MASS Democracy Talks

The MASS Democracy Talks are ….

Upcoming MASS Democracy Talks

Kate Pickett & Richard Wilkinson on Equality

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Isabel Bader Theatre
93 Charles St W., Toronto
Presented in partnership with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, the Wellesley Institute, and the YMCA
Register here

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
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Why do we worry about what others think of us? Why is socializing often stressful? Why is mental illness three times more common in the US compared to Germany? Why is the American dream achieved more often in Denmark than the US? According to Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, inequality is the answer to all of these questions.

In their new book, The Inner Level, Pickett and Wilkinson explore how inequality affects us individually and how it manifests in our societies. Through their extensive research, Wilkinson and Pickett put a name to an experience many people have, but do not articulate. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being. As Canadians face a looming federal election and a growing inequality gap in our own society, is course-correction possible? As the co-founders of the Equality Trust and researchers focused on the social determinants of health and epidemiology, Wilkinson and Pickett are the ideal people to tell us what inequality does to us, and how we can bridge this growing gap in our own society.

Join us as Wilkinson and Pickett, in conversation with MASS LBP Principal Peter MacLeod, explore the impacts of inequality on individuals, and how we can bridge this growing gap in our society.

Author Biographies

Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett are UK-based authors and researchers. Kate is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of York, and Richard has played a formative role in international research on the social determinants of health. Together, they founded the Equality Trust which seeks to promote public understanding of the effects of inequality. They have written two books: The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone and The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity, and Improve Everyone’s Well-Being (published by Penguin Random House).

David Moscrop on Political Decision-Making

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Ben McNally Books
366 Bay St, Toronto
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This is the age of the 24 hour-news network, social media grandstanding, and widespread disinformation. The global rise of the populism is shifting the way we talk about democracy. As a society, what informs our decision-making? Are we making the right decisions? And should we be concerned?

In his new book, Too Dumb for Democracy? Why we make bad political decisions and how we can make better ones, Moscrop explores how we choose to vote, why we make those choices, and how the psychological and political odds are sometimes stacked against us. All is not lost, but individuals, societies, and institutions all have a part to play in helping us choose better.

Join us as David Moscrop, in conversation with Eva O’Brien, discusses why we make the political decisions that we do, and what better decision-making could look like.

Author Biography

David Moscrop is a political theorist and postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University. His research focuses on democratic deliberation, citizenship, and communications surrounding political decisions. His debut book, Too Dumb for Democracy?: Why We Make Bad Political Decisions and How We Can Make Better Ones is published by Goose Lane Editions. David has also written for Maclean’s Magazine.

L. Jane McMillan on Indigenous Relations in Canada

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Ben McNally Books
366 Bay St, Toronto
Register here
Presented in partnership with PEN Canada

The name Donald Marshall Jr. is synonymous with wrongful convictions in Canada. After being wrongfully convicted of murder at age 17 and spending over a decade in prison, Marshall was exonerated by a royal commission that exposed the entrenched racism found in the Canadian justice system. Only a few years later, Marshall was pulled back into the justice system with a charge of eel fishing without a license. Backed by Mi’kmaw chiefs and the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, Marshall took his case to the Supreme Court to fight for Indigenous treaty rights, which resulted in the landmark Marshall decision.

In her new book, Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi'kmaw Quest for Justice, McMillan provides insight into Marshall’s life and experiences with the Canadian justice system. McMillan also explores how Marshall’s legacy lives on as Mi’kmaq people continue to assert their rights and build justice programs grounded in customary laws and practices.

Join us as McMillan, in conversation with Bernd Christmas, explores the current state of Indigenous relations in Canada, and understand if we are actually learning from our past mistakes.

Author Biography

Dr. L. Jane McMillan is the chair of the Anthropology Department at St. Francis Xavier University and the former Canada Research Chair for Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Communities. A former eel fisher and one of the original defendants in the Supreme Court of Canada’s Marshall decision (1999), she has worked with Mi’kmaq communities for over twenty years, advocating for Indigenous and treaty rights and for community-based justice. Her debut book, Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi'kmaw Quest for Justice is published by UBC Press.

Dave Meslin on Community Organizing

Thursday, June X, 2019
Ben McNally Books
366 Bay St, Toronto
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Author Biography

Dave Meslin is an urbanist, community organizer, author, and trainer. He has spent twenty years as a social and political entrepreneur working with non-profit start-ups, political campaigns, and magazines, to name a few. Dave is also the author of Local Motion: The Art of Civic Engagement in Toronto, published by Coach House Books. His new book, 100 Remedies for a Broken Democracy, is published by Penguin Random House Books.

Past MASS Democracy Talks

David Van Reybrouck on the Future of Democracy and the Rise of Populism

Michael Cotey Morgan on the Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War