What Makes A Man | Speakers
What Makes A Man is a discussion-focused event exploring how ideas of masculinity and gender affect everyone in all walks of life. Diverse speakers spark a larger discussion and conversation that includes the audience
White Ribbon, WMAM, Manhood, WhiteRibbon, White, Ribbon, Campaign, WhatMakesAMan, What, Makes, Man, Conference, Masculinity, Manhood, Gender, Violence, Against, Women, Domestic, Abuse, Toronto, WMAM2016, 2016, Gender, Equity, Culture, Men, Man,
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Tickets available via EVENTBRITE!


More information about our passionate speakers, panelists, and performers.

Keynote Speaker: Dawn Lavell-Harvard

Following in the footsteps of her mother Jeannette Corbiere Lavell (former President of NWAC and noted advocate for Indigenous women’s rights) Dawn Lavell-Harvard, Ph.D., was elected President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada at their 41st Annual General Assembly on July 2015 in Montreal, QC.

A proud member of Wikwemikong First Nation in Ontario, Lavell-Harvard was recognized as the first Indigenous Trudeau Scholar in 2003 through her examination of the experiences of the few Indigenous people who have successfully completed a post-secondary education, and the possibility of defining appropriate directions for educational restructuring in Canada. 

Lavell-Harvard worked tirelessly to advance the rights of Indigenous women as the President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association for over a decade following her initial election as Youth Director in 1994. She later co-edited the original volume of Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth, and co-authored the book Mothers of the Nations.

Lavell-Harvard is a full-time mother to three young girls.



Moderator: Shireen Ahmed


Stacey May Fowles


Matt Black


Kendra Fisher





Henri Fabergé

Henri is a transmedia storytelling artist with a focus on collaboration and collective creation, incorporating performance art, video, theatre, music, writing, and commissioned visual art. Fabergé’s artistic practice explores the social rules, rituals, and hierarchal structures we inherit, in an attempt to understand their origins and pervasiveness, with special attention towards the themes of gender, sexuality, power, free will, the writing of history, personal transmutation and spiritual knowledge.


Ben Boles

Benjamin Boles is a Toronto music critic and culture journalist. He’s been a weekly contributor to NOW Magazine since 2001, including a stint as music editor, and currently freelances for a variety of other publications, including VICE, Chart Attack, Huffington Post, and others.


Maya Bedward

Maya is a Jamaican-Quebecoise filmmaker, arts educator and community artist based in Toronto, ON. She has taught digital storytelling at the National Film Board of Canada and worked at Conquering Lion Pictures on THE BOOK OF NEGROES mini-series. Her award winning short THE FOREIGNER was released last spring under Third Culture Media, a production company she launched with support from the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. Maya is a founding member of the feminist music collective, Primitiva Chiva Libre and co-host of THE GAZE, a monthly radio show on TRP. Currently, Maya works as a Program Administrator at the Ontario Arts Council on the new Creative Engagement Fund to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment in Ontario.

Websites: www.mayaannik.com and www.3rdculturemedia.com




Jean-Paul Bédard

Jean-Paul Bédard is an author, advocate, and an elite endurance athlete.   Jean-Paul was recently named the “Golden Shoe Award” winner as the 2015 Canadian Runner of the Year.  As a Brooks sponsored athlete and veteran of over 120 marathons, Jean-Paul has used his high profile to become one of the leading international advocates for survivors of sexual violence.  In 2014, he ran a ‘double’ Boston Marathon (84.4km) to raise awareness for childhood sexual abuse, and in the fall of 2015, JP ran a ‘triple’ Toronto Waterfront Marathon (126.6km) for the #ItsNeverOkay campaign.  In May of 2016, he will be running the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon four times (168.8km) to continue his awareness campaign around sexual violence.  Jean-Paul is also a featured contributor to Huffington Post, a columnist with iRun Magazine, and his book Running Into Yourself will be released later this spring.  You can contact Jean-Paul at www.runjprun.com  or via email: runjprun@gmail.com  


Moderator: Peter Armstrong

Ashley Bickerton

Ashley Bickerton recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies.  Ashley’s work explores the relationship between militarized masculinities and misogyny, sexual violence, ableism, trophy collecting and racist violence. Her intersectional feminist research unpacks the social problem of violent militarized masculinities and troubling media discourses that tend to individualize blame on bad apples rather than broad systemic problems tied to gender, race and disability.

Since completing her doctoral research, Ashley has been using her work to educate and shape the way we think about the problem of sexual violence in the military and society at large.  In recent months she has trained Majors at the Canadian Forces College, consulted with top officials at DND headquarters, done a variety of news interviews related to sexual violence in the military and gave speeches at Ottawa’s annual Slut Walk and the Centre for International and Defence Policy.

