Amnesty International Toronto Organization

Regional Meeting Planning session

June 8, 2004






Wayne Smith, Elena Dumitru, Bridgette Clark, Iris Nowell, Sasha Baglay, Patricia Grenier, Patrick Furey, Karen Eaton, Aubrey Harris, Marilyn McKim, Matt Henzel




Andy Buxton, Nona Macdonald, Maria Amuchastegui, Wendy Phillips


Venue and food - Bridgette, Iris


We have booked Metro Hall for Saturday, October 16, 2004, sponsored by Councillor Olivia Chow.  This will be the date for our Regional Meeting.  We have booked the Council Chamber, Foyer, and rooms 308, 309, 313 and 314.  There is no charge to us for using these rooms.  We must use the Metro Hall caterer.  We can have our lunch served in one of our rooms, or in the restaurant downstairs.  We considered using the restaurant, but decided to have the meal served in one of our meeting rooms to save time and money.


We chose the October 16 date to avoid conflict with the EC meeting the following week, because we would like to have all our Toronto EC members at our regional meeting.


Branch liaison - Elena


Elena has spread the word ( Grassroots Team, Alex, Toronto office) that we are having a Regional Meeting, and that we would invite national staff to participate as speakers/workshop facilitators. Elena will approach Alex Neve, Cheryl Hotchkiss and John Tackaberry about specific workshops and panels.


 Elena reported on Branch funding options for regional meetings:


Membership Cooperation Fund: organizers can apply to help offset regional meeting costs.


Campaign & Action Fund: regional meeting organizers can apply if they are bringing in a special speaker or if they need special funds to facilitate a workshop on one of our current campaign issues.


Action project - Andy, Aubrey, Jimmy Pimentel


Aubrey reported that Andy has been discussing origami doves with Genevieve Tran, a former intern who is continuing to volunteer for Amnesty.  Genevieve, who happened to be in the office, showed us the doves.


Registration, financial, merchandise - Patricia, Wendy P.


Nothing to report at this time.


Publicity - Wayne, Patrick, Yuliya Prodaniuk


Patrick has confirmed with Yuliya that she is interested in being involved with the project.  He has also arranged with Bonnie Laing that we will have a small blurb in the next Activist, and a full article in the September/October issue.  Deadline for submitting the article is August 1, so we will need to finalize our workshop and speaker lineup before that.  Wayne will submit a notice for Mary Macrae's Calendar of Events by Thursday morning, June 10.  We will publicize the event through the AITO minutes and the minutes list, on the AITO website, and on the Calendar of Events.  Elena will forward our notices to groups and fieldworkers outside the GTA.  Our promotional and registration launch will take place at the end of July.


Workshops - Karen, Elena, and Iris


There was extensive discussion of workshops and speakers.  We decided to invite Alex to be the keynote speaker at lunchtime, on Human Rights, Security and International Law.  We decided to close the Regional Meeting with a panel discussion on Amnesty's position on the use of armed force.  Elena’s detailed report is included below.


Next meeting:


We set future planning meetings for Tuesday, July 20 and Tuesday, September 14, both at 7:00 p.m. at 56 Temperance Street, 8th floor.


Wayne Smith, Chair

Amnesty International Toronto Organization




Workshop and speakers progress summary - Elena


Hello everybody in the organizing committee for the Regional Meeting!


I’ve included in this document the draft agenda, notes on a variety of aspects of the RM, the workshops and the potential speakers list as per our discussion on Tuesday June 8th.


Before giving you some news I just want to thank all of you for all your hard work to date and the invaluable input you provided the training committee!


It was an intense meeting and an extremely productive one and I am even more excited now about the RM, the different workshops, panels, discussions and interactions to take place on October 16th! Great job everybody!






RE: SVAW Panel

I talked to Cheryl Hotchkiss and invited her on your behalf to participate as the AI representative on the panel on Violence Against Women and to also help us with suggestions and contacts for other panelists.


Cheryl was very happy to confirm her participation as panelist and she also suggested that, together with her, it might be a good idea to have as other panelists people who are front-line workers, support workers re: stop violence against women. Here are her suggestions: Beth Jordan - Assaulted Women Help-line, Pam Cross - Metro Toronto Action Committee to Stop Violence Against Women and Children, Teresa Cote or Melody Johnny - Native Women Resource Centre. She knows and worked with all of the above and felt they would be a better fit for our panel than Sally Armstrong.

