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UN Conventions — Real Promises or Just Words?

Defence for Children International-Canada (DCI) and Community Living Toronto

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (EDT)

UN Conventions — Real Promises or Just Words?

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
General Admission May 8, 2018 Free  
Wheelchair Accessible Admission   more info May 8, 2018 Free  

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Event Details

What is the Annual Grant Lowery Lecture?

Every year, DCI-Canada hosts a lecture in honour of Grant Lowery. The purpose of these lectures is to share Grant’s passion for young people through the experiences and insights of Canada’s most talented and accomplished advocates for children’s rights.

Since its inception, the evening has developed a two-pronged reputation.

First, it provides a gathering place for those interested in child rights. Each year’s audience represents a Who’s Who of the child rights community and provides this community with an opportunity to share ideas and stay connected.

Second, it provides a forum for new ideas in the field of child rights. Experts like Betty Makoni, founder of the Zimbabwe Girl Child Network, Hon. James Bartleman, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and Senator Romeo Dallaire have provided a preview of issues and problems in the field of children’s rights that have yet to break into mainstream discussion.


This Year's Event

This year's event will be presented in partnership with Community Living Toronto. The focus of this year’s lecture will be centered around the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in combination with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),and how the rights of children with intellectual disabilities should be upheld.

Registration: 6:00pm

Doors Open: 6:30pm

Lecture Begins: 7:00pm

Keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion from various perspectives on the Rights of a Child with an Intellectual Disability. Reception to follow.


Contact Us

Phone: 416-907-7432 or 416-266-5914




Anna Headshot

 Anna MacQuarrie

Inclusion International

Director of Global Advocacy & Human Right's

Anna MacQuarrie is Inclusion International’s Director of Global Advocacy and Human Rights. She has a Masters degree in Human Rights, from the University of Essex. Her focus is supporting the realization of the rights and full inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families around the world. Anna worked actively on the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and continues to work with II's members, other disability organizations and government partners on making the CRPD real and meaningful for people with disabilities and families. 



Michael Headshot

Michael Enright


Host of CBC Radio One's The Sunday Edition

Michael Enright's rich, varied and celebrated journalistic career has spanned 50 years, during which he has held key positions in Canadian media. He has hosted many of CBC Radio's flagship programs; This Country in the Morning, As It Happens, This Morning and currently, The Sunday Edition. He was managing editor of CBC Radio News, and held editorial positions with publications such as Time and Quest magazines. At Maclean's, he oversaw the magazine's shift from a monthly to a weekly publication. He was a political writer for The Toronto Star and Washington correspondent for The Globe and Mail. He received a Southam Fellowship for Journalism in 1979, and studied Chinese history. In 2012, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from York University, and the Order of Canada. In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Memorial University in Newfoundland.
At CBC Radio, Michael is the senior broadcast journalist chosen to host news specials on events such as 9/11, the Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan, the Quebec referendum, Canadian and U.S. elections. He travelled to Israel as it marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of the state, and to Ireland to report on the Referendum.
Michael's fiercely intelligent broadcasting style is characterized by in-depth research, wide-ranging personal experience and a passion for justice. He is controversial and fearless (asking Radovan Karadzic "How's the ethnic cleansing coming?"). His impish sense of humour brought us his unforgettable April Fool's interviews with "Jimmy Carter" ("washed-up peanut farmer") and "Mitt Romney" ("But what about the dog on the roof of your car?") His passions include prison reform, medical pain relief and organ transplants, horseback and motorcycle riding, classical music, and advocating on behalf of the intellectually disabled. 



Jessica Headshot

Jessica Rotolo

Actor, Dancer, Singer & Artist

As a talented 19-year-old actor, dancer, singer and artist Jessica has a passion for performing on film and stage.

Jessica has played in several musical drama productions throughout her career at Dramaway. She has appeared in YouTube P.S.A commercials for Community Living and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, has been a guest on CTV’s Etalk Canada, and CBC’s The Goods. Recently Jessica won the 2018 Motionball Idol Competition in Toronto. As the winner, she will be performing together with the talented actor singer songwriter Cary Sheilds, at the Motionball Gala event on Feb 2, in front of 2500 people. In the fall, Jessica will be featured in an upcoming T.V. show.

