Panel topic: Race and Crime in Canada

Saint John Free Public Library: Thursday, Nov. 5, 2-3 pm 

While an incredibly broad subject, the Maritimes in particular have had their share of criminal acts of State (policy makers) vs people(s).

Panelists will share their thoughts and comments on not only historical, but current and relevant issues and struggles with the tensions inherent in Canadian society and how they manifest in social policy, modern policing.

Some questions being considered include:

  • What is "crime"? How does "race" determine the applicability of the concept?
  • Is it possible to consider alleged "race(d) crime" as legitimate opposition to State oppression?
  • Is police vs. minority-group violence always an expression of the de facto limitation of a particular minority group's "freedoms"?
  • Is it possible to demand "reparations" from nation-states for colonial "crimes against humanity," such as slavery?
  • When is the assertion of "equality" actually a means of perpetuating (or deepening) inequality?

Moderator: Alanna Palmer, Human Rights Officer
Human Rights and Positive Environment, University of New Brunswick


George Elliott Clarke

The featured author of One Campus One Book One Community is a well-known poet, playwright and professor of English at the University of Toronto who became Toronto’s fourth Poet Laureate in 2012.

Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1960, Mr. Clarke is a seventh-generation Canadian of African-American and Mi’kmaq Amerindian heritage. He earned a B.A. Honours in English from the University of Waterloo (1984), an M.A. in English from Dalhousie University (1989) and a Ph.D. in English from Queen’s University (1993). Mr. Clarke now lives in Toronto and began teaching Canadian and African diasporic literature in 1999 at University of Toronto, where he is currently the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature.

Among Mr. Clarke's many honours are the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005-08), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), and eight honorary doctorates.

Jocelyn Stevens

Managing Director, PRUDE Inc.

For several years Jocelyn Stevens has been employed as the managing director of a local multicultural organization - PRUDE Inc.

Some of her responsibilities include program and policy development; organizational management as well as development and implementation of a variety of skills development training and social programs that work to remove barriers that may impede visible minorities, newcomers, women and girls from fully participating in the social, economic and political life of the community.

Jocelyn remains an active volunteer in the community, some of her involvements include; Saint John representative for Parole Board Inmate Ethno-cultural Integration Committee; regional committee member for Saint John Adult Literacy - City of Saint John; community planning and advisory committee and past member on Ministers Advisory Committee for Multiculturalism.

She holds a business diploma from NBCC as well as several certificates from workshops in cultural competency and anti-racism.

One of Jocelyn’s passions is the development of programs that support women’s issues. Jocelyn was invited by the United Nations High Commission of Human Rights to represent Canada in Geneva Switzerland in 2011 in recognition of her influence and positive impact in this area.

Jocelyn was recently awarded the 2015, YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her work, commitment and dedication in the non-profit and public services.

Christopher John Doran

Professor of Sociology, Department of Social Science, UNB Saint John

Dr. Doran is a Professor of Sociology within the Department of Social Science at the University of New Brunswick Saint John.

Born of Irish parents, he received his BA (Honours, Social Science) from the University of York, England, and then his MA (Linguistics) and PhD (Sociology) from the University of Calgary, Canada.

In addition to teaching at UNB, he has held teaching appointments at the University of Saskatchewan, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and McMaster University, Ontario. He is currently involved in developing graduate studies options in inter-disciplinary studies and cultural sociology at UNB Saint John.

Dr. Doran's major research interests are post-structural social theory, discourse/textual analysis, and historical sociology.

Carl White

Human Rights Officer, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Mr. White serves as the Human Rights Officer for the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission. In addition to his professional role he is a member of the R.C.M.P. Commissioner’s Visible Minority Policing Committee, the NB Visible Minority Policing Committee, the Special Projects Committee of Saint John Non-Profit Housing, and serves on the Boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Saint John and NB Sports Hall of Fame. A long career of community relations and involvement has included terms as Deputy Mayor and Councillor for the City of Saint John, President of PRUDE Inc. and of the Saint John Non-Profit Housing as well as Board Member for the United Way of Greater Saint John and the Saint John Human Development Council.

His commitment to diversity and inclusion is likewise reflected in past activities such as Vice President of the Multicultural Association of Saint John, Secretary of the Atlantic Multicultural Council, and member of the Human Rights Unit of the Anglican Church of Canada. He has received many awards for his community commitment and volunteerism, and was profiled twice in Who’s Who in Black Canada.

Alanna Palmer

Interim Human Rights Officer, University of New Brunswick

Alanna Palmer was a member of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission and is the only woman to have served as its chair. She has also served on the Board of the Atlantic Human Rights Centre and the Research Ethics Board at St. Thomas University.

As director of a private-sector training company, Alanna managed the educational program for inmates at Atlantic Institution, a maximum-security correctional facility in Renous, New Brunswick, for 20 years.

As a volunteer, Alanna chaired the New Brunswick Foundation for the Arts raising funds for artists and arts organizations.