2009–2010 Guest Speaker Overview ... LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 2009–2010 Guest...

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    Guest Speaker Overview

    p r e s e n t e d b y

    Allan Grant Drew Dudley 416-208-2705 416-208-4759 grant@utsc.utoronto.ca dudley@utsc.utoronto.ca


    The Fact or Fiction Literary Leadership Series is a new initiative that will provide students with the

    opportunity to engage in discussion on real-world issues, insights and experiences that are presented by

    award-winning authors through their works. The anticipated audience for each event is 30—40 students.

    This year, the Fact or Fiction Literary Leadership Series is pleased to present:


    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Anthony De Sa grew up in Toronto’s Portuguese commu-

    nity. His short fiction has been published in several North

    American literary magazines. He attended The Humber

    School for Writers and now heads the English department

    and directs the creative writing program at a high school for

    the arts. His debut short story collection, Barnacle Love, was a

    shortlisted nominee for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

    Priscila Uppal is a Canadian poet and novelist. She was

    one of three Canadian writers on the 2007 shortlist for the

    prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize. She is the author of five

    collections of poetry and the internationally acclaimed novel, The Divine Economy of Salvation. Uppal com-

    pleted her Ph.D in English Literature at York University in Toronto, where she is a professor of English

    Literature. The American Library Association named her a “Canadian Writer to Watch.”

    Mr. De Sa and Ms. Uppal will be taking part in a facilitated discussion about the various challenges

    (dating, relationships with parents and family, relationships at school, competing cultural expectations) that

    arise from balancing two cultures: that of their parents, and that which they learn themselves growing up

    and sharing a community with other Canadians.


    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Denise Chong is a Chinese-Canadian economist and writer. She has

    published two novels including The Concubine’s Children for which she

    was acclaimed as a “renowned writer and commentator on Canadian his-

    tory and on the family.” Her upcoming book, Egg on Mao, will be

    released in September 2009. This book tells the story of a man who

    humiliated a repressive regime in front of the entire world by defacing a

    portrait of Mao Zedong during the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square.

    Prior to her writing career, Denise worked in the Department of Finance, where she was employed

    until 1980. She then worked for one year as a special advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office, dealing with


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  • issues pertaining to British Columbia. In 1981 she became a senior economic advisor and worked closely

    with the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau until the end of his term in 1984.

    In addition to continuing her career as a writer, Chong serves on the boards, task forces, and commit-

    tees of several organizations including the ‘‘Task Force on the Participation of Visible Minorities in the

    Federal Public Service,” the “National Advisory Board on Culture Online,” and the “McGill Institute for

    the Study of Canada.”

    Ms. Chong will be discussing the role of China in today’s world, as well as the developments in the

    world’s newest superpower during and since the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989.


    Thursday, January 14, 2010 Catherine Gildiner was born in 1948 in Lewiston, New York, and came to Canada

    in 1970. After completing an M.A. and a Ph.D. in psychology, she established her

    private practice, and has worked as a clinical psychologist for more than 25 years.

    She also writes journalistic pieces for various newspapers and a monthly column

    for Chatelaine magazine.

    In 1999, Ms. Gildiner published her first book, a humorous memoir of her

    childhood called Too Close to the Falls. The story is told through the eyes of young

    Cathy McClure (Gildiner) who, at the age of four, is put to work assisting the

    deliveryman who works for her father’s pharmacy, in order to curb what the local

    pediatrician considers her hyperactivity. In her upcoming release, titled After the

    Falls, Catherine Gildiner recounts her remarkable coming-of-age in the 1960s through the same charac-

    ter—as a cheerleader, vandal, HoJo hostess, civil rights demonstrator—with the same wit, candor and

    exhilarating storytelling that has made Too Close to the Falls a modern classic.

    Ms. Gildiner’s extraordinary personal story will provide the backdrop for this Fact or Fiction event

    focusing on youth and activism (particularly in the 1960s) and the role both play today.


    Thursday, February 25, 2010 A former “Perspectives on Leadership” Lecturer, Wayson Choy is an award-winning

    novelist, memoirist, short-story writer and social activist. Although he experienced

    some success with his early short stories, Choy begin did not begin writing in

    earnest until 1977. One of his short stories, The Jade Peony, was later expanded into

    a full-length book, and was published as a novel in 1995. The Jade Peony is an inti-

    mate portrait of an immigrant family living in Vancouver during WWII. After

    spending six months on The Globe and Mail’s bestseller list, it won the 1996 City of

    Vancouver Book Award. Mr. Choy also shared he 1996 Trillium Book Award with

    Margaret Atwood.


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    Following the success of his first novel, Choy published his second book, Paper Shadows: A Chinatown

    Childhood, in 1999. Winner of the Edna Staebler Creative Non-Fiction Award in 2000, Choy's memoir was

    also nominated for the Governor General’s Award, and was named as a 1999 notable book of the year by

    The Globe & Mail. His third book, All That Matters, revisits the story of the Chen family, this time from the

    eldest son's point of view. Kiam-Kim immigrates to Canada as a small boy, and grows up struggling to

    contend with the intergenerational pressures and cultural anxieties that come with his new life in

    Vancouver. All That Matters was awarded the Trillium Book Award for 2004, and was shortlisted for the

    2004 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

    Choy’s fifth novel, Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying was released in Canada on March 31,

    2009, and was the inspiration for his extraordinarily well-received “Perspectives on Leadership” Lecture in

    March of 2009.

    Mr. Choy will be returning to UTSC to discuss systemic racism, and the role that the youth of today

    can play in the battle for equality.


    Dialogues features presentations and discussions by experts, critics and commentators on topics and issues

    affecting the local community, broader society and the world in general. This series will offer students the

    opportunity to enhance their understanding of critical issues and to share their insights and experiences as

    they relate to these issues. The objective of the series is to provide students the opportunity to learn new

    perspectives, challenge their own assumptions and engage in expressive, respectful dialogue over potentially

    contentious issues. Through discussion, it is our hope that students will work towards collective solutions

    to macro- and micro-level challenges that affect us all everyday.

    Each event will feature a 60-75 minute presentation by a respected authority on a particular issue, followed

    by break out discussions (10-12 people in each) facilitated by student leaders and/or graduate students.

    The anticipated audience for each event is 100-150 students.

    Dialogues is featured as part of the Global and Community Leadership Series, which is dedicated to

    examining contemporary issues that are sure to challenge young leaders as they move into the future. The

    series aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of global and community issues and a way to

    relate those issues to their own values and goals within an anti-oppressive framework.

    This inaugural Dialogues Series will feature:


    Thursday, October 15, 2009 Monia Mazigh was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991.

    She holds a Ph.D. in finance from McGill University and speaks Arabic, French and

    English fluently. She has worked at the University of Ottawa and taught at

    Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.

    On September 26, 2002, Maher Arar (Mazigh’s husband) boarded an American

    Airlines plane bound for New York, returning early from vacation with his family

    because of work commitments. Arar was detained by immigration officials at JFK ai