Metropolis BC

Religion and Society: A Policy-Research Symposium
on Immigration, Multiculturalism, and Social Change in Canada
February 2, 2011

Conference Papers

Dr. Sandeep Agrawal
Religion and City Development

Dr. Sandeep Agrawal is a professor of urban planning and management, Ryerson University, Canada. He is the director of the Master's program in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. He studies the transformative impact of immigration, ethnicity and religion on our urban landscapes and its effects on urban planning practice and policies. He is currently the Domain Leader of the Welcoming Communities domain at the Ontario Metropolis-CERIS in Toronto.


Justin Tse
Talking Infrastrcuture: Another topic from Richmonds's "Highway to heaven

Justin Tse is a second-year Ph.D. Candidate in Human Geography at the UBC. His interest in Chinese Christians, religious landscapes, and cultural geographies grows out of his personal experience of growing up in Chinese Christian communities in the San Francisco Bay Area when he was a child and an adolescent and then moving to Metro Vancouver in his late teens to begin studies at UBC. Undergraduate studies in History Honours programme at UBC taught him the value of historiographical writing as memory, a skill he transferred to his graduate studies in Geography at UBC. In addition to his current doctoral work, he continues to serve churches and various NGOs in an advisory capacity and is committed to using his research for the purpose of peacemaking.


Heidi Hoernig
Public policy and religious diversity: lessons from place of worship development

Heidi Hoernig has a PhD, Planning from the University of Waterloo. She also held a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship at the Institut National de la Research Scientifique, Centre Urbanisation Culture Société in Montreal. She has conducted research in urban planning and social geography in relation to minority places of worship, downtown revitalization in mid-size cities, policy monitoring and evaluation and community responses to hazards. Previously, she worked in First Nations communities in northern Alberta in youth and criminal justice services. She currently works at McGill University in Research Services for the Faculty of Arts.


Clare Whelan-Sadike
Embrace BC's Interfaith Bridging: Faith and Multiculturism

Clare Whelan-Sadike is the Anti-Racism Program Advisor in the Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism Branch of the BC Provincial Government. Working closely with both colleagues across government and the community, she manages the Provincial Government's EmbraceBC program to address racism, promote multiculturalism and build inclusive communities. Clare holds a Masters in Adult Education with a focus on social change and anti-racism, and prior to government worked on communitydevelopment projects in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique to promote the ideals of anti-oppression, anti-racism and the development of cross-cultural understanding and relations.


Julie Papaioannou
Inter-Action: Canada's New Multiculturism Grants and Contributions Program

Julie Papaioannou is a Multiculturalism Program Officer with Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Multiculturalism Program. She has been with the Program for over 4 years, in which time she has worked with community stakeholders and organizations in the delivery of the Multiculturalism Program. Prior to joining government, Julie worked in the non-profit sector in Edmonton, Alberta in the area of human rights, and has a Master of Arts degree in Political Science.


Tahzeem Kassam
DIVERSEcity community resources society: Inter-Faith Brindging Initiatives

Tahzeem Kassam Director of Community Development at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, has over 12 years of experience with immigrant and refugee settlement services in the city of Surrey. She started as a part time volunteer coordinator, growing the program into a small department of innovative programs that met the specific needs of newcomers. Tahzeem is passionate about helping newcomers to have access to programs and services as well as to help them integrate successfully into their new community. She has, and continues to, advocate for better access and integration strategies to fulfill this vision.


Bruce Curtis
Interfaith Dialogue: Opening conversation across the divides

Bruce Curtis is the Chief Administrator of the Community Justice Centre, providing conflict resolution services through restorative justice responses and community dialogues on racism, homophobia and hate activity. Previously he served for 25 years as chief staff officer for national and local unions and, with his partner, operated a summer resort for social activists. He also serves as a marriage commissioner, civil celebrant, and non-profit board consultant. He completed a B.Sc., Teaching Certification, and an M.A. from UBC, along with certification as a mediator and the Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement from SFU. He and his partner have three magnificent adult children who have turned out not too badly.


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