Please advise as we need to decide before starting to approach people (we need three Speakers for the SVAW panel, one being Cheryl, so, two more).


RE: Lunch key note speaker

Alex Neve is in Zimbabwe, returning Thursday 10th June. I left him a message and will let you know his response.



Regional meeting – Ontario, October 16th, 2004




8:30 - 9:00             Registration


9:00 - 9:30             Opening Plenary


9:30 – 10:45           Concurrent workshops (three)


10:45 – 11:00         Break


11:00 – 12:15         Panel on SVAW


12:15 – 1:30           Lunch and Keynote speaker


1:30 – 2:45            Concurrent workshops (three)


2:45 – 3:00            Break


3:00 – 4:15            Concurrent workshops (three)


4:15 – 5:15            Closing Plenary



Notes on a variety of issues i.e. workshops, key speakers, plenaries, etc:


We agreed on nine workshops to take place in three of the rooms.

The Council Chambers can also be used for workshops if need be.


The fourth available room will be our registration, merchandise, action, break and lunch area. We can also use the foyer for the registration (need to be mindful though of collection of registration fees not being allowed on City premises).


The Council Chambers will host the Opening and Closing Plenary and the Panel Discussion.


The Opening Plenary - ideally Paul Bentley will be our host and will also talk about the

Role of the AI Ombudsperson; to be followed by housekeeping announcements to be done by one of the organizing committee members.


Closing Plenary - it was agreed that it will be a Panel on “Armed Conflict/AI’s Concerns and position on the use of force”.

TASK: Elena to connect with staff in Ottawa for suggestions.


The workshop are 1:15 hours each and a good idea would be to have, for each workshop slot, one workshop that is skill oriented, one that is action oriented and one that is issue oriented. We can slot them in for now but we might need to shuffle them depending on facilitators’ and guests’ availability.



Potential speakers:


Alex Neve (first choice lunch keynote speaker on “HRs – How it fits into International Law/Issues of security”; if timing does not work, then another possibility is having him as workshop facilitator, see below).

TASK:Elena to approach him. Done, waiting response


Paul Bentley (first choice opening and closing plenary remarks and presentation of role

of Ombudsperson for AI, the role he is currently in with AI). Also as a possibility him and Alex, co-facilitators of a workshop on “HRs – How it fits into International Law/Issues of security”

TASK: Patricia to approach him


Cheryl Hotchkiss – speaker presenting AI’s views and concerns on the Stop Violence Against Women Panel

TASK: Elena to approach her. Done, she is in!


Sally Armstrong (SVAW panel, see also my notes re suggestions from Cheryl)

TASK: Iris to approach her but first see Cheryl’s suggestions


John Tackaberry – Media workshop

TASK: Elena to approach him


Anna Maria Tremonti – Media workshop guest

TASK: Explore with John Tackaberry his ideas on guests for the Media workshop


Stephanie Nolen – (Africa focus)


Roger Martin (Business/SRI)


See also the suggestions from Cheryl Hotchkiss re: SVAW Panel




For each session we talked about a skill oriented workshop (A), an issue one (B) and an action one (C).




Session 1 – 9:30am -10:45 pm


Workshop A: “Fundraising and how to make it work” – Rosemary Oliver

Workshop B: “Refugee Issues” – Sasha Baglay + Refugee Coordinator

Workshop C: “Canada’s Resource Sector Abroad” – Tanya Thompson/B&HRs


Session 2: 1:30pm -2:45pm


Workshop A: “Media: Secrets of the trade” – John Tackaberry

Workshop B: “ Death Penalty” – Iris Nowell + Aubrey Harris

Workshop C: “FTAA and its impact on Women of the Americas” – Kathy Price/Maria


Session 3: 3:00pm – 4:15pm


Workshop A: “Public Speaking “ – Michael Craig/Speakers’ Bureau ST

Workshop B: “ Economic, Social & Cultural rights” – Marilyn McKim + Wayne Smith

Workshop C: “ Art for Human Rights” – April Anne Viczko + AIA ST


NOTE: There is a possibility that Alex cannot be our lunch keynote speaker but might do a workshop on “HRs – How it fits into International Law/Issues of Security”.