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About the CODE Conference

Are you eager to create a safe sense of belonging for your workforce?

With diverse talent growing within our community, it’s time to give their potential inclusive and welcoming workplaces to flourish! How can we take action and continue to build our workplaces as a welcoming place for all?

Our second annual CODE Conference will take you on a full-day journey of learning on how to take build and create an inclusive and equitable workplace for all. Throughout the day attendees will take part in hands-on and engaging sessions, connect with like-minded individuals and learn key takeaways to commit to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Workshops throughout the day will be offered in three levels depending on where you are in your learning journey.

Join either our introductory level sessions, general sessions or advanced sessions or mix and match based on topics that interest you. Join us for an all-day community gathering of light-bulb moments, tough (but necessary!) conversations, and a feeling of renewed hope and energy.

8:15 a.m. - Attendees Arrive and Breakfast

More details to follow

9:20 a.m. - Breakfast Keynote

Anne-Marie Pham
CEO of the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion (CCDI)

About this session: This thought-provoking session will help organizations to pause and reflect on what they can do to build the kind of culture, engagement and commitments needed to champion diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. 

The session will help you: 

  • Understand the people, social and economic imperative of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace.
  • Reflect on your personal and organizational DEI journey: where are you at, and where are some potential gaps and opportunities to leverage the power of DEI?
  • Learn key takeaways and practical strategies to commit to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

10:10 a.m. - Wellness Break

10:20 a.m. - Panel Discussion



Jason Gill
Vice President, Staffmax




Dr Peter Nunoda
Executive Director, Manitoba Building Trades




Oyindamola Alaka
Co-founder, Noir Professionals




Noah Wilson
Senior Business Development Manager (Indigenous Entrepreneur Start-up Program), Futurpreneur Canada



About this panel:
This panel conversation will allow us all to learn about our change-making skills and how we can all be champions for equity. Hear more about how we can amplify our voices in meaningful ways to facilitate important social and economic shifts informed by diverse voices, reliable data and a vision for equity. 

The session will help you:

  • Be champions for change.
  • Understand how to build an equity-centred organization.
  • Adopt change management with an intersectional lens.

11:15 a.m. - Wellness Break

11:30 a.m. - Lunch Keynote

Maryam Monsef
Founder and CEO of Onward

About this session: Hear from Maryam on the role of businesses in driving social equity and how we can be champions for change. From her experience in Parliament, Maryam will connect the dots on how our efforts can create monumental shifts and our responsibilities within these movements.

This session will help you:

  • Learn more about relevant labour force trends and how we can create value-based businesses.
  • Understand what economic justice and economic reconciliation look like.
  • Get recommendations and advice on how to build policies and programs that promote equity, diversity and inclusion.

12:25 p.m. - Lunch

1:10 p.m. - Session Round #1

Attendees choose either 1A, 1B or 1C.
Audio recordings and summaries of all breakout rooms will be available to all attendees post-event.



Jordan Friesen,
O.T. Reg.
President, Mindset Mental Health Strategy



Anna McGregor
Associate Consultant, Mindset Mental Health Strategy Inc.


About this session:
Creating a work environment that supports individuals with mental health challenges is one aspect of supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion within any workplace. This workshop will help you understand how to prioritize mental health as an aspect of your organization’s commitment to DEI, and learn why building psychological safety is a crucial part of the process.

This session will help you:

  • Develop an understanding of why mental health is a critical part of a successful DEI strategy.
  • Learn best practices to support mental health at work that aligns with DEI principles.
  • Take away practical strategies to foster psychological safety within their teams.


Sean Hogan

About this session: Statistics Canada reports that Manitoba has the highest incarceration rate in Canada – 231 adults per 100,000 population. About three-quarters of all inmates are Indigenous people, even though they comprise about 15 percent of the population. While recidivism rates have reduced due to better social support, and mental health support, there is a role employers can play in creating more equitable access to jobs that will provide formerly incarcerated persons with economic opportunities that will dramatically help recidivism.

Engage with Sean Hogan at this workshop to learn how your organization’s DEI work can include formerly incarcerated persons.

