James Milner has been a researcher, practitioner and policy advisor on issues relating to refugees, peacebuilding, African politics and the United Nations system. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Carleton University. Before joining Carleton, he was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto (2006-08) and a Trudeau Scholar at the University of Oxford (2003-06). Since 2003, he has also been Co-Director of The PRS Project, an international research project at the University of Oxford focusing on the plight of refugees in situations of prolonged exile in Africa and Asia (http://www.prsproject.org). In recent years, he has undertaken field research in Burundi, Guinea, Kenya, India, Tanzania and Thailand, and has presented research findings to stakeholders in New York, Geneva, London, Ottawa, Bangkok, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and elsewhere. He has worked as a Consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in India, Cameroon, Guinea and its Geneva Headquarters. He is author of Refugees, the State and the Politics of Asylum in Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), co-author of UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection into the 21st Century (Routledge, 2008), and co-editor of Protracted Refugee Situations: Political, Human Rights and Security Implications (UN University Press, 2008).
Rohini Bhalla is the founder and President of One World Dialogue (OWD). Currently, Rohini works as a policy advisor for the Government of Canada. She is the President of Y’s Owl Maclure Co-operative Centre – an organization providing day supports and services to adults with disabilities living in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
Rohini is passionate about development issues at both the local and international level. She has developed education programs in South Korea and Vietnam. Through working and traveling abroad, it has led Rohini to deeply appreciate our similarities and differences as a human community and learn from the experiences of those around us.
Rohini graduated from Carleton University with highest honours and went on to graduate with an MSc. International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE). While at the LSE, Rohini had the opportunity to further develop her drive for leadership through Executive Leadership Training. She is the Vice-President of the LSE Alumni Association in Ottawa, Canada.
Propeller Dance is a mixed ability dance organization providing inclusive, integrated and accessible dance training, education and performance opportunities to people with and without disability. Based in Ottawa, Propeller Dance is co-artistically directed by Renata Soutter & Shara Weaver, and includes a dance company of 8 dancers, and dance training for children, youth and adults, as well as programs for schools. Propeller Dance promotes artistic diversity by removing obstacles that limit access to the performing arts. Each year we reach close to 5000 people through professional performances, touring, and education and outreach programs. Company members include: Bella Bowes, Robert Chartier, Phil Charbonneau, Moni Hoffman, Jessie Huggett, Liz Winkelaar.
Liam O’Briean, PhD, is an assistant professor in Carleton University new Architectural Conservation and Sustainability program. Liam is researching design processes and energy simulation for high performance solar houses. For his PhD, he developed a design tool for solar houses that will enable efficient and highly-visual exploratory design of both passive and active solar systems. The tool is directly inspired by some of Liam’s experiences using simulation tools for consulting.
Liam is interested in studying energy use and production on all levels of society from building to communities and city-level. Specific research topics are on solar energy availability in urban areas and the impact of occupant behaviour on building performance. Liam aspires to use his skills to aggressively push the envelope towards more sustainable buildings and urban environments. He would like to use his research and models to influence designers, planners, and policy makers.
Pandemic Theatre is a Toronto-based theatre company mandated to create and produce socio-political productions with an emphasis on personal stories within political realities. Pandemic Theatre is operated by a collective artistic board comprised of Thomas Arthur Davis, Tara Grammy, Janina Kowalski, Kat Letwin, Jiv Parasram, and Alex Rubin. Our inaugural season, “Displacement”, critically explored themes including extraordinary rendition and the commodification of suffering (Guantanamo Hotels & Resorts); mental illness and stigma (Imbalance), identity and the international system (My Gaza, ‘Tis of Thee), and immigration and diaspora (Mahmoud). Pandemic Theatre is currently in its second season, or “Season of Violence”. (Full season information available at http://www.pandemictheatre.ca)
At Pandemic Theatre, we work to resist the creation of easily consumable performance while remaining accessible to a broader public. We believe that, by challenging and satirizing accepted truths and constructed stereotypes, a truer political potential can be realized. But of course, we also try to not take ourselves too seriously - after all, it’s all still “make believe”, isn’t it?
Hamdi Mohamed is currently the Executive Director of the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO). OCISO is a non-profit, multi-service agency with award-winning community programs and services; serving more than 25,000 clients a year. These support services, including language instruction, settlement workers in schools (MLO), community integration, clinical counselling, and public education. In her work at OCISO, she is inspired everyday by the resiliency, determination, courage, resourcefulness, and hope that refugees and immigrants demonstrate in their journey to make Ottawa home.
As the Executive Director of a growing and dynamic community organization, Hamdi has played a crucial role in transforming the organizational culture and service delivery model and in achieving higher levels of community engagement and dialogue on social inclusion in Ottawa. In her over 15 year’s professional experience as an executive leader in the non-profit and voluntary sector, Hamdi has helped initiate groundbreaking and socially innovative programs and established partnerships and relationships with several community stakeholders to create bold initiatives that realize the vision of an inclusive Ottawa.
Hamdi believes that, as Canadians, we all have a social responsibility to promote a culture of respect within our communities and recognize that we have much to gain through contact with people of diverse backgrounds. She has dedicated most of her adult life to community organizing and building. She is passionate about social inclusion and equity issues.
Hamdi has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Ottawa. She obtained her Master’s degree in International Diplomacy from the University of Ottawa and her Honours degree in Education from the Somali National University.