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Our Research Symposium 2021 theme was Empathy and Well-being.
We reached over 4200 like-minded individuals from 52 countries coming from backgrounds in health, education, research, and aligned fields in a thought-provoking two-day symposium.
Our virtual symposium not only brought together top North American neuroscientists and experts on wellbeing and empathy like Dr. Richard Davidson, Dr. Dan Siegel, Prof. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, and Dr. Bruce Perry, but we also dove into topics such as empathy in leadership, social justice, and had an across-border perspective on black fatherhood.
He graduated from law school in 1979. He has been involved with the justice system in Manitoba for over 40 years, first as a lawyer representing Indigenous clients, as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Robson Hall, as Associate Chief Judge of Manitoba’s Provincial Court and as a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench. He was the first Indigenous Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.
He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the TRC’s widely influential report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events. In 2017 Governor General Julie Payette awarded him and the other TRC Commissioners the Meritorious Service Cross (Civilian) (MSC) for service to Canada for their work on the TRC.
He was active within the profession and his community and was a member of the faculty of the National Judicial Institute training judges about Indigenous law and social justice issues. He has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001), its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and the CBA President’s medal (2018). He has been named as one of Canada’s Indigenous People’s Counsel (IPC) by the Indigenous Bar Association.
He has received Honorary Doctorates from 14 universities. He retired from the Bench in January 2016, and was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016. He retired from the Senate effective January 31, 2021, to return to the practice of law and to mentor young lawyers. He is currently writing his memoirs.
He has been invited to speak throughout Canada and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of the Commonwealth Courts. He continues to maintain an active public speaking schedule.
In honour of our 25th anniversary, we presented the inaugural Roots of Empathy Social Justice Award to His Honour Justice Murray Sinclair, LLB, MSC, IPC. He is Anishinaabe and a member of the Peguis First Nation. He is a Fourth Degree Chief of the Midewiwin Society, a traditional healing and spiritual society of the Anishinaabe Nation responsible for protecting the teachings, ceremonies, laws, and history of the Anishinaabe. Among his many achievements: he was the first Indigenous Judge appointed in Manitoba and the second in Canada; he served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and was Chief Commissioner of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Roots of Empathy is honoured to be able to present this award to His Honour Justice Murray Sinclair.
Click on images to read more about each talk.
Michelle Borba, Ed.D is a best-selling author, internationally recognized educator who has spoken to over one million parents and educators who will share her latest book Thrivers.
Emma Brown is an investigative reporter for The Washington Post and author of To Raise A Boy: Classrooms, Locker Rooms, Bedrooms, and the Hidden Struggles of American Boyhood.
Moderated by Keita Demming (PhD). Jimmie Briggs, journalist, activist, writer, and Jesse Lipscombe, an actor, entrepreneur, and activist, continued their dialogue “Black Fatherhood: a Conversation across Borders” and provided the opportunity to participate in the topic of raising kids in a post-pandemic world.
Educator & Author
Columnist, NY Times; CEO of Solutions Journalism Network
As a journalist, he has written for scores of publications following staff tenures at The Washington Post, The Village Voice, LIFE magazine and others. The recipient of honors for his work as a journalist and advocate, he’s been a National Magazine Award finalist, recipient of honors from the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists, the Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism, the Congressional Black Caucus, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and the Freedom Center in Cincinnati, among many others. His 2005 book Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War took readers into the lives of war-affected children around the world in half a dozen countries. His next book project is an oral history of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014. He currently contributes to Vanity Fair magazine in addition to his role at the Skoll Foundation.
Jimmie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors, in Philosophy, from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a Medal of Distinction from Barnard College. He lives in New York City.
Journalist, Writer & Activist
Author & Journalist Washington Post
Former Premier of British Columbia
Dr. Davidson has published more than 440 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" and co-author with Daniel Goleman of “Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body”.
In 2008, Dr. Davidson founded the Center for Healthy Minds, a research center dedicated to the study of positive qualities, such as kindness and compassion. His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices.
Neuroscientist & Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds
He transforms companies into places and spaces that are idea-driven and people-centered. These companies foster cultures that embrace design, accountability, foresight, strategy, and innovation. High-performing organizations have highly engaged and effective employees. They are wonderful places to work, play, and belong.
You can also visit Keita’s podcast, Disruptive Conversations, where he unpacks how people who are working to disrupt a sector or system think.
Head of Innovation and Development at The Covenant Group (TCG)
Ms. Gordon has consulted with and/or presented to the UN, the WHO, UNICEF, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation, and governments. She is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and has several TEDx talks. She has been honored with the Governor General of Canada Award for innovation, is a recipient of the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario and Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is also the recipient of honorary doctorates in Canada and Europe.
