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Celebrating Black History Month: Driving a diverse future for Canadian leadership and politics

Events 3 minute read

Watch the webinar recording in our archived library:

Join us for our inaugural webinar in celebration of Black History Month featuring leaders in the Canadian public policy and education space, moderated by McMillan LLP’s very own Mervyn Allen, Chair of the Black Lawyers Affinity Group. This panel will bring together expert practitioners in innovation and Canadian politics to contextualize Black Canadian experiences in the political and professional world and discuss ways to encourage a more inclusive political future across the nation.

The McMillan Vantage Policy Group’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, in partnership with McMillan LLP’s Black Lawyers Affinity group would like to warmly invite you to join us at this virtual panel on February 28th at 1:00 pm ET for this exciting conversation.

CPD accreditation pending.

Date and Time
Monday, February 28, 2022
1 pm – 2 pm ET

The Honourable Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer
MP Greg Fergus is the Co-Chair of the Canadian Caucus of Black Parliamentarians and has served as the Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer since 2015. Mr. Fergus currently serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council this past November. Mr. Fergus was previously Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; he also previously served as the Vice-Chair of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Fergus has worked in the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Aylmer Arms, a residence for semi-retired and retired seniors, and a member of a local parish council.

Frantz Saintellemy
Frantz Saintellemy is Chancellor and Chair of the Board at the Université de Montreal. An entrepreneur, angel investor, mentor, and philanthropist, Mr. Saintellemy is an internationally recognized expert in advanced technologies with over 20 years of experience in automotive, IoT, sensing, semiconductors, and artificial intelligence. He is the co-founder and Chair of the board at Groupe 3737, a non-profit organization that is an inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial innovation hub that provides unique services and support to visible minority founders. In particular, Groupe 3737 helps entrepreneurs and tech companies start, grow, and succeed, with the strategic objective of developing more entrepreneurs, creating more successful companies, more jobs and sustainable financial independence. With over $20M in private investments, Groupe 3737 is one of the largest privately funded entrepreneurship eco-systems in Canada.

Pacinthe Mattar
Pacinthe Mattar is an Egyptian-Canadian journalist, writer and radio/audio producer. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt and raised between Toronto, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. She spent 10 years at the CBC, where she was a long-time producer on The Current with then-host Anna Maria Tremonti where much of her coverage focused on race/racism, police brutality, the Arab Spring, migration and refugees, pop culture, and more. She produced documentaries from the floods of Calgary in 2012, the streets of Baltimore’s protests for Freddie Gray in 2015, and from the homes of Yazidi women who fled Iraq for Toronto after surviving sexual slavery at the hands of Da’esh. In 2020, she wrote about her experiences with media in a Walrus piece called “Objectivity is a Privilege Afforded to White Journalists” which won a National Magazine Award in 2021 and a Canadian Online Publishing Award in 2022. She is currently a Nieman Foundation for Journalism Fellow at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mervyn Allen, Partner, McMillan LLP
Mervyn (Merv) Allen is a partner in McMillan LLP’s commercial real estate group, advising on a wide range of complex real property matters. Merv is a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, chairs the Black Lawyers Affinity Group at McMillan and sits on the firm’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. He is active in charitable endeavours including McMillan’s 2021 One Walk to Conquer Cancer campaign, and is a previous, long-time sponsor of Because I Am A Girl. Merv is also involved in pro-bono work for organizations such as Operation Smile and Transforming Faces and is excited about the opportunity to bring his passion for fairness and inclusion to Right To Play. Merv was recruited for the Advisory Board in 2021.

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