This session will help you:

  • Build equitable hiring pipelines that engage all equity-seeking groups, including formerly incarcerated persons.
  • Unpack existing assumptions about hiring and working with formerly incarcerated persons.
  • Learn about local non-profit organizations that provide rehabilitation services to formerly incarcerated persons and explore how you can work with them for your employment needs and wrap-around supports.


Priti Shah
CEO, PRAXIS Consulting


About this session: Recent Canadian studies show boards of directors in Canada are still struggling with diversity and inclusion despite the myriad of candidates available to serve from diverse backgrounds. In this session, you will examine how your board culture can actively embrace a spectrum of voices and lived experiences.

This session will help you:

  • Identify tools to assess the current composition of your board and the gaps to fill.
  • Examine best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion in board governance.
  • Develop an action plan for your board.

2:10 p.m. - Wellness Break

2:25 p.m. - Session Round #2

Attendees choose either 2A, 2B or 2C.
Audio recordings and summaries of all breakout rooms will be available to all attendees post-event.


Erika Frey Morote
Project Manager at Immigration Partnership Winnipeg




Sanjana Vijayann
Director of Diversity & Inclusion, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce


This workshop with share anticipated workplace trends you can expect, particularly how immigration targets provide a solution to the labour challenges business are facing today. In this session, Erika Frey Morote from Immigration Partnership Winnipeg and Sanjana Vijayann from The Winnipeg Chamber will share impactful workplace strategies that will ensure you are equipped to reach newcomer talent and successfully retain newcomers in your workplace.

This session will help you:

  • Understand the latest workforce trends.
  • Learn about newcomer inclusion in the workplace and how to review organizational procedures through an inclusion lens.
  • Understand the importance of cultural literacy in the workplace.


Brenlee Coates
Creative Director, UpHouse

UpHouse believes inclusive marketing isn’t an offering — it’s a mindset from which to approach every client and all marketing and creative work. Since starting in 2017, the marketing and PR agency has built significant momentum, doubling its growth year after year, by leaning into its status as a certified LGBT+ supplier. With the learnings from building their diverse brand and an unshakable commitment to inclusive and empowered marketing in their work, UpHouse will share tangible practices to start you on the path to ingrained inclusivity in your marketing.

This session will help you:

  • Identify inclusive marketing tactics for your business.
  • How you can expand your client and customer base with relevant marketing.
  • Learn ways you can always review your brand presence with an inclusion lens.


Lisa Snider
Senior Digital Accessibility Consultant, Access Changes Everything Inc.

Often, when employers try to make more inclusive and equitable workplaces, they start in the physical realm. Making the digital realm, such as websites, online or PDF application forms, etc., more accessible is essential to attracting and retaining employees with different disabilities.

Access Changes Everything Inc. will present recent survey results, where Manitobans with disabilities shared their lived experiences when accessing business-related digital media and materials. These ‘first voice’ results were used to help form the free Quick Start Guide to Digital Accessibility for Manitoban Businesses. Lisa will present the tips in this Quick Start Guide as well. This survey and guide were funded by a Manitoba Accessibility Fund grant.

This session will help you:

  • Learn more about the current digital accessibility landscape through lived experiences of Manitobans with Disabilities.
  • Find out where to download the free Quick Start Guide.
  • Takeaway tangible tips to help you make your digital materials and media more accessible.

3:30 p.m. - Conference Ends

Anne-Marie Pham, CEO of Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)

Anne-Marie Pham has worked with diverse communities and workplaces for over 25 years. She brings a unique set of skills and perspectives having worked as a diversity and inclusion lead for Spectra Energy and the City of Calgary, and as a trainer and facilitator for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Her work ranges from giving dynamic presentations to providing consultations to clients from a wide range of industries. Anne-Marie has a master’s degree in public administration (MPA), a BA in Sociology and a senior HR Professional certification with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is also a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (Tool). She is a wife and mother of two, as well as an avid community leader, supporting civic participation, mentoring and leadership development especially among equity deserving communities and groups. In 2013, she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award for her community service. Anne-Marie is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), a Crown Corporation dedicated to working towards the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination. As of October 2020, Anne-Marie is a member of the City of Calgary’s Anti-Racism Action Committee.

