Imagining Peace: Speaker Bios!

We love how the final program is shaping up for our Imagining Peace national gathering in November. We can’t wait to join you at Kingston City Hall November 10th.

For a preview of what to expect, take a look at our speaker bios below:


Keynote: Paul Rogers

Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies at Bradford University

Paul is Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies at Bradford University.  He worked originally in the biological and environmental sciences, including lecturing at Imperial College, London, and working as a Senior Scientific Officer in Uganda and Kenya, but has worked for the past 40 years on international security, especially the interlinking issues of economic difference, environmental limits and political violence.     Paul is a consultant to Oxford Research Group, an independent UK think tank that researches and publishes on non-military responses to security challenges.  He writes weekly on international security issues for www.opendemocracy.net/, lectures regularly at defence colleges, has been an expert witness in support of peace activists and is a frequent broadcaster on national and international radio and television networks.    His most recent book is Irregular War: New Threats from the Margins, a revised paperback edition of which was published by I B Tauris in July, 2017.   His work has been translated into many languages including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Turkish, Catalan and Farsi.


Moderator: Lawrence Scanlan

Author, Journalist

Lawrence Scanlan is an award-winning journalist (winner of three National Magazine Awards) who has worked in both print (Harrowsmith magazine, Kingston Life magazine, The Whig-Standard) and radio (producer with two CBC Radio programs, Morningside and Writers & Company). He is the author of more than two dozen books on a wide range of subjects – from horses to hockey, from neuroplasticity to the Order of Canada. He served as a ghostwriter for several high-profile Canadians when they wrote their memoirs, including Robert Bateman, Margaret Trudeau and Olivia Chow. His book on generosity and social justice, A Year of Living Generously: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Philanthropy, was chosen by six universities across Canada for their Common Reading programs aimed at first-year students and was named by The Globe and Mail as one of The Best 100 Hundred Books of the Year when it was first published. He is a founding member of PeaceQuest, sponsors of Imagining Peace.


Bianca Mugyenyi  

Co-Executive Director, The Leap

I’m Co-Executive Director of The Leap.  I’m an activist and author based in Montreal. Born in Uganda, I left soon after when my parents were forced into political exile. I’ve spent the past decade and a half organizing with a wide spectrum of social justice collectives, organizations and projects from Haiti Action Montreal to Missing Justice and the African Union. I formerly chaired the Canadian Federation of Students-Quebec, sat on the board of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group and am co-author of Stop Signs: cars and capitalism on the road to economic, social and ecological decay. Before joining the Leap team to help coordinate the launch of the Leap Manifesto in Canada, I led campaigns at Concordia University’s Centre for Gender Advocacy. During my time there, I helped win a sexual assault centre and organized hundreds of events and actions on issues ranging from decolonization and Indigenous rights to reproductive justice and gender and climate change. The Leap community has shown me that people are hungry for profound societal transformation and a justice based transition away from fossil fuels, and want opportunities to connect and get to work. I look forward to working with you all as we harness our power through the fire of collective action.


Kuukuwa Andam

PhD candidate, Queen’s University Faculty of Law

Kuukuwa Andam is a native daughter of the Fante people of Ghana. Kuukuwa was born and raised in Ghana but has called 3 countries home, at different points in her life.  Kuukuwa’s passion for law and human rights issues has caused her to work in diverse capacities including clerking with the Chief Justice of Ghana. Kuukuwa’s current research focuses on the rights of lesbians and bisexual women in Ghana. Her research examines the extent to which Ghanaian law criminalizes sexual minorities, as well as, the human rights abuses that female sexual minorities encounter.  She is a PhD candidate at the Law Faculty of Queen’s University where she is also the HR Stuart Ryan Fellow. Kuukuwa is qualified to practice law in Ghana and holds an LL.M Degree from Cornell University, where she was the Institute for African Development Fellow. She also holds an LL.B from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology. Kuukuwa loves to learn new languages and currently speaks five languages. She enjoys cooking and volunteered as a chef for King Jesus Orphanage in Kumasi, Ghana during her undergraduate degree. She enjoys writing and is an avid blogger.


