Stories of Hope

Tuesday, February 4
7:00 - 9:00 pm

East Campus Commons
88 Avenue and 111 Street
Across from the Law Centre between Pinecrest House and International House

Stories of Hope

Stories of Hope is an initiative of Stories of Change, a Signature Area of Excellence of the Faculty of Arts 
Sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology, Faculty of Arts and Global Education Program

Every day we’re confronted with stories of the crises and dangers facing people all over the world. At this event, we will share stories of hope and learn how individuals and groups have changed their worlds for the better. This is not just a selection of inspiring personal accounts, but a reminder that transformation of our lives and communities is possible! Our guests will share brief stories about the changes they have witnessed and been part of, tied to the Sustainable Development Goals, and then we will have a chance to share our own experience, strength and hope in small groups, with hands-on creative activities and snacks. 
This is a child-friendly event - kids are welcome! 

Get your free tickets

Our Storytellers:

SDG #4 Quality Education

How Education Shaped Denis’ World

Arif Alibhai is one of the founders of HEAL International.  He is an entrepreneur with business interests in biotechnology and health. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the UAlberta School of Public Health in the Global Health Program. He has over 10 years of experience in program management, research and teaching at the graduate level centred around community-based health services in rural sub-Saharan Africa.  Arif continues to travel regularly to Uganda to support HEAL’s collaboration with HEAL’s community partners in Uganda.  His connections with rural communities and leadership in western Uganda allow our work to be relevant to the needs and aspirations of the local people.
SDG #5 Gender Equality

Queering the SDGs

Janis Irwin was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta as the representative for the constituency of Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood on April 16, 2019. Janis is currently the Official Opposition Deputy Whip and the Critic for Women and LGBTQ2S+ Issues.
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    Prior to serving as an MLA, Janis devoted over a decade to the field of education, where she worked for Alberta Education as the Senior Manager, Social Studies, and then as the Executive Director for High School Curriculum. She started her career working in rural Alberta as a high school teacher and as a vice-principal. 

    Janis holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Alberta and a master’s degree in education from the University of Calgary. Over the years she has served as a board member for several nonprofit associations, and has volunteered with a number of organizations. Janis enjoys an active lifestyle and spending her spare time running and biking.

SDG #4 Quality Education

One Who Lights the Way

Tololwa M Mollel is a Tanzanian-born author of books, plays and stories for the young and the old in both English and Kiswahili (Swahili), Tanzania's national language. With his roots as a theatre actor and artist in Tanzania and later in Canada, he is also a performer of stories solo or with co-performers in professional and informal settings.

SDG #4 Quality Education

Building Schools Where Everyone Belongs

Bridget Stirling is a PhD student in UAlberta’s Dept. of Educational Policy Studies, where she is interested in children's rights and the politics of childhood. She also serves as the Edmonton Public School Board trustee for Ward G. Outside of her work on the board, she’s an advocate and organizer involved in issues of social and economic justice, gender, children's rights, and human rights. Bridget is one of the co-founders of Hate Free Yeg and a founding member of the Child-Friendly Housing Coalition of Alberta. 

Student Clubs Fair

11:00 am - 2:00 pm 
Students’ Union Building

Learn about some of the amazing globally focused groups we have in our community and find out how you can get involved!

Global Goals Talks at International Week

4:00 - 6:00 pm
Social Stair Space, Central Academic Building (CAB)

Join us for engaging 17-minute talks on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as cultural performances. 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Monday through Thursday.


Today's Talks: 


Building the Internet from the Ground-up: Community-led digital innovation in Canada's rural, remote and Northern regions

Dr. Rob McMahon
Associate Professor, Faculty of Extension

Community-driven digital innovation is taking place across Canada. Despite persistent access and affordability divides, people living in rural, remote and Northern regions of the country are building and operating their own community networks. In recent years, Canada's digital policies have evolved to better support these initiatives, which are used to provide internet access and digitally-enabled services in challenging and expensive-to-serve areas. From policy advocacy efforts in Ottawa to satellite links on the shores of Hudson Bay, this talk draws on Dr. McMahon’s field research on community networking initiatives that reflect the goals of SDG 9: "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation"
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    Dr. Rob McMahon is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Extension at UAlberta, where he teaches in the Master of Arts in Communication and Technology (MACT) and Master of Arts in Community Engagement (MACE) programs. Rob’s research focuses on the development, adoption, and use of broadband and internet technologies by rural, remote, Northern, and Indigenous communities. His approach involves working with communities to ensure that their voices are heard in all stages of research. He and his partners are exploring ways to house project data and build research capacities in communities, and are involved in efforts to contribute to digital policy and regulation.