Ms. Gordon is considered a serial social entrepreneur. In 1981 she created Canada’s first and largest school-based Parenting Centres which have been used as best practice models internationally. In 1996, based on her belief that the absence of empathy underscored violence of all kinds, she set out to break this cycle by developing empathy in children. As a result, she created the ROE program and shortly after her organization of the same name. In 2005, she created The Seeds of Empathy program for children in child care settings.
The ROE program has been evaluated in both comparative and randomized controlled studies in independent research that has been conducted in numerous countries across three continents. Both Mary Gordon and the program have been featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Guardian, The Washington Post, Time Magazine and in features on NBC's Today Show, PBS, CNN, The BBC, NHK Japan and the Huffington Post. Her work is cited in hundreds of academic publications.
Her book, Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child, a Canadian best seller is available in multiple languages.
C.M., O.N.L., O.ON., LL.D., D.Litt.
Founder/President, Roots of Empathy
Prof. Ed, Psych. and Neuroscience, USC
In 2017, Jesse was the recipient of the Obsidian Award for Top Business Leader in Western Canada. That year, he was also named the Community Man of the Year by Diversity Magazine.
Through it all, Jesse makes it his top priority to give back to his community. Jesse works with various annual charity fundraisers and partnerships in his home-base of Edmonton.
Actor, Activist, Entrepreneur & Founder of #MakeItAwkward Campaign
Co-Director Washington U Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
Over the last thirty years, Dr. Perry has been an active teacher, clinician and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences holding a variety of academic positions. His work on the impact of abuse, neglect and trauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs and policy across the world. Dr. Perry is the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. Dr. Perry's most recent book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, co-authored with Oprah Winfrey was released in 2021.
Dr. Perry has conducted both basic neuroscience and clinical research. His neuroscience research has examined the effects of prenatal drug exposure on brain development, the neurobiology of human neuropsychiatric disorders, the neurophysiology of traumatic life events and basic mechanisms related to the development of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. His clinical research and practice has focused on high-risk children. This work has examined the cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and physiological effects of neglect and trauma in children, adolescents and adults. This work has been instrumental in describing how childhood experiences, including neglect and traumatic stress, change the biology of the brain – and, thereby, the health of the child.
Dr. Perry has published over 500 journal articles, book chapters and scientific proceedings and is the recipient of numerous professional awards and honors, including the T. Berry Brazelton Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award, the Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare, the Alberta Centennial Medal and the 2014 Kohl Education Prize. He serves on the Board of Directors of multiple organizations including Prevent Child Abuse America and the Ana Grace Project.
Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy
Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois
In addition to building an incredibly successful company that has experienced phenomenal growth, Shahrzad has built a quadruple bottom line business that measures success not only on financial performance but also on employee, culture, social, community and environmental KPIs.
Shahrzad actively pursues ways to encourage social change and is a champion for equality in all forms, and is passionate about job creation, climate action, education, and advancing opportunities for women and girls. In 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Shahrzad as Co-Chair of G20 EMPOWER, a private sector alliance intended to support the greater recruitment and advancement of women in leadership in the private sector in each of the G20 countries.
Shahrzad is a highly sought-after speaker for industry events, and supports a number of influential Boards and Associations, spanning Canadian investment groups, leading media and technology businesses, global leaders in design and architecture, and non for profits. She has also been broadly recognized by industry and community groups for her contributions to the media industry and entrepreneurship.
CEO BroadbandTV Corp
Professor of Psychiatry UCLA School of Medicine
Founding co-director Mindful Awareness Research Center, UCL
Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience, Dalhousie U
Tamara is currently CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR), Canada’s second busiest airport. Prior to this, Tamara was President & CEO of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union with $28 billion in assets, and Deputy Minister of Finance for the Province of British Columbia and as Secretary to the Treasury Board and CEO of the Public Sector Employers' Council.
Her expertise has been sought by organizations, leaders and governments at all levels—regional, provincial, national and international—whether on the economy, social change, or environmental sustainability, and often at the intersection of all three. Most recently, Tamara was appointed Simon Fraser University’s 12th Chancellor.
Tamara chairs the board of the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Rick Hansen Foundation, in addition to other board roles. She is the recipient of the Order of British Columbia (2019), Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy (2016) and BC CEO of the Year Award – Major Private Company, Business in Vancouver (2015) among many other citations.
CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority; Chair of the Canada Infrastructure Bank
Dr. Dan Siegel – Website, Mindsight Institute, Dr. Siegel’s Interpersonal Neurobiology Course, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Dr. Andrew Meltzoff – Free Modules, Facebook
Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang – Free Brief, Book, Website, Twitter, Facebook
Dr. Richard Davidson: TryHealthyMinds.Org, Website,Twitter, Facebook
Jimmie Briggs – Website, Twitter
Dr. Michael Ungar – Website, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn
Emma Brown – Book, Washington Post, Twitter,
Michelle Borba – Book, Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube
Tamara Vrooman – LinkedIn
Shahrzad Rafati – BBTV, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
David Bornstein – Solutions Journalist, New York Times, Twitter