Julie Lalonde

Julie S. Lalonde is an Ottawa-based women’s rights advocate and public educator. She works with various organizations dedicated to ending sexual violence, engaging bystanders and building communities of accountability. Julie has given lectures and workshops around the world and has won numerous awards for her advocacy, including the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

Julie is the project manager of Draw-the-line.ca


Simon Linklater

Simon Linklater has 19 years’ experience with the Canadian Armed Forces and is currently the Chief Clerk of the 49th Field Regiment.  Simon has formal training as a Workplace Relations Advisor, Ethics Coordinator and Grievance Assistance.  As a Sergeant in the Canadian Armed Forces, Simon uses this training to advise his Chain of Command on gender equality issues, to assist members with their concerns and to improve his understanding of Canadian Armed Forces policy.  Simon has been actively involved with Employment Equity and is currently serving as a Co-Chair for the Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group.  



Ben Barry

Ben Barry is an Associate Professor of Fashion and Director of the Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change at Ryerson University. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, he is currently leading a research project that explores how men use fashion to construct and re-imagine masculinity through interviews in men’s wardrobes, photography and a fashion show. He holds an undergraduate degree in women’s studies from the University of Toronto and PhD in management from Cambridge University.


Paul Elliott

Paul Elliott was re-elected for a second term in 2015 as President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.  His current term will run until June 2017.  Paul was first elected to the Provincial Executive as an Executive Officer in 2005 and as a Vice President in 2007.

OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.

Paul began his Federation experience as a local site representative, and from there became the local Chief Negotiator and Treasurer of OSSTF/FEESO District 5B, Rainy River.  Paul was a member of the provincial Collective Bargaining Committee when elected in 2005


Mike Reynolds

Mike is an Ottawa born-and-raised husband to one and father to two girls who are changing the world as you read this. He’s mildly obsessed with making sure his daughters never learn to colour inside the lines and with making sure they know they’re both one-of-a-kind. He also writes bedtime stories with his daughters about everything from robots who play soccer to giants who play hopscotch. 

He shares stories about the trials and tribulations of raising two girls after growing up in a house full of boys on puzzlingposts.com.

Frank Colosimo

Frank Colosimo is Program Coordinator at Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, Canada’s only national charity promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) human rights through research, education and community engagement.

He led the planning and coordination of Egale’s national Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) summit with over 300 participants from across the country and is currently planning a follow up summit to take place in 2017. Frank is also project lead for m.bodiment, an awareness campaign regarding gay, bi, trans, and queer men’s body image and its implications for mental health.

Prior to joining the Egale team, Frank has over ten years of successful sales management experience in the private sector. He studies part-time at University of Toronto, working towards a BA in Sociology and Sexual Diversity Studies and when he isn’t working, he enjoys being creative, making his friends laugh, and singing poorly at karaoke.

Elamin Abdelmahmoud


Manisha Krishnan



Moderator: Angela Sterritt

Angela Sterritt is an award-winning Gitxsan journalist, artist and writer from British Columbia who is currently a television, radio and digital reporter with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC). Sterritt has worked as a journalist for close to fifteen years and has been with CBC since 2003. Sterritt was recently awarded a prestigious William Southam Journalism Fellowship at Massey College in Toronto and is the first Aboriginal person to ever receive the award since its inception in 1962.
In addition to her book on MMIWG2S, Sterritt is also currently working on a CBC radio documentary about a young woman’s journey through the national inquiry process– losing a cousin to the Pickton farm and an aunty missing since 1976.  That documentary will air on two national programs early February.

Cat Criger
Cat Criger is an Aboriginal Elder, Traditional Teacher and Mentor from the First Nations People. He is Cayuga (Guyohkohnyoh), Turtle Clan of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee or People of the Longhouse. Cat has been working as a Traditional Teacher and Healer for more than 20 years in the Native and multi-cultural community in Canada, the USA, England, Germany, Poland, and Wales. He was taught in the old way, working for many years with the guidance of an Aniishnawbe Elder (Zaawawagaabo) and other First Nations Elders, and was taught to do traditional ceremonies, teachings, circles, one to one work and to help all people to ‘walk in a good way’ though life. Full bio: http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/student-life/indigenous-centre/traditional-aboriginal-elder


Lyndia Jones

Lyndia Jones a member of Shawanaga First Nation, has represented the interests of the Independent First Nations for the past 17 years. Lyndia continues to contribute to the health and healing of communities by advocating on behalf of the Independent First Nations in her collaborative work on addressing issues of family violence, and violence against women and children. Acknowledged for her contributions in the Aboriginal Healing & Wellness Strategy, Lyndia received a lifetime achievement award in 2014.  


Lyndia has been honored to serve the Independent First Nations for many years, and continues today to serve and represent the interests of Independent First Nations communities through the Joint Working Group on Ending Violence Against Aboriginal Women and through the Chiefs of Ontario First Nations Women’s Caucus.



Gladys Radek

Gladys Radek is a Grassroots, human rights activist and family member of a lost loved one from the Highway of Tears. She has been very active in pushing for a National Public Inquiry for over a decade and continues to raise awareness on the plight of the Missing and Murdered women in Canada. She is also the first woman to prove systemic racism through the BC Human Rights Tribunal in 2005 where security guards were systemically removing Aboriginal people from a mall in Vancouver. She succeeded in changing the policies to implement a human right module in the training packages for all security guards before they get their badges to work as security and also the highest award for injury to dignity through a Human Rights Tribunal. Today, sh remains very active in supporting family members nationwide throughout this pre inquiry process.


Additional Speakers To Be Announced