April 28-30, 2019

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Hon. Bob Rae is among Canada’s most prominent political figures, as former Premier of Ontario and Interim Federal Leader of the Liberal Party. He is currently Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, Senior Fellow to the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, and a partner at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. He has been named Queen’s Council, appointed to the Privy Council of Canada, and is Companion of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Solange Lefebvre is one of Canada's leading public intellectuals writing about secularism and the role of religion in society. She holds a Research Chair in Religion, Culture, and Society at the University of Montreal, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Michael Ruse is a renowned and influential philosopher of science, a self-described atheist who has sought to reconcile science and religion. He is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph, and is a Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


(Chair) Dr. Gerald Filson is a member of the Baha'i national governing council, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada. He served as Director of Public Affairs for the Canadian Baha'i Community from 1993 to 2017. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and his contributions to civil society include service as the Chair of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation 2012-16, and Chair of the Network on International Human Rights, a coalition of Canada's human rights organizations, 1999-2002. He is married with three children, and one grandchild.

Dr. Mary Jo Leddy is widely recognized for founding Romero House in 1991, and for her ongoing work with refugees there. She spent thirty years as a member of the Roman Catholic Sisters of Our Lady of Sion and, in 1973, she was the founding editor of the Catholic New Times. She is author of several books, the latest of which is entitled The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home (Orbis 2011). Leddy received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto along with several honorary doctorates from other institutions. She is currently a Senior Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto and a board member of PEN Canada and Massey College. Leddy has received the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, the Ontario Citizenship Award, and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Dr. David Novak received his A.B. from the University of Chicago; and from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America he received his M.H.L. degree and his rabbinical diploma. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University. Since 1997, he has been the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Professor of Jewish Studies and Philosophy in the University of Toronto. During 1989-96 he was the Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies in the University of Virginia. Novak is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (F.R.S.C.) and a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. He is President of the Union for Traditional Judaism, Vice-President of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, and Consulting Scholar of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions of Princeton University. In 2017 he delivered the Gifford Lectures in the University of Aberdeen. He is married to Melva Ziman, and they have two married children and four grandchildren.




Nuzhat Jafri - Executive Director, Canadian Council of Muslim Women 

Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo - Director of Indigenous Initiatives, University of Toronto 

Dr. Kofi Hope - Senior Policy Advisor, Wellesley Institute




Rabbi Adam Cutler (Chair) - Senior Rabbi, Adath Israel Congregation 

Ihsaan Gardee - Executive Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims 

Dr. Anna Su - Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law 




Sadia Zaman (Chair) - CEO, Inspirit Foundation

Dr. Tracy Trothen - Professor, Queen's University

Joseph Brean - Features Writer, National Post

Dr. Borna Noureddin - Faculty Member, School of Computing and Academic Studies at the British Columbia Institute of Technology




Further details to follow. 

Sunday, April 28

University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, 81 St Mary Street, Toronto

  • Reception and Public Lecture

Monday, April 29

All Monday and Tuesday events will be held at the Multi-Faith Centre, University of Toronto, 569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto

  • Opening Remarks
  • Keynote 1
  • Plenary 1: Rethinking Identity (Panel)
  • Workshops 1.1 and 1.2
  • Lunch
  • Plenary 2: Addressing Extremism and Polarization (Panel)
  • Workshops 2.1. and 2.2
  • Keynote 2

Tuesday, April 30

  • Plenary 3: Technology, Values and Society (Panel)
  • Workshops 3.1 and 3.2
  • Lunch
  • Keynote 3