On April 24th, 2018, Level hosted "Facing Resistance," a fundraiser and forum for sharing ideas on disrupting the status quo in order to build a more responsive, inclusive justice system. The event kicked off with a land acknowledgement by Nyle Miigizi Johnston, who honoured the legacy of his ancestors, and shared a teaching on the sacredness of tobacco for Indigenous peoples.
Guests hear from Nyle Miigizi Johnston, who provided an opening and land acknowledgement
Following the opening, Level’s Executive Director, Brittany Twiss, welcomed guests to the event and highlighted Level's efforts to combat systemic inequities in Canada by building a more aware, empathetic and responsive bar and bench. Keynote speaker, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, carried on this theme, indicating that oftentimes facing resistance is about facing ourselves and acknowledging our own biases so we can learn how to change and do better. She encouraged people to engage in more difficult discussions with each other, and reach out to audiences we don’t often hear from, saying “when we listen to each other, we can break through barriers.”
(L-R) Minister Catherine McKenna, Hadiya Roderique, Christien Levien, Brittany Twiss and Max FineDay
Guests then heard from innovators Hadiya Roderique, Max FineDay and Christien Levien. The panel, moderated by Level Board Member Karen Restoule, was challenged with task of providing a 6-minute pitch on disrupting inequitable access to justice in Canada, a challenge each met with great success and eloquence. Hadiya called for changes in the accessibility of legal education and the way that lawyers are governed to increase diversity in the profession. Max urged the audience to confront injustice when faced with it and encouraged youth to lead change. Christien highlighted the need for accessible information about the justice system, putting the power of knowledge directly in the hands of those who need it most.
Guests hear from panelists, with moderator Karen Restoule
Throughout the evening, Devon Kerslake of Think Link Graphics prepared a graphic recording of the events, creatively illustrating the key points made by each of the speakers. At the end of the night, attendees were able to take in an artistic recap of the night’s discussions, and Level got to take home an amazing piece of art to commemorate the event.
ThinkLink Graphics live graphic recording in progress.
#FacingResistanceTO was an incredibly inspiring evening, and left guests feeling encouraged and empowered to be bold and face challenges with conviction and passion. The event raised $41,600, which will help Level continue to advance its mission to disrupt barriers, build empathy and advancing human rights.
Level would like to thank our amazing team of on-site volunteers: Stacey Wickens, Stephanie Nowak, Andrea Ho, Joseph Jamil, Tom D'Ovidio, Jadeney Wong, Adam D'Ovidio, Aneta Bajic, and Avineet Cheema. We would also like to give special thank our incredible event sponsors: Blakes, Goodmans, Torys, WeirFoulds, Enbridge, Torkin Manes and Stockwoods Barristers, as well as our in-kind sponsors: The Centre for Social Innovation, Lyft and Steamwhistle. The event would not have been possible without your generous support!
Photos by Kenya-Jade Pinto for Level.