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CODE Conference Agenda

7:30 a.m.Registration, Breakfast, Networking and Exhibitor Booths

8:30 a.m.  |  Welcoming Remarks


Hosted by: Liz Choi
Chair of the Board of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and CEO of Education Canada Group


8:45 a.m.  |  Session 1: Breakfast Keynote – The Business Case of Inclusion


Keynote Speaker: Rosemary Sadlier
Founder of Black Canadian Network

Read more about Rosemary.


About this Session:
The Business Chase of Inclusion:
Globalization, technological disruption and shifting demographics is rapidly changing our workforce. How do we futureproof our business now and attract, engage and retain high-quality and diverse candidates? Keeping in mind, yes, hiring diverse teams is important but inclusive and equitable workplaces that support them is key. Join us during Black History Month to hear from Rosemary Sadlier, a key influencer in bringing Black History Month to Canada in 1995.

Read the full session description.

Sponsored by:






9:30 a.m.  |  Wellness Break

9:45 a.m.  |  Session 2: The Evolving World of DEI: A Conversation About How The Workplace and Workforce is Changing



Manny Atwal
CEO of Manitoba Liquor And Lotteries



Amanda Kinden
Founder and Owner of Oh Doughnuts




Larry Vickar
President of Vickar Auto Group




Moderated by: Denise Tardiff
Manager, Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint



Read more about our panelists. 

About this Session:
Our CEO panelists will engage in a candid conversation about their efforts to embed diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices into their workplaces. As leaders leading in DEI, they will share their expertise and predictions for the future of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies.

Read the full session description. 

10:30 a.m.  |  Wellness Break 

10:45 a.m.  |  Session 3: Self-Reflection Workshop


Facilitated by: Jessica Praznik
Project Manager at Immigration Partnership Winnipeg




Facilitated by: Kathleen Vyrauen
Project Manager at Immigration Partnership Winnipeg




Facilitated by: Craig Brown
Research Consultant at University of Manitoba



Read more about our facilitators.

About this Session:
This is your opportunity to engage with other attendees at the conference, and partake in a facilitated reflection exercise on your organizational progress in adopting and implementing DEI practices. The workshop will also offer opportunities for an exchange of ideas and best practices among everyone in the room.

Read the full session description.

11:45 a.m.  |  Wellness Break

12:00 p.m.  |  Lunch Service 

12:30 p.m.  |  Session 4: Luncheon Keynote – The Mental Health of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman
Clinical Psychologist and Owner of Lead with Diversity 

Read more about Dr. Rehman


About this Session:
Belonging and Mental Health
The long-term implications of the pandemic on mental health is unmeasurable. The need for belonging and connection, especially in the workplace, is as strong as it’s ever been. How can you as a leader foster a safe space for your people where they feel valued, healthy and at their best? During this talk, Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman, will walk you through how you can lead your team with true inclusive leadership.

Read the full session description. 

Sponsored by:



1:30 p.m.  |  Wellness Break

1:45 p.m.  |  Session 5: Breakout Rooms – Round 1

Attendees choose either 5A, 5B or 5C.
Audio recordings and summaries of all breakout rooms will be available to all attendees post-event.

  • Session 5A: Decentering Whiteness in DEI Work 

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman
Clinical Psychologist and Owner of Lead with Diversity 

Read more about Dr. Rehman


About this Session:
Employees often find themselves changing their way of being to meet a standard for professionalism that was set for a very specific type of person – usually white, male and able-bodied. As we incorporate DEI policies and practices into our workplace to disrupt these norms and pursue inclusion, we must be mindful that it is inclusion we are working towards and not assimilation. 

Read the full session description. 

  • Session 5B: The Significance of Storytelling 

    Dorota Blumczynska
    Executive Director of The Manitoba Museum

    Read more about Dorota  

About this Session:
Stories transmit knowledge in a way that few other mediums can. They have the power to impart wisdom, to evoke emotions, to amplify and honour lived experiences. Through stories we can enter into dialogue with the past, we can contest history, question assumptions, and challenge narratives.

Read full session description. 

  • Session 5C: The Role of Procurement in Community Building  


Jessica Floresco
General Manager, Mother Earth Recycling





Johanna Haines
Business Enterprise Manager, New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families Inc.




Brendan Reimer
Strategic Partner, Values Based Banking, Assiniboine Credit Union



Moderated by:
Michael Barkman
Manitoba Network Manager, Canadian CED Network

Read more about our panelists

About this Session:
Social Procurement presents a significant opportunity for businesses to drive toward success through greater emphasis on inclusion, diversity, and equity in both their own procurement strategies and in fulfilling government contracts. This session is a discussion with purchasers and suppliers who have adopted and responded to social procurement.

Read the full session description.

2:30 p.m.  |  Wellness Break

2:45 p.m.  |  Session 6: Breakout Rooms – Round 2

Attendees choose either 6A, 6B or 6C.
Audio recordings and summaries of all breakout rooms will be available to all attendees post-event.

  •  Session 6A: Accessibility in the Workplace   

Ashley Nemeth
Provincial Director Saskatchewan and Manitoba of CNIB
Read more about Ashley



Erika Vas
Senior Policy Analyst at Province of Manitoba Accessibility Office
Read more about Erika



About this Session:
During this workshop, learn from experts in the area of workplace accessibility on how we can best prepare to hire, and retain people with disabilities. Additionally, attendees will dive in deeper into the Accessibility for Manitobans Act to understand their responsibilities to comply with it. 

Read the full session description.  

  • Session 6B: Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Teams 



Patricia Lane
Partner at Taylor McCaffrey




Dodie Jordaan
Executive Director at Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.




Dr. Zita Somakoko
CEO of StratHR Solutions




Moderated by:
Sanjana Vijayann
Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Read more about our panelists 

About this Session:
The “Great Resignation” has been spoken of as the great liberation where employees are choosing to leave workplaces where they feel undervalued or unrecognized. Hear from panelists on how you can reinvent your hiring processes, connect with local organizations, and foster meaningful community relationships that will directly impact your recruitment efforts.

Read the full session description. 

  • Session 6C: Data Analysis – Evaluating your DEI strategy 

    Dr. Aynslie Hinds
    Senior Research Associate at The University of Winnipeg

    Read more Dr. Aynslie  

    About this Session:

    Starting with a brief introduction of evaluation, this workshop will explain how proper data collection and evaluation can help us to understand if we are “moving the needle” with respect to DEI initiatives. Additionally, attendees will be provided with a framework, and a 7-step process for developing an evaluation plan for a DEI initiative.

    Read the full session description.

3.30 p.m.  |  Networking Reception

4:30 p.m.  |  Conference Ends

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