Social Work National Conference 2008: Human Rights in a Diverse Community
MARTHA KUWEE KUMSA
Social Work National Conference 2008
Human Rights in a Diverse Community
May 22-25, 2008
Marriott Toronto Downtown Eaton Centre
Canadian Association of Social Workers &
Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work
Hosted by: Ontario Association of Social Workers
Join us in the world’s most diverse city for this first-of-its-kind national social work conference bringing together clinicians, educators and researchers from across the country. This dynamic conference aims to stimulate dialogue and inspire new insights into issues of human rights and access to services.
Human rights are an intrinsic part of social work. Social workers play a large role in the pursuit of equality and equity for marginalized and minority groups, struggles for civil rights and basic freedoms, economic well-being, and access to health care and the necessities of life. Human rights and the needs of under-served or at-risk populations are priorities for everyone involved in the broad field of social work.
Human Rights in a Diverse Community provides a forum for the discussion of these issues among social workers in day-to-day practice, administrators, researchers, educators and policy-makers, from across Canada. Our goal is to bring these groups together to share ideas, network, enhance knowledge, integrate research theory and practice, and expand perspectives on national and global issues of relevance.
Join us from Thur. May 22 to Sun. May 25, 2008, in the heart of Toronto, at the Marriott Toronto Downtown Eaton Centre.
Conference host and sponsors:
The host of the Social Work National Conference 2008 is the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW). OASW addresses the interests and concerns of social workers in Ontario. In keeping with the profession's code of ethics, OASW comments on a wide array of professional practice and employment issues for social workers, as well as public policies and social justice issues affecting social workers' clients. In addition, OASW focuses attention on increasing public awareness of the important role played by the profession as it relates to service delivery.
The 2008 Conference is co-sponsored by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) and the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW). As a federation of nine provincial and one territorial social work organizations, CASW provides a national leadership role in strengthening and advancing the social work profession in Canada, and promotes social justice and well-being for all Canadian residents. CASSW is a voluntary, national not-for-profit association of university faculties, schools and departments offering professional education and accreditation in social work at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.
The following are the keynote/plenary speakers:
Keynote Speaker for Thur. May 22, 2008, evening session
Marc Kielburger is an accomplished social advocate and the chief executive director of Free The Children, the world's largest network of children helping children through education. Passionate and powerful on the speaking platform, Marc has shared the podium with many high-calibre speakers including Nelson Mandela, Queen Noor, Archbishop Tutu, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama.
Martha Kuwee Kumsa
Plenary Speaker for Fri. May 23, 2008, morning session
Martha Kuwee Kumsa was born and raised in Ethiopia (as part of the indigenous African ethnic group, Oromo), where she worked as a print and radio journalist. As a result of her work, she was jailed and spent the 1980s as a prisoner of conscience. She was released from prison through the works of PEN and Amnesty International. In 1991, she fled her country and came to Canada as a resettled refugee. An activist for human rights and social justice, Martha aspired to social work as a place for profound personal and social transformation, and went back to school full-time to study social work. She is now an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. She continues her passionate activism for human rights and social justice within and beyond social work.
Beverley Antle Memorial Lecture on Social Work Ethics
Plenary Speaker for Sat. May 24, 2008, morning session
Cindy Blackstock, a member of the Gitksan First Nation, has worked in the field of child and family services for more than 20 years. She is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. This national organization seeks to promote and support First Nations child and family service agencies in Canada by providing research, professional development and public education services. Previously, she worked as a social worker and was executive director of a regional professional development agency for indigenous social workers. Cindy has participated in numerous provincial and national research projects and has served on the boards of directors of many national social work organizations.
Banquet Speaker for Sat. May 24, 2008, evening
Margaret Trudeau is a mental health advocate who will address the enduring stigma associated with mental illness. Thrust onto the public stage in her early 20’s as the wife of a prominent politician and mother of three small children, she battled undiagnosed mood swings. Her long struggle with mental health problems and her experience with the social stigma frequently related to mental health conditions cuts across all segments of society. Her presentation will highlight, from her unique perspective, the need for greater public education and better funding of resources to combat what is increasingly being termed a mental heath epidemic.
Plenary Speaker for Sun. May 25, 2008, morning session
Ariane Brunet is the Women's Rights Coordinator at Rights & Democracy (R&D), which she represents at the UN Human Rights Commission. She contributed to the creation of a coalition that monitors gender-related crimes in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, and has been instrumental in setting up the Women's Rights in Afghanistan Fund. Ariane was active in ensuring that Canada became a leader on a resolution at the UN Human Rights Commission to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences. She is a co-founder of the Urgent Action Fund (UAF), which both grants and initiates programs to equip women's human rights activists with the resources necessary to respond to women and girls brutalized in conflict situations. As well, she was a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery.
Visit the website www.SocialWorkNationalConference2008.org frequently for updates on the program and registration information.