Shannon Monk Payne

Founder, Sakatay Global

Shannon Monk Payne is the founder and CEO of Sakatay Global, and creator of the Indigenous Circle Approach to Cultural Confidence ™. Following a Graduate Degree in Public Administration with a focus on Indigenous Policy and Governance, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, she has become a trusted leader and innovator in Indigenous Education over the last 35 years. Shannon has led high profile national projects to inspire build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations. Most recently, Shannon has worked with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Foundation, Assembly of First Nations, Apple Canada, Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, Rideau Hall Foundation, Three Things Consulting, Pathways to Education, Government of the Northwest Territories and YMCA Canada. Shannon is an experienced facilitator leading awareness exercises with both the public and private sectors including the City of Kingston, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, and Teach for Canada, among others. Shannon was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Symposium hosted by the Mi’kmaq Nova Scotia Canada Tribartite Forum. Shannon is of Mi’kmaq and Celtic descent and a member of St. Theresa Point First Nation, an Oji-Cree fly-in community in northern Manitoba. Shannon is a mother and grandmother passionate about creating a better world for our next generations.


John McGarry

Political Studies, Queen’s University

John McGarry O.C., F.R.S.C.  is a Professor of Political Studies and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University. He is considered one of the world’s top experts on power-sharing.   He has testified as an expert witness in the US Congress and participated in briefings of the UN Security Council. In 2008, McGarry was appointed as the first ever “Senior Advisor on Power-Sharing” to the United Nations (Mediation Support Unit).  McGarry work focuses on both the design of political institutions to promote power-sharing, and on security sector reform.  His work on policing reform in Northern Ireland was seen as influential in delivering a police service that has the support of its two communities.

McGarry is currently the Senior Advisor on Governance and Power-Sharing in the UN backed negotiations in Cyprus, where he has participated in literally hundreds of negotiating meetings between the two sides, including the international conference at Crans-Montana in Switzerland June-July 2017 in which the two sides came closer to a comprehensive settlement than ever before.   He has also advised on a range of conflicts around the world, including in Iraq, Yemen, the Philippines, Moldova, Kenya, Iraq and Western Sahara.


Mona Rahman

Islamic Society of Kingston

Mona Rahman is the Education Coordinator of the Islamic Society of Kingston and works as the Coordinator of Research Activities and Communications at the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research), Queen’s University. She was also the inaugural Interim Co-Chair of the University Committee for Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE) at Queen’s.

Mona was born and raised in Kingston. Some might say she was also raised at Queen’s where her father pursued graduate studies when she was born. She completed both her B.Sc. (Honours) as well as her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Queen’s, going on to post-doctoral fellowships at the Robarts Research Institute (London, ON) and again at Queen’s. On campus, Mona was involved in the Queen’s University Muslim Students’ Association (QUMSA), serving in various Executive positions, including Chair (1993-94) and, later in an advisory capacity which led to involvement with QUMSA’s Campaign For a Hate-Free Campus. She was also active on the Interfaith Council. In the mid-1990’s, she was involved in strategic planning for the Muslim Students Association of the USA & Canada. Mona has worked with children and youth in the Muslim community for over 25 years and makes regular presentations on Islam and Muslims to schools, on campus and to community groups. She was also one of the founding members and network administrator for Canadian Muslims for Peace and Justice (CMPJ), a national e-mail network.

In addition to her scientific publications, she has contributed a chapter entitled “Activism: A Part of Life” in a collection of essays entitled: “Muslim Women Activists in North America: Speaking for Ourselves” edited by fellow Queen’s alumna, Katherine Bullock.


Tickets for the Gathering are NOW on sale! Save your seat by registering on Eventbrite:

For Tickets to the Sunday Concert only please click here.