Round Table — Systemic Racism in Quebec
Festival Accès Asie present

Round Table — Systemic Racism in Quebec

In-person Event
March 22nd 2022
5:15 pm – 6:30 pm / Doors: 5:00 pm

3680 Rue Jeanne-Mance, Montréal, QC, Canada
For more information about this event, please contact Festival Accès Asie at actions@accesasie.com.

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This round table will focus on systemic racism in Quebec, and the discussions will be held between two generations of immigrants of various origins as well as a First Nations artist, in order to discuss how systemic racism affects racialized people differently in the province. The goal of this meeting is to create bridges between different generations of immigrants, indigenous peoples, and various cultural communities, and allow varied perspectives on racism to be shared. How do the lived experiences of racism differ and echo each other depending on the person, the generation and the origin? What possible solutions do we have to put a halt to this insidious discrimination? This bilingual round table will be followed by a cocktail and a musical performance to close the event.

Musical show performed by Melissa Girvan (Montréal, arts interculturels)
Closing this first edition of “Let’s confront racism together!” will be Mi’kmaq singer and songwriter, Melissa Girvan, with a special performance showcasing her unique voice and guitar style.

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This round table will focus on systemic racism in Quebec, and the discussions will be held between two generations of immigrants of various origins as well as a First Nations artist, in order to discuss how systemic racism affects racialized people differently in the province. The goal of this meeting is to create bridges between different generations of immigrants, indigenous peoples, and various cultural communities, and allow varied perspectives on racism to be shared. How do the lived experiences of racism differ and echo each other depending on the person, the generation and the origin? What possible solutions do we have to put a halt to this insidious discrimination? This bilingual round table will be followed by a cocktail and a musical performance to close the event.

Musical show performed by Melissa Girvan (Montréal, arts interculturels)
Closing this first edition of “Let’s confront racism together!” will be Mi’kmaq singer and songwriter, Melissa Girvan, with a special performance showcasing her unique voice and guitar style.

Himmat Singh Shinhat

Himmat is a composer, a professional musician and an interdisciplinary artist of Indian ancestry. His compositions have been used in solo performances, soundtracks for theatre, film, contemporary dance and performance art. Notably, his work has been featured on the CBC national television show “Adrienne Clarkson Presents” as part of the television premiere of “Burning Skin”, a dance performance by choreographer Roger Sinha. His contemporary musical pieces constitute a fusion of his influences and the tensions between them. His work is informed by his education in western classical music; the Sikh religious music, Bollywood soundtracks, Indian classical and folk music that would play in his childhood home; and contemporary popular music.

Zab Maboungou

Founder of the renowned Zab Maboungou / Danse Nyata Nyata Company, artist-choreographer and performer, philosophy professor and author, Zab Maboungou has distinguished herself on all fronts of artistic and cultural action. Through her works and involvement in artistic and cultural development, she has managed to translate and implant another presence and another focus for the imagination. Her original technique of movement, called lokéto, is now a model of its kind. She has followed a unique path, reflective of her esthetic which yields a great poetic force. Among the multiple accolades she has received throughout her career, Zab Maboungou is a Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. She has also been awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

Rahul Varma

Born in India, Rahul is a playwright and artistic director of Teesri Duniya Theatre, which he co-founded in 1981. In 1998, with Kapil Bawa, he co-founded the theatre quarterly alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage where many of his articles have appeared. He writes both in Hindi and English, a language he acquired as an adult. His recent plays are Land Where the Trees Talk, No Man’s Land, Trading Injuries (radio drama), Counter Offence, Bhopal, Truth and Treason, and State of Denial. Unproduced new works include My Father Would Have Killed Me (2020), Dad’s New Wife (2019), and Merchant of God (in-progress). His plays have been translated into French, Italian, Hindi, and Punjabi. Rahul received a Lifetime Honorary Membership Award from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (2020) and the METAs’ (Montreal English Theatre Awards) Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award (2018). He is a recipient of the Special Juror’s Award from the Quebec Drama Federation, the award for promoting interculturalism by Montreal English Critic’s Circle, and the South Asian Theatre Festival Award 2012.

Fo Niemi

Fo Niemi is the executive director of the Montreal-based Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR). Over the years, he has also held numerous part-time positions, including the Chair of the Montreal Urban Community Transit Corporation’s Complaints Examination Committee and Commissioner with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. He also served as a member of advisory committees on diversity of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the RCMP; the Board of directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation; the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the Quebec Government’s Task Force on Racial Profiling. His major accolades include the Prix de la justice du Québec and the Human Rights Award of the Lord Redding Society. He also participated in three official state missions on minority rights in the United States and Europe.

André-Anne Côté

Born in Nanchang, China in 1995, André-Anne Côté/Chen Xinhua is a Sino-Canadian adoptee living in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. A graduate in anthropology at Laval University and in international relations at Peking University, she is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in literary studies at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Inspired by autoethnography, her research-creation project focuses on the identity issues of the Chinese diaspora. Her texts have been published by Le Crachoir de Flaubert, Moebius, Le Devoir, the Huffington Post, NüVoices, and Inkstone. André-Anne lectures on anti-Asian racism and the rights of international adoptees. She is involved with L’Hybridé (an organization for adoptees in Quebec province), the Asian Coalition for a Relève Émancipatrice (CARÉ), and in the Directory of Asian artists in Quebec at the invitation of the artist and curator Claudia Chan Tak.

Laëtitia Vu

Raised at the crossroads of her Vietnamese and Quebecois identities, Laëtitia has long been on a quest to link her different heritages. Always driven by her desire to defend democracy and diversity, she brings her voice to the battles against racism and neo-colonialism, working to raise awareness of these issues. With a long-standing interest in human rights and international relations, Laëtitia holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies. Today, at the age of 22, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs at the Université de Montréal. The importance she attaches to social innovation processes has taken concrete form over the past three years in her involvement with Katalizo, an international cooperation NGO. She is the assistant director of Katalizo, and is mainly involved in transnational spaces of citizen mobilization. She also worked for almost a year with the Ministère des Relations internationals et de la Francophonie on the fields of multilateral relations and international Francophonie, and was a member of the steering committee for the Institut du Nouveau Monde’s youth initiative on Vivre Ensemble. Sport also plays a central role in her commitment, not only as a competitive athlete and coach of artistic swimming and pole dancing, but also as founder of the Committee for Integrity and Diversity in Artistic Swimming, and member of the Commission pour un sport sain et sécuritaire of Natation Artistique Québec.

Melissa Girvan

Melissa Girvan is a Mi’gmaq singer/songwriter who was born and raised along the gaspesian coast in Listuguj, Quebec and Campbellton, New Brunswick. Her unique guitar style and beautiful voice speak stories of love, life, and everything in between. Melissa is currently building on an extensive repertoire of original material and also sharing her talents with a new band – The Triculturals. Their band is a representation of the Mi’gmaq, English and French cultures of the Gaspe Coast and reflects the passion they have for the area. Headlining shows have helped Melissa gain some great experience and growth and with a growing fanbase, you can be sure that you’ll be hearing more and more from this developing artist.