Keynote Speaker

Dr. Claire Dorrity

Dr Claire Dorrity is a lecturer in social policy at the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork (UCC). She holds a PhD in Social Science (UCC, 2019) and a Bachelor of Social Science degree (UCC, 2001). Claire is also a registered nurse (Ealing Health Authority, London 1988).

Claire is the Academic Director of the Diploma in Developmental and Global Human Rights Studies, Adult and Continuing Education, UCC.

She is a joint editor of Migration: Global Processes Caught in National Answers (Nova 2014) and co-editor of Social Professional Activity: The Search for a Minimum Common Denominator in Difference (Wiener Verlag, 2009). Claire is a member of the Centre for Global Development Steering Committee, UCC and a research associate of the Institute of Social Science in the 21st Century, UCC (ISS21). She is a committee member of the Migration and Integration Research Cluster, (ISS21, UCC).

Claire’s research interests include: Migration and Social Policy, EU Borders and Securitisation Practices, Mobilities, Immobilities and Transnational Migration, and Critical Multiculturalism.
Claire is an active member of the University of Sanctuary Working Group in UCC, whose mission is to support the creation of a culture of welcome and inclusion across the university for asylum seekers and refugees, to promote the participation and integration of asylum seekers and refugees, and to increase awareness and understanding of the reasons why people seek sanctuary and protection. The University of Sanctuary (UCC) is part of a collective voice of the Places of Sanctuary network, advocating for and with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants and working to support a broader sanctuary movement across Ireland.

Other Speakers and Moderators

Remzi Cej is Director of the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has previously served as Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission, and member of the federal Judicial Advisory Committee. Remzi has worked in the community sector, serving resettled refugees, and has also volunteered with groups and organizations supporting refugee resettlement, and has actively led discussions on intersectionality in public policy development. He's a founding member of Bridge to the Rock, an LGBTQ+ refugee sponsoring volunteer group based in St. John's. In his spare time, Remzi enjoys learning new languages. 

Mica McCurdy is the Project Coordinator of International Projects and Consultancies in the Internationalization Office at Memorial University where she coordinates international consulting work with faculty and staff. Prior to this, Mica worked in various business development roles for local and international NGOs specializing in community engagement and communications. She is a trained facilitator with experience working with vulnerable and marginalized populations and is passionate about creating change by working with teams who want to do the same.

Megan Howse is a Project Coordinator for the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PLIAN), where she is working on a rights-based education project for all newcomers to our province. Through this project, she is working with international students, economic immigrants and refugees in order to bring awareness to the rights that newcomers have in housing, employment, family law, and immigration. Megan also has experience working in settlement services with the Association for New Canadians, where she was the Community Connections Coordinator and Manager of Settlement Services. Megan loves to eat spicy foods, travel anywhere and everywhere, cook for friends and spend time with her family.

Stacy Gardner, City of St. John’s, is Coordinator of the Local Immigration Partnership , an IRCC-funded position that exists in more than 60 locations, nationally. Stacy has a diverse background in social services, journalism and the arts. Stacy worked at Covenant House Toronto over a 15-year period, Canada’s largest agency and national leader, on trafficked and at-risk youth. Stacy later pursued journalism, in which her work recognized by Columbia Scholastic Press Association (NYC) for her non-fiction piece, Into the Abyss, about journalists who suffer from PTSD. As a writer, Stacy’s creative work is often inspired and motivated by that which has informed her through social justice and system reform. Stacy’s play: After the Sirens, premiered at the St. John’s Short Play Festival In 2019, which explored PTSD in a 9-1-1 Operator. Stacy’s work in the Local Immigration Partnership, provides meaningful engagement with a focus on fostering relationships with community members in St. John’s to help identify gaps, and explore solutions, with many amazing volunteers that help make-up LIP and its Partnership Council.

Dr. Françoise Guigné is an Assistant Professor in the Discipline of Family Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr. Guigné is passionate about refugee health. She graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland School of Medicine in 2012. While studying medicine Dr Guigné was a Gateway student volunteer coordinator and then attended the Summer Institute for Refugee Health further solidifying her interest to further pursue this area after graduation. In 2015 Dr. Guigné completed her Family Medicine residency at the University of Ottawa based out of Centretown Community Health Centre. Centretown serves a large refugee population and Dr. Guigné completed a longitudinal learning experience serving the intake refugee clinic during her second year of her residency. After graduating Dr Guigné worked as a long term locum for Centretown CHC and at the Ottawa Newcomer clinic serving all Government Assisted Refugees in Ottawa. In September 2017 Dr Guigné moved back to St John’s NL and started working in the Refugee Health Collaborative. She now additionally oversees the Latent Tuberculosis Clinic in this collaborative. Dr. Guigné also has a practice at the Family Medicine Clinic and works in the Downtown Health Collaborative at Choices for Youth. Dr. Guigné holds a masters degree in Medical Anthropology where she researched narratives of “good” and “bad” mothering surrounding women with HIV who can are advised not to breastfeed. Screening and identifying latent TB in the family practice setting are Dr Guigné’s primary area of research. In July 2020 Dr. Guigné will become the program director for Care of Underserved Populations, a third year enhanced skills program for family medicine residents.

Sarah Burrage is a PhD Student from the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia where she lives with her Aussie partner Patrick and their dog Jimmy. Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Sarah is holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and a Master of International Studies from the University of Adelaide. Sarah is currently conducting the fieldwork related to her PhD in St. John’s, Newfoundland and is a visiting scholar with the Department of Sociology at MUN.

Mohammad Al-Maksour is originally from Aleppo city, Syria. A former English teacher, Mohammad holds a Bachelor’s Degree of English Language and Literature from the University of Aleppo. Currently as a new Canadian, he is working with the Association for New Canadians and studying for a Medical Office Administration Diploma at the College of the North Atlantic. Mohammad identifies himself as a regular blood donor and the proud father of a Newfoundlander boy.

Einam Mohamadain is from Darfur, Sudan. She has been in Newfoundland and Labrador for one year and eight months. She is a mom to three kids and is also a student of ABE (Adult Basic Education). She came here as a refugee from Libya, after deciding to flee the war in her country.

Josiane Umunyurwa is originally from Congo. Before coming to Canada, she was living in a refugee camp in Kenya. She came here as a refugee. She is a student.

Basma Alfaoury came to Canada from Syria. She is currently finishing her final year at Holy Heart of Mary High School.

Mona Khalil was was born in a small beautiful town in Syria, finished high school there ,had her first degree, got married then had her second degree. The last few years in her country were very difficult and she had to move to Turkey in 2013. Mona worked as a TOEFL teacher in Syria. In Turkey, she was a volunteer with refugees. She came to Canada in July 2018 and got a job in a couple of months. She feels really lucky and happy to be here.