The Shifting Landscape of Global Partnerships for Human Rights

Renée Vaugeois
Executive Director, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights

Debt, trade imbalances and economic austerity are pushing efforts towards addressing the SDGs into increasingly challenging spaces. Commitments to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) continue to erode calling for new ways of working together. In this brief session, participants will explore the challenges we collectively face in addressing human rights violations both locally and globally and provide insight on alternative ways for citizens to work together across our borders to break the chains of impunity and to respect and protect human rights.  With an eye to universal jurisdiction and the United Nations, we will consider our role and the possibilities in demanding accountability and pushing for movement on the SDGs in partnership.

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    Renée Vaugeois originates from Wildwood, Alberta in Treaty Six territory and is a lifetime advocate for human rights.  She is currently the Executive Director of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights having served there since 2005.  She is also the founding President of the Coalition for Justice and Human Rights where she leads a collective of legal and human rights professionals in Alberta working to strengthen individual and systemic advocacy. Renée is part of the national steering committee to build Righting Relations, a pan-Canadian women-led movement of adult educators and community organizers working towards radical social and economic change across Turtle Island.   She has also founded, in partnership with Uganda colleague Obed Aharinta, Ainembabazi Children’s Project in 2005 which she continues to serve in the work to support the building of self reliant and sustainable communities in southwestern Uganda. 


Improving Population Health Status by Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth and Decent Work for All, including Migrant Workers

Dr. Bukola Salami
Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing


Income and socioeconomic status is the most vital determinant of health and well-being.  Migration status also has an influence on health and wellbeing.  This presentation draws on several studies conducted by the presenter over the last six years to illustrate the links between precarious employment, precarious immigration status, and health.  In one study, we examined the factors that contribute to the well being of temporary foreign workers and factors that shape their transition to permanent status.  We found that temporary foreign workers experience exploitation and this contributes negatively to health, including access to healthcare.  In another study, we examined factors that contribute to mental health and found that employment and income was a significant factor.  Yet, in another study, we examined the health outcomes of African immigrant children and found that income was a significant contributor to health outcomes.  Our findings point to the need for further work that responds to indicator 8.8 of the Sustainable Development Goal: "Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular, women migrants, and those in precarious employment".

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    Dr. Bukola Salami is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta.  Over the past six years, she has been engaged in over 40 funded studies in the field of migration, including the wellbeing of temporary foreign workers and health of African immigrants.  She represents UAlberta on the steering committee of the Worldwide Universities Network Global Africa Group. She founded and leads an African migrant child research network of 27 scholars from four continents. Her research has also been disseminated broadly.  She has received national and international recognition, including the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Emerging Nurse Researcher of the Year.

We are Not Protecting Nature, We are Nature Protecting Itself: Indigenous modalities to conservation and achieving SDG 15

Eriel Deranger
Executive Director, Indigenous Climate Action

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger
is a Dënesųłiné woman (ts'ékui), member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and mother of two, coming from a family of Indigenous rights advocates fighting for the recognition, sovereignty and autonomy of their Indigenous lands and territory in what is now known as Treaty 8, Canada. 

Deranger is the Executive Director and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) - an Indigenous-led climate justice organization working to empower communities and inspire Indigenous-led climate solutions. ICA develops educational multi-media and contemporary climate change resources for Indigenous communities amplifies our stories and supports indigenous rights to sovereignty and self-determination.
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    Prior to ICA, Deranger worked with her First Nation to build out one of the largest inter-sectional keep it in the ground campaigns: The international Indigenous Tar Sands campaign - challenging the expansion of Alberta’s Tar Sands. As part of her role she brought international recognition to issues in her territory with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Darren Aronofsky, Neil Young, Daryl Hannah, James Cameron and many others, drawing attention across the globe.

    Deranger has written for the Guardian, Yellowhead Institute, The National Observer, Red Pepper Magazine, been featured in documentary films including Elemental (2012), interviewed for national and international media outlets including Democracy Now!, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), and CBC.

    Beyond this work Deranger is recognized for her role in creating the Global UN Indigenous Youth Caucus; participating in the UN Indigenous Forum on Climate Change; lobbying government officials in Canada, the US, the UK and the EU; developing the Tar Sands Healing Walk; spring boarding one of the first Indigenous rights-based divest movements; and working to develop and lead mass mobilizations highlighting the mass inequity of the impacts the fossil fuel industry and climate change on the rights of Indigenous peoples. 

    Eriel sits on the board of WWF Canada, Bioneers and the UK Tar Sands Network with a focus on building intersectional dialogue between Indigenous rights and other social justice movements nationally and internationally.