Maryam Monsef, Founder and CEO of ONWARD

Maryam Monsef is the Founder and CEO of ONWARD. She is a globally recognized feminist, leader, and changemaker. This Afghan-Canadian activist comes from a long line of strong and resilient women. Against all odds, she escaped war and survived poverty and displacement. She rose from refugee to community organizer, to Cabinet Minister where she drove social and economic justice files for the Government of Canada at home and abroad. Maryam has led public policy files at the highest levels. In 2018 and 2019, she was recognized by Apolitical, along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama and Malala, as one of the Top 20 global influencers on gender equality. Maryam has spent thousands of hours delivering powerful speeches, and giving media appearances, from Davos, G7, G20 and the UN, to hot seat political shows, classrooms and workplaces.

Jason Gill, Vice President, Staffmax

Jason Gill’s career has focus on staffing and management of large teams. He’s developed his skills to not only focus on processes and efficiencies but more importantly on the growth of team members skills and career paths.

Dr. Peter Nunoda, Executive Director, Manitoba Building Trades

Dr. Peter Nunoda has held a number of academic administration positions over his 30 year career including the Director of Access Programs at the University of Manitoba, Dean of Health at University College of the North and Vice President Academic at Northern Lights College. Most recently, he was the President of Vancouver Community College and Red Deer Polytechnic. In all of these positions, Dr. Nunoda has been a strong proponent of the rights of under represented to fully access post-secondary education.

Oyíndàmólá Áláká, Co-founder, Noir Professionals

Oyíndàmólá Áláká is a Nigerian-born award winning community organizer, project manager and creative strategist. She holds a B.A (Adv.) in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Manitoba. She is the recipient of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission – Sybil Shack Youth Award (2019), the Black History Month Manitoba Youth Achievement Award (2020), Nigerian Professionals in Manitoba Top 10 Nigerian Professionals. In 2020, Oyíndàmólá co-founded NOIR Professionals, a startup with the goal of connecting, creating and cultivating opportunities for Black professionals in Canada. Currently, she is the general manager at Manitobans for the Arts.

Noah Wilson, Senior Business Development Manager (Indigenous Entrepreneur Start-up Program), Futurpreneur Canada

Noah Wilson self-identifies as Cree man with French/Ukrainian heritage on his mother’s side of the family. Noah is a proud community member of Peguis First Nation which is the largest Treaty 1(1871) community located in the province of Manitoba. As a result of living in several cities and communities throughout his youth, Noah was able to see a diverse cross-section of Canadian society that highlighted the stark discrepancies in the standard of living between First Nations peoples and the rest of Canada. These experiences fostered his passion to someday become a trusted adviser for the resurgence of self-determining Indigenous economies, thriving Indigenous communities, and hopeful Indigenous Peoples. Noah is a devoted advocate for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action in Canada and the establishment of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and is the Co-Chair for the Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Council for The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. At Futurpreneur, it is Noah’s privilege to be a Senior Business Development Manager for our Indigenous Entrepreneur Start-up Program (IESP). Our IESP team is mandated to help Indigenous Young Entrepreneurs develop a viable business plan and cash-flow projections to gain access up to $60,000 in working capital to launch their Indigenous Start-up or $15,000 for their Indigenous Side hustle with a mentor for 2 years.


Jordan Friesen, O.T. Reg., President, Mindset Mental Health Strategy Inc.

Jordan Friesen is a mental health expert who uses his knowledge of best practices to assist organizations who want to take progressive action to support the mental health of their employees as an imperative for the future of work. He is known for his pragmatic approach, ability to coach and influence leaders, and his drive to help companies meaningfully move the needle on mental health in their workplace. Grounded in his own lived experience of illness and recovery, he takes a person-centered approach to making workplaces healthier and, ultimately, more human again.

Anna McGregor, Associate Consultant, Mindset Mental Health Strategy Inc.

Sean Hogan, Executive Director, BUILD

Sean Hogan is the Executive Director of BUILD, Manitoba’s keystone trades-based Social Enterprise. BUILD trains and employs individuals with multiple employment barriers, preparing them for long-term, meaningful careers in the trades. Having cut his teeth in both rapid business growth environments and high volume management positions, Sean was well prepared to take BUILD from a small three crew construction endeavor to a sustainable, ever growing Social Enterprise that currently runs as many as sixteen teams, as well as a healthy support staff, consistently putting more than a million dollars of payroll into the pockets of those who need it most. Sean is a co-founder of the We Want to Work coalition that successfully worked with the City of Winnipeg to implement a Social Procurement Policy, as well as a director of the Social Enterprise Centre, the hub for social entrepreneurship in Manitoba.Sean is a father, a husband, dog owner, lives adjacent to a cat, and an award winning musician and songwriter with the Kindie Rock band Seanster and the Monsters.


