Diversitas Alumni

HeadshotRémi Courcelles has been working at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights since 2015, where he works for the department of Research & Curation. He previously worked as part of the Museum’s social media team. He has a BA in political science and recently completed his Masters’ in international studies. His areas of expertise are nationalism and federalism studies, international and human rights law, social movement theory and European and Spanish studies. He previously completed internships at the Canadian embassies in Latvia and Spain, and his Master’s thesis looked at the Basque and Catalan secessionist movements and their reactions to the Spanish economic crisis of 2008.

Cynthia-Fortlage_Guest_5434_photoMs. Fortlage is founder of her own start-up firm focusing on sharing her knowledge, skills, and abilities that were honed over the last 30 years+ as the architect and overseer of the technology portfolio, and most senior technology executive for a privately held firm based in Winnipeg, Canada. Since 2017 She is Board President of Rainbow Resource Centre in Winnipeg, Canada. Rainbow Resource Centre is Manitoba’s only dedicated LGBT+ resource centre and it is the longest continually running LGBT+ centre in Canada for the past 46 years. In 2019 she was asked to lead the National Board of Women’s March Canada, a feminist organization focused on evolving from a march to a movement for women’s rights in Canada. Ms. Fortlage is well spoken and publicized with media, analysts, vendors, and clients and has presented in more than 150 events in 17 countries.

181107_-_ate_-_tim_fontaine-10Tim Fontaine is the founder and editori-in-grand-chief of Walking Eagle News, a satirical news site featuring humour and insightful content related to indigenous subjects and themes. Fontaine has worked for APTN National News, iChannel, CPAC and CBC Indigenous. A member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, he grew up mainly on the Hollow Water First Nation and in Winnipeg. He currently lives in Winnipeg where he “single-handedly invented and refined Indigenous journalism”.


Wab Kinew is originally from Onigaming First Nation. An award-winning journalist, broadcaster, musician, literary reviewer, and bestselling author. Wab holds a BA in Economics and a Master’s degree in Indigenous Governance from the University of Winnipeg. Before entering politics, he was the UW’s Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations. Wab is the MLA for Fort Rouge. On September 16, 2017 Wab was elected Leader of the Manitoba NDP. October 2018 – The Residential School System


Rocky and Christine Baronins are leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. May 2018 – Mormons.

BelleBelle Jarniewski chairs the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada. She serves on the federally appointed delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. She is the current president of the board of directors of the Manitoba Multifaith Council. March 2018 – Antisemitism.


Dr. Idris Elbakri – Ph.D, MCCPM, Imaging Physicist, CCMB, Adjunct Professor – Physics and Astronomy, Assistant Professor – Radiology; Past President – Manitoba Islamic Association. Our first repeat speaker, January 2018 – Being Palestinian.

chandanandaVen. Mathumagala Chandananda is a Buddhist monk residing at the Manitoba Buddhist Vihara Association. Mr. Chandananda has B.A. and Masters degrees in Buddhist Philosophy as well as a diploma in psychology and counselling. November 2017 – An Intro to Buddhism.

andrew bergman

Andrew J. Bergman is a novelist and ghostwriter from Manitoba, Canada. He is the editor and writer at The Daily Bonnet. His work has also appeared in Geez, Rhubarb, Ballast, CBC.ca, Potluck Magazine, Pictures & Portraits, Bougainvillea Road Lit Mag, Every Day Poets, The Winnipeg Free Press, The Winnipeg Sun, The Manitoban, and Theodidaktos, among others. October 2017 – Satire and Diversity

20150812 Refugee - Yahya MM 0177 copy.jpgYahya Samatar came to Canada as a refugee in 2015 swimming across the Red River during his journey. Mr. Samatar now speaks about his experience and as an advocate for newcomers. September 2017 – Immigration & Refugees: The Impact

Shaunalabman_20130502-IMG_9054Dr. Shauna Labman, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba; a Trudeau Scholar she has worked as a consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in New Delhi and with the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, as well as with the Law Commission of Canada, the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia, the Nunavut Court of Justice and as a law clerk at the Federal Court of Appeal. September 2017 – Immigration & Refugees: The Impact.

abdikheir-ahmedAbdikheir Ahmed, Director, Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW). September 2017 – Immigration & Refugees: The Impact.

BLUMCZYNSKA_DOROTO_CWFLI_2014Dorota Blumczynska is the Executive Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM). September 2017 – Immigrants & Refugees: The Impact.

Ashrafi_RDr. Ruth Ashrafi is Judaic Studies Adviser at the Gray Academy of Jewish Education in Winnipeg. July 2017 – Judaism and Israel in 21st Century – It’s Complicated

elliot-hanowski-pictureDr. Elliott Hanowski of the University of Manitoba who will speak about he history of atheist and secular movements in Canada, their beliefs, actions, motivations and social context. Dr. Hanowski received his Ph.D in Canadian History from Queen’s University and is the author of several articles on the subject. May 2017 – Atheist & Secular Movements in Canada.

Patrick_Franklin_edit3Dr. Patrick Franklin is associate professor of theology and ethics at Providence Seminary. Member of American Academy of Religion, Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation (and ASA), Canadian-American Theological Association (CATA), International Bonhoeffer Society. March 2017 – Can Faith and Science Coexist?

mariloumcphedran.jpegSenator Dr. Mari Lou McPhedran is the founder of the Institute for International Women’s Rights and the International Women’s Rights Project. She became a Member of the Order of Canada (1985). November 2016 – When Worngs Trump Rights: Rape as a Weapon of War.

Curle [1] 2014(1)Dr. Clint Curle is presently Head of Stakeholder Relations at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. October 2016 – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights. His educational background includes a PhD in political science, Masters degrees in law and theology, and an LLB.

speaker_dennis_white_birdDennis White Bird, former treaty commissioner, former Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. July 2016 – First Nations. During his 18 years as the Chief of Rolling River, Commissioner White Bird successfully negotiated a Treaty Land Entitlement agreement with Canada and Manitoba.

Jonathan-Niemczak-e1491619654548Jonathan Niemczak, President – Pride Winnipeg. Jonathan has been involved in LGBTTQ* activism and serving the community for over 8 years in a variety of roles for several different organizations. March 2016 – A Conversation About LGBTTQ*


Dr. Idris Elbakri – Ph.D, MCCPM, Imaging Physicist, CCMB, Adjunct Professor – Physics and Astronomy, Assistant Professor – Radiology; Past President – Manitoba Islamic Association. Inaugural Speaker, December 2015 – Islams & Muslims in Canada & the World.