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September 29, 2008

Selwyn House Hosts Major Youth Conference

The Westmount Examiner, Making all of Westmount your home

Article online: September 29, 2008

SELWYN HOUSE HOSTS MAJOR YOUTH CONFERENCE
By Matthew Surridge

A wide range of panelists and speakers — from a former ambassador to the United Nations to a former premier of Ontario to a former child soldier — will be on hand at Selwyn House this Thursday for ‘Educating Youth for Global Responsibility’, a centennial conference to conclude the school’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration.

“It’s our centennial year, and we tried to host some significant events,” said Selwyn House Headmaster William Mitchell. “Educating Youth for Global Responsibility seems consistent with preparing our students to take part not only in our community but around the world, to make it a better place.”

Co-chaired by Yves Fortier and Michael Goldbloom, much of the conference will take the form of panel discussions, the first of which will feature Emily Bass, an activist working to develop and encourage new HIV prevention strategies; David Danylewich, formerly of Youth Challenge International and currently of Right to Play International, and journalist Alexandre ‘Sacha’ Trudeau, whose documentaries have examined human rights issues in several aread around the world.

A second panel will examine the use of fame and creativity in raising the public profile of social issues. Olympic and World Cup champion skier Jennifer Heil will discuss Plan, an international child-centered development programme, and ‘Because I am a Girl’, a new international campaign urging national leaders to protect the rights of girls and women. Dario Iezzoni of the Brulerie Santropol will talk about the fair trade network, and how the production and selling of fair trade coffee promotes the ethical treatment of coffee farmers and labourers, and Joelle Adler, CEO of clothing retailer Diesel Canada, will discuss her One X One non-profit foundation.

A different generational perspective will then follow, as some recent Selwyn House graduates will discuss their experiences around the world. Andrew Rosenhek will discuss the “$5 philanthropist” campaign, Justin Tan will talk about Students for Global Health, and Gabriel Maldoff will present Highlands Hope, an organization of nurses in Tanzania who work as AIDS counsellors and caregivers.

Also speaking will be Alusine Bah, a former child soldier in Sierra Leone. “He’s going to speak about his experiences,” said Mitchell. “He’s done this before, to help us understand how these things can happen.”

Bob Rae, former premier of Ontario and current MP for the riding of Toronto Centre, will speak to conclude the event.

The conference takes place Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. at Selwyn House School, 95 Cote St. Antoine Rd. Tickets are $15 for students, $25 for adults, and may be purchased online at selwyn.ca, or by calling 514-931-9481 ext. 2292.

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