Priti Shah, CEO, PRAXIS Consulting

Priti Shah has been doing public speaking for more than 30 years and brings a diverse personal and professional background to her engaging and inspiring presentations. She is a lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, investigator and facilitator and operates PRAXIS Conflict Consulting in Winnipeg. She is widely known and highly respected for her work in the areas of dispute resolution, human rights, governance and organization development. Priti has travelled to 70 countries and represented the Government of Canada and the Organization for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in September 1998 as an observer of the parliamentary elections in Bosnia & Herzegovina. She is committed to international development and travelled to Fiji in 2018 to complete her eighth Habitat build. In May 2005, Priti was awarded the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Contribution to Community from the Women Business Owners of Manitoba. Priti has performed in 13 community plays with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. She is passionate about health, fitness, music, arts and enjoying the beautiful people and geography of Canada.


Erika Frey Morote, Project Manager, Immigration Partnership Winnipeg

Erika Frey Morote has over 11 years of experience as a Community Development, Settlement and Immigration Professional. She is a Project Manager at Immigration Partnership Winnipeg and coordinates the Employment and Civic Engagement Sector Tables. Prior to this, she worked for 7 years supporting and walking alongside newcomer women and their families as well as with gender diverse folks. Erika is committed to continuous learning , reflecting and building connections with the Indigenous Peoples of this land we call Canada.

Sanjana Vijayann, Director of Diversity & Equity, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Sanjana Vijayann is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and uses she/her pronouns.

Her education is in Economics and Political studies. This, coupled with lived experience as a newcomer to Canada and years working in non-profits, she is particularly interested in understanding why inequities exist, the systemic barriers that exist, and what we can do to create a more equitable world. Through her work creating and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, she seeks to question, reimagine and redesign systems and practices around us to create a culture that welcomes everyone. Sanjana values continuous learning, and impactful collaboration.

With her current role at The Chamber, Sanjana works to provide the Winnipeg business community with the resources and guidance they need to become more resilient, and ‘future proof’ while championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Brenlee Coates, Creative Director, UpHouse

As the Creative Director at UpHouse, Brenlee Coates helps inspire the best work from her team.That means coming up with amazing concepts, delivering them to clients and helping execute creative of the highest caliber. She also holds the team accountable to marketing that is authentic, accessible and that represents a better society — not just the one we live in now. She holds UpHouse’s values close to her heart and helps deliver not only great but meaningful work.

Lisa Snider, Senior Digital Accessibility Consultant, Access Changes Everything Inc.

Lisa Snider is the Senior Digital Accessibility Consultant and Trainer in her company, Access Changes Everything Inc. For over 23 years, Lisa’s passion in life has been to make the digital world more accessible for people with disabilities in different settings and contexts, as a web developer, librarian, archivist and as an accessibility consultant.

Lisa shares this knowledge through training, workshops, courses, audits which can include paid auditors with disabilities, manual and automated digital material testing, procurement consulting, policy creation, etc. She has done this for a wide variety of North American organizations, governments and businesses, such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Province of Nova Scotia, City of Winnipeg and Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

Lisa was the Chair of the Province of Manitoba’s Accessibility for Manitobans Act, Information and Communications Standard Development Committee. She is a Member of the Federal Government’s Technical Committee on Accessibility Requirements for Information and Communication Technology Products and Services, and is a member of the Microsoft Inclusive Workplace Customer Advisory Council, collaborating with Microsoft to improve the accessibility of their products.


Wednesday, May 3, 2023  |  8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, York Ballroom, 375 York Avenue


Online registration is now closed.

Please email [email protected] to check availability.


Discounted Member Rate:

  • Members Early Bird until March 17: $149 +GST
    Members after March 17: $199 +GST
  • Members: Table of 10: $2000 +GST

Regular Rate:

  • $250 +GST
  • Table of 10: $2,500 +GST


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