Speakers Announced for 2017 SSAO Summit

October 14, 2017

CACUSS is pleased to announce speakers for the 2017 Senior Student Affairs Officers Summit, being held November 8-10, 2017 in London, Ontario.

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo, e(RACE)r: Envisioning Racial Justice During Perilous Times

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo is the Director of Diversity and Equity at Wilfrid Laurier University where she uses her expertise in anti-oppression pedagogy, critical race theory, and education more broadly to encourage long-term commitments to equity, inclusion and social justice. Her research interests include exploring humour as pedagogy and, more specifically, calling on humour in educational environments in and outside of traditional classrooms to initiate critical interrogations of controversial issues. Currently located in Laurier’s Diversity and Equity Office, she continues to engage in research, teaching and curriculum development while providing wrap-around support to faculty, staff and students navigating social justice and equity issues on and off campus.

Farrah Khan

Farrah Khan picked up a microphone to speak out about sexual assault as a teenager and has not put it down since. As a nationally recognized counsellor, educator, and policy advisor, she has spent two decades working to raise awareness about sexual violence. Farrah’s innovative research, passion, and sense of humour create an engaging dialogue that emphasizes pleasure and fun while addressing topics of consent and sexual assault prevention. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and is the inaugural Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator at Ryerson University.

In her efforts to help create campuses where consent comes first, Farrah has developed innovative educational tools including a bystander intervention program and a colouring and activity book for survivors and allies. The colouring book, entitled We Believe You, has been used across North America by educational institutions and sexual assault crisis centres. She also mentors young feminist groups such as We Give Consent and femifesto. Recognizing the power of mainstream media in shaping conversations about violence, Farrah and femifesto researched and created “Use the Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence” as a guide for journalists. Use the Right Words has been used widely across North America by journalists, educators and translated into multiple languages.

Due to Farrah’s knowledge and collaborative approach to addressing the systemic, community and personal barriers that survivors of sexual violence face, Farrah was named the co-chair of Ontario’s first permanent provincial roundtable on Violence Against Women in 2015. In 2016, she was also appointed to the Government of Canada’s Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence Advisory Council. On both the Roundtable and Council, Farrah provides high level advice to governments on emerging issues. Farrah is also a regular contributor to major news media including CBC’s The National, Toronto Star, and the Globe & Mail for her expertise in addressing violence against women.

Dr. Rik Pavlescak - SSAO Summit Facilitator

For more than 20 years, Dr. Rik Pavlescak has provided training and consultation services to non-profit, government, and educational institutions throughout the US and Canada. He designed and served as the Lead Trainer for Resident Life Advisor training at UPEI for 12 years. Prior to that he helped UNB integrate alcohol and drug abuse prevention messages into their new student orientation programming. He also has extensive experience in designing and implementing student assistance programs in primary and high schools. Rik combines his background in education (BS in education in non-school settings, MEd in cultural and theoretical foundations of education) and behavioral health (Ph.D. in health sciences) to help others determine how they can best facilitate change in their own environments to promote health and well-being for the people they serve. Currently, he serves as the Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit community health center in Palm Beach County, Florida that provides integrated behavioral health and primary medical care services for adult and pediatric patients. 

Rik is a bibliophile who also enjoys scuba diving and underwater photography. He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida with his husband of 21 years and their two dogs, Prancer and Radko. His favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip. 

Registration is currently open for this exciting event, visit https://www.cacuss.ca/upcoming-events.html/event-info/details/id/13 to register!