Exclusively for PFC Members Online

Together 25 Ensemble Webinar Series – Towards Collaboration and Growth: Productive Dialogue in a Polarized World (Information sessions)

28 May 2024 - 5 June 2024 / Registration Open


  • Open to PFC member staff and board, as well as initiative partners 


2024 marks PFC’s 25th anniversary and our national conference in Ottawa on September 23-25th. In anticipation of philanthropy coming together this fall, throughout the year we are showcasing important conversations across our conference program streams:Fundamentals, Trends & Tensions, and Collaboration.    

Our second stream, Trends & Tensions, offers honest dialogues centred on new developments, urgent issues and intractable challenges facing philanthropy today, with exploration on how we can rise to the occasion as a sector. 

Productive Dialogue in a Polarized World: Information Sessions 

In the context of our increasingly polarized world – including growing Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Canada, and the wide-spread violence in the Middle East – PFC is offering expert-led sessions to help our network access information for support.   

Driven by expressed needs from within our network, we have enlisted specialists in law and conflict resolution to offer learning opportunities and resources on the topics of human rights, equity and inclusion, fostering understanding, and cultivating well-being.  

The information sessions have been developed with a trauma-informed approach. They will provide participants with factual and objective information while also acknowledging and validating subjective experiences of conflict, racism and polarization. The information acquired will support participants in navigating both interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts.  

It is recommended that participants register for both sessions.   

Session 1: Navigating the legal landscape: hate speech, freedom of expression, discrimination and harassment in the workplace amid polarization in Canada 

This one-hour network-wide information session will deliver essential information regarding Canadian human rights law as it pertains to the increase in polarization in Canada. Participants will learn more about the legal dimensions of hate speech, freedom of expression, discrimination and harassment in the workplace. They will explore the applicable legal frameworks, definitions, case studies and best practices, including regarding the personal and organizational use of social media.     

Speaker: Sunil Gurmukh is the Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization at Western Law. He has been a human rights lawyer for 13+ years and is currently on leave from his role of Counsel at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. 

Session 2: The power of storytelling in fostering connection in a polarized world   

This one-hour session aims to foster connection by exploring how storytelling can nurture empathy during active conflicts. The presentation will delve into the transformative potential of storytelling in fostering empathy, building connections, and promoting understanding in conflict-ridden and polarized contexts. Participants will gain insights into practical strategies for leveraging storytelling to facilitate dialogue, promote social bonding, and contribute to positive social change.  

Speaker: Sara Cookis a mediator and conflict response specialist with experience supporting people affected by conflict in over 50 countries. Recently, she has been providing support to those working and living in conflict zones, including Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Israel, and Palestine, where she provides dialogue facilitation and psychosocial support through trauma and resiliency trainings.  

Note: We acknowledge that the topics explored are highly contentious, deeply personal, and understandably sensitive. Many communities in Canada and around the world are polarized, emotions are high, and tensions are strong. We will do everything we can to build trust and create a space where people feel they can be open and honest, but we recognize not everyone will feel safe entering this space. We ask prospective participants to consider their own position, wellbeing, personal experience, and capacity before deciding if and how to participate. 

Both sessions will be offered in English with French interpretation.   

When and How? | Registration

Click on the links below to register for each session