Beyond the ballot box: Strategizing for the next 4 years!

Beyond the ballot box: Strategizing for the next 4 years!)
Can't be there in person? Watch live at or

A roundtable discussion with:
Peggy Nash, MP Parkdale-High Park
Rathika Sitsabaiesan, MP Scarborough-Rouge River
Judy Rebick, Writer/Activist
Pamela Palmater, Centre for Indigenous Governance, Ryerson University
Adam Shedletzky, Co-founder of
Grace Edward Galabuzi, Dept of Political Science & Public Administration
The forum will be moderated by Winnie Ng, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair and Rodney Diverlus, Vice President Equity for the Ryerson Students' Union
co-sponsored by: CAW - Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson Students' Union,
Purposes of the forum: debrief on the federal election,
2. to make sense of the new political reality;
3. to strategize for transformative change.
Light refreshment will be provided.

Family Guy Seth MacFarlane named Harvard Humanist of the Year - National Humanist

Family Guy Seth MacFarlane named Harvard Humanist of the Year
Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy announced that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will be named Harvard Humanist of the Year 2011.

MacFarlane is known as the creative force behind such popular animated television programs as Family Guy, American Dad and the Cleveland Show. MacFarlane is a successful actor, animator, writer, comedian, singer, producer and voice actor. More than this, MacFarlane is a prominent and outspoken atheist.

MacFarlane will accept the Harvard Humanist of the Year award at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard on June 14. Past recipients include the first openly non-theistic sitting U.S. congressman Pete Stark (2007); renowned scientists Steven Pinker and E.O. Wilson; and human rights hero General Romeo Dallaire.

From the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy announcement:

While it is rare for someone his age to receive this honor, his extensive body of work, his active, passionate commitment to Humanist values, and his fearless support of equal marriage rights and other social justice issues compel us to recognize his contributions now.

For 20 years, the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard has presented the Humanist of the Year award to an individual whose life's work and personal commitment most exemplified the application of Humanist values in the public arena.


UK Humanists support new parliamentary motion on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

UK Humanists support new parliamentary motion on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)
(Note: Lady  Gaga guest Editor in Chief for Metro on the International Day against  Homophobia and Transphobia     On May  17th, Lady Gaga will be acting editor in chief for all  editions of the  worldwide free daily paper METRO !  Ahead of the release of her new  album ’Born This Way’ on May 23rd, the global Diva will be commenting  on global issues on May 17th, in a renewed expression of her commitment for Human Rights.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) and the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) have come together to back a new initiative in support of the seventh annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia  (IDAHO). The organisations worked with Liberal Democrat MP Stephen  Gilbert in tabling an ‘Early Day Motion’ (EDM) in support of IDAHO,  which has co-sponsoring MPs from across the political parties.
IDAHO, held annually on 17 May, is a day to promote anti-homophobic  and anti-transphobic messages on a global level. The aim of IDAHO is to  increase awareness of the problem of world-wide homophobia and  transphobia, and to provide a platform for activity at all levels in the  fight against discrimination and persecution.
UK  EDM 1780 states: That this House welcomes the annual International  Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on 17 May 2011; supports those  local authorities, police, health authorities and voluntary  organisations who will mark this day with events, campaigns and  statements of support; further supports the raising of the rainbow flag  to reaffirm that homophobia and transphobia are unacceptable wherever  they occur, whether in the UK or around the world; and calls on the  Government to bring full equality to lesbian, gay, bisexual and  transgender (LGBT) people in the UK and to actively encourage equality  for LGBT people around the world.
Stephen Gilbert MP stated, ‘Around the world gay,  lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people continue to experience  discrimination and prejudice at home, at school, in the office and in  the street and it’s time this changed.  Equality for the LGBT community  isn’t an optional extra for Governments around the world – it’s time  that the community was treated with the same respect and enjoyed the  same rights and opportunities as the straight community.’
BHA Head of Public Affairs Naomi Phillips commented,  ‘We just need to look at the serious moves to impose prison sentences  and even the death penalty for gay people in Uganda, the position of  Anglican churches in Africa towards gay people, the Vatican’s refusal to  sign a UN resolution calling for the decriminalisation of  homosexuality, or the execution of gay teenagers in Iran, to see that  religiously-inspired hatred against people because of who they are or  who they sleep with remains a deep problem in many parts of the world.  It is ever-more important to join together with others to tackle the  rise in homophobic and transphobic violence and hate throughout the  world.
‘Discrimination and persecution of people who are lesbian, gay,  bisexual or transgendered continues to exist, so we urge people to show  support for IDAHO, and to ask their MPs to sign this EDM in order to  demonstrate recognition of this important day at all levels.’
Derek Lennard from the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association  said, ‘GALHA has been very pleased to coordinate IDAHO activities in  the UK since its formation in 2005. We very much appreciate the support  of the BHA in doing this and look forward to the day when LGBT people  from around the world have full and equal rights.’


Humanists condemn Ugandan Parliament’s threat to kill Gays | International Humanist and Ethical Union

Humanists condemn Ugandan Parliament’s threat to kill Gays | International Humanist and Ethical Union
The UK Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) has condemned plans by members of the Ugandan Parliament to fast track legislation that would mandate execution for a wide range of consensual gay relationships. GALHA, an IHEU member organization based in the UK, has joined demands by the international community that Uganda's President Museveni veto the "Kill The Gays" bill, should it be passed in Parliament.

GALHA chair Adam Knowles said, "It beggars belief that the government of a country where the people already suffer huge deprivations should be even thinking about legislation that will further victimise and even murder some of its own most persecuted citizens. As the legislation stands, people could be put to death simply for being in a long-term, loving gay relationship.

"The bill not only persecutes and demonises gay people, but will make it even harder to fight the problems of AIDS in East Africa. It will encourage exactly the kind of furtive and clandestine encounters which spread AIDS, while discouraging gay men from getting information about safer sex. It will also encourage potentially disastrous complacency among heterosexuals by furthering the myth that HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases do not affect them, at a time when the great majority of HIV cases in Africa are passed on by heterosexuals.

"GALHA urges people in Uganda, and in the international community to unite in ensuring that this obscene legislation is abandoned, especially given that no logical or rational arguments have been put forward to support it.”


Shine a Light with His Holiness the Dalai Lama - May 4, Amnesty

Shine a Light with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Amnesty International USA is honored to present His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso with the first-ever "Shine a Light on Human Rights" award in recognition of his lifelong commitment to social justice and human rights.
Please join us for this special event to commemorate Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary and to celebrate one of the most influential human rights figures today. Due to the popularity of this event, tickets are sold out but you can still join us as we broadcast the event live here on this page! The broadcast will begin on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 9:45 PST (12:45 EST). You'll be able to watch and chat with other Amnesty supporters live. For more information please call the Amnesty West Office at: 415.288.1800 or