Press ENTER to Skip to Main Content.
For Keyboard Navigation, press ALT+ the number beside the menu item.


Conference Themes

  • Mental Health and Addictions
  • Prison Reform
  • System Transformation
  • Suicide Prevention with Youth
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Building Inclusive Communities
  • Human Rights
  • Social Justice
  • Social Change

Conference Presentations

Keynote Address: October 15th, 2018
Presentation Name: How To Change The World In 1 Hour

Judy Rebick has been a Change Maker all her adult life. In her new memoir Heroes in My Head, Rebick tells the story of how she healed from childhood sexual abuse at the same time as waging very public and successful campaigns for women’s right. Her story shows the close connection between personal and political change illustrating one of the most important knowledges of feminism, the personal is political. Rebick believes that her wounds helped her be a better activist and her activism helped her heal.

In the process of writing her memoir, Rebick realized that the same fundamental questioning of societal norms that feminism has achieved is also needed in the area of mental health. Mental illness may be a useful metaphor for a proportion of people who suffer difficult emotional and psychological symptoms but mental injury is a better description of what most of us experience. We are realizing that trauma and especially childhood trauma is at the core of many of social and emotional problems. Getting at the roots is key to living the life we want.

Town Hall Session October 16th, 2018:
In a town hall session, Rebick as one of the most experienced and successful activists in Canada, will look at the strategies and tactics for social change and the barriers that prevent success. In most of the session, she will answer your specific questions about strategies and tactics. A once in a lifetime opportunity to take a master class on social change from one of its champions.


Keynote Address
Presentation Name: "Its Not About Us" – Lessons from a real success story in transforming a mental health & addiction system

In this keynote address, author, Social Worker, & Psychologist Todd Leader will tell the story of how a mental health and addiction program in Nova Scotia was transformed into meeting the real needs of the clients and the public. He will discuss the key lessons you can use to lead similar change in your organization, community, province, or beyond. He will distinguish between approaches that only cause superficial change, like increasing budgets and adding more services, versus those that cause real social change and improve lives. Come learn some practical tips to becoming a leader who can truly change the lives around you.

When we lead major change in an organization or system, it can have many positive and negative effects throughout the workplace. In this talk, accomplished changemaker Todd Leader will share lessons learned from real-life successes leading such change. He will discuss some of the most common workplace risks and complications experienced during change, and he will translate them into practical tips and methods to use as leaders, managers, or front-mine staff.


Presentation: October 16th, 2018
Changing Tides and Making Waves: Efforts to Address Inequalities in Criminal and Penal Systems

Kim will discuss the collaborative initiatives and coalitions with which she worked during her approximately 35 years working with marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized youth, men and women, especially those in and from prison. She will also discuss how she is continuing to focus on issues related to legal, social, economic, racial and gender inequality, following her Senate appointment.

Concurrent Sessions: Oct 16th, 2018

Concurrent Session: October 16th, 2018
Presentation Name: A Life of Purpose: Being our Whole Selves

Denise Cole used to live her life wearing many different hats until she realized that being authentic means being your “whole” self regardless of the role. When you stop trying to compartmentalize yourself and accept a life of purpose, this means you become the sum of all of your parts. Denise walks a path that encompasses many themes including Indigenous spirituality, land protection, healing from trauma, LGBTQ2S advocacy, housing/homelessness, youth/community engagement and maintaining sobriety. These themes contribute to her life experience and journey into the future. She challenges the ‘norms’ that contribute to stress and injustices in her own and the lives around her. Denise feels that balance in her life has been better maintained once she embraced her “whole” self.

As part of the Changemaker Conference, Denise will share parts of her journey and explore this concept of “wholeness” as it applies to decolonization and building relationships together for a stronger society.


Concurrent Session: October 16th, 2018
Presentation Name: Creating change locally, nationally and internationally: Youth Mental Wellness and Life Promotion

Listen to one young Inuk woman’s experience with creating change for youth mental wellness and life promotion in Labrador and across the Country. Lianna will talk about her experience with impacting the mental wellness of youth through direct action and with advocacy on National and International levels such as through her engagements in the House of Commons, the United Nations, and with Prince Charles and Camilla during their Royal Tour in 2017. Learn about her perspective on the importance of understanding the needs of the community in order to create change, relating to those who you want to make a change for, her experience with overcoming obstacles in change-making, as well as how you can become an advocate for the change you wish to see in your community.


Concurrent Session: October 16th, 2018
Presentation Name: Universal Design is Good Design

Joanne MacDonald and a team of experts will discuss why universal design is vitally important for everyone. Universal design is a concept where by the built environment is designed to be accessed and used by all people regardless of age, size, ability or disability. Session will focus on universal design as it relates to persons with disabilities and the seven principles of universal design. Come along and hear what we have to say and share your thoughts and ideas.