate students in related fields. Her research interests concern contemporary social and political theory, moral philosophy, policing and governance. She has published a number of journal publications and two books on these areas.

Olivia Chow began her political career in 1985. Since then, she has been one of Canada’s most effective and well known public figures. She now leads the Institute’s educational initiatives.  In 1991, Olivia became the first Asian-born woman elected as a Metro Toronto Councilor. She was re-elected to city council five times, serving with distinction for 14 years.  While at City Hall, she served as Chair of the Community Services Committee and Vice Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), among other senior responsibilities. First elected to Parliament in 2006, Olivia won re-election twice.  In Parliament, her Early Learning and Child Care Bill laid the legislative foundation for a universal, high quality, affordable and non-profit national childcare program.  She also pushed for faster family reunification and giving a chance for immigrants to succeed through recognition of foreign credentials and employment initiatives. Throughout her career, Olivia has been at the forefront, working for progress for all. She has reached across party lines and travelled across the country, forging alliances with municipal and provincial leaders, business and advocacy groups. Outside the political sphere, Olivia is known as a tireless spokesperson, fundraiser and champion of numerous charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society and related charities, Centre for Victims of Torture, Asian Community AIDS Service and Culture Link.

Josh Lamers is a Masters student in Ryerson’s Social Work Program, and works with youth and young peoples along the intersections of Blackness, Disability, Child Welfare, and Queer/Trans* identity. Josh works in community in several capacities, such as community/public education, community development, peer mentor and advocacy services, and some of these roles incorporate poetry as a form of creative exploration around identity, self, and oppression/resistance. With his own history of surviving child welfare, and going through transracial adoption, much of Josh’s work and poetry focuses on healing. On campus, Josh is also one of the co-founders of the Black Liberation Collective-Ryerson, a collective of Black students attached to a larger movement of Black liberation work within post-secondary institutions, where the work is challenging anti-Black racism in its many forms and to curate safer spaces for Black students, staff, and faculty.

Sheldomar Elliott is an Environmental and Urban Sustainability student who is a coordinator at the Racialised Students Collective in the Equity Service Centre. He is committed to social justice work as an advocate for a campus free of racism, sexism, and all other forms of oppression.