Community Meeting – Making Ottawa a Sanctuary City

March 16 6PM - 8PM
Knox Presbyterian Church Ottawa, 120 Lisgar St, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0C2
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In the face of a global surge in xenophobic violence, cities across Canada and around the world are declaring themselves sanctuaries, promising to protect the rights of migrants and guarantee access for all, access without fear.

The event will start with a few panelists making presentations and will end with group discussions to discuss how to make Ottawa a Sanctuary City.

This is a free public event.


Speaker Bios

Jennifer Ridgley is an urban geographer, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University.  She has a forthcoming book on the history of sanctuary cities in the United States.  Her current research examines access to services for people with precarious immigration status in Canada.

Graciela Flores Méndez was born in Mexico, raised in the United States, and now lives in Canada. As a migrant woman of color, she is forced to navigate and undo borders—real and imaginary—in daily life. Graciela participates in migrant justice organizing and advocacy, and is currently studying law.

Jack McCarthy was Executive Director of the Somerset West Community Health Centre from 1989 until his retirement in August 2016. From 2004 to 2011, Jack was the Chairperson of the Canadian Association of community health centres. In 2011, Jack received the Joe Leonard Award honouring individuals “who have made outstanding contributions to community health, shown outstanding leadership with respect to health policy, health promotion and disease prevention, or furthered the recognition of the social determinants of health on a community, provincial, national or international stage”.

Karen Cocq is a member of the Ottawa Sanctuary City network. She works and organizes in the labour movement and has been active in migrant justice organizing in Canada and abroad for over a decade.