Jessica loves going out to movies (VIP of course) and dinner with her friends. The best buddies program has been a huge part of Jessica’s life. She has had 3 best buddies who she keeps in regular contact with. She volunteers at the Yonge Peoples Theatre, OLPH Church and the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto (DSAT) programmes “PAL1319” and the Youth Action Committee (YAC).

Jessica has three goals for 2018, to be in a Meghan Trainor video, be on the Ellen Show and be a model for TJX Canada.


Sam Headshot

Sam Forbes

Community Living Toronto

Public Relations & Fundraising Ambassador

Sam Forbes is best known for his viral video, The Dancing Barista, featuring Sam working at Starbucks and dancing while he works behind the counter. Sam’s viral video caught the attention of Ellen Degeneres, and in Febraury 2016 he was featured on The Ellen Degeneres Show! Having a video go viral is just ‘the tip of the ice burg’ of what he has already accomplished.

Told that due to his diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it would be difficult for Sam to find a job. Sam proves to us every day that that assumption has been totally wrong!

“People with autism do not want to be looked at with sympathy, so I would say to anyone please, please, please keep an open mind about what people with special needs can do.” Says Sam.

Currently, Sam works part-time as a Public Relations and Fundraising Ambassador at Community Living Toronto. As a Public Relations Ambassador at Community Living Toronto, In addition to supporting the overall work of Community Living Toronto and many events, Sam is often called upon to speak about his personal experiences and the importance of people with disabilities being included in the community. As a member of the Freddy Tree Theatre group, RhythmWorks, and DramaWay, Sam spends his spare time throughout the week expressing and channeling his creativity.

Sam has done advocacy work on shows like; the Ellen Degeneres Show, CTV Going Viral, CBC The Goods, and much more. He’s an active volunteer with Community Living Toronto, St. Monica’s Church, and Integrated Services for Autism and Neurological Disorders (ISAND). He has met with Ambassadors, CEOs, Mayors, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, T.V. personalities like Ellen Degeneres, and sport teams like the Toronto Raptors.

Sam is a strong advocate and public speaker and has given speeches for fundraisers, television, high schools, school boards, and youth committees. Sam advocates for people with ASD and Intellectual Disabilities. Above all, Sam advocates for inclusion.

“Inclusion makes your world bigger” –Sam Forbes.


Brendon Headshot

Brendon Pooran

Pooran Law

Principal Lawyer

 Brendon D. Pooran is the founder of and a principal lawyer at PooranLaw.  He is involved in most areas of the firm’s practice and regularly provides advice to individuals, families, organizations and government in the areas of: wills & estates planning; disability law; and corporate law for not-for-profit and charitable organizations.

Brendon has been involved with various disability organizations as a member, volunteer, employee or director for most of his life.  His practice, which is primarily built around disability issues, is inspired by the challenges people with disabilities face throughout their lives.  He created Pooranlaw to provide support to this community and to serve as a resource for accessibility issues throughout Ontario.

Prior to founding PooranLaw, Brendon worked for a large multi-national law firm where he practiced labour and employment law and at a boutique law firm that specialized in accessibility issues.  Before entering the legal profession, Brendon spent several years as a management consultant where he regularly provided strategic advice to human services clients in the United States.

In addition to being a lawyer, Brendon teaches Critical Disability Law at York University, is the Past-President of Community Living York South and is a founding director of PLAN Toronto.  He is also a lawyer member on the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board and provides performance management solutions to organizations in the human services arena.

Brendon holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Queen`s University and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.

Have questions about UN Conventions — Real Promises or Just Words? ? Contact Defence for Children International-Canada (DCI) and Community Living Toronto

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When & Where

Jackman Hall
317 Dundas Street West
Enter off McCaul Street
Toronto, ON M5T 1G4

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (EDT)

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Defence for Children International-Canada (DCI) and Community Living Toronto

Defence for Children International (DCI) is an independent, grassroots organization, founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1979. Its mission is to promote and protect the rights of the child through international action.

Since 1948, Community Living Toronto has been a source of support for thousands of individuals with an intellectual disability searching for accessible and meaningful ways to live in the community. Whether its living alone or with a roommate, working in a supported environment or participating in community activities, we are here to help individuals realize their full potential and dreams.

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