Speaker Profiles (32nd WRC)

Speaker Profiles

Distinguished Scholars of the World’s Religions and Philosophies

Presided and Moderated by

Indira Naidoo-Harris
Ontario's Famous TV Host

Vastly admired and respected as a fair, credible journalist. Indira was born in South Africa and moved to Canada at a young age. Studied Political Science at University and began a career in journalism at NBC. Anchored at CBC Newsworld, CTV Newsnet, TVO and OMNI television. Won several awards and interviewed Prime Ministers, Premiers and other dignitaries. Currently a Director of Communications and mother of two children.


Representing Aboriginals
Lois MacDonald – Guelph

Respected speaker, Lois is a Missanbie Cree First Nation member originally from the Thunder Bay area, employed at Aboriginal Services – Conestoga College. Provides support and cultural guidance to the students and community members when needed. As a community helper, Lois shares the wisdom gained through the teachings and guides others to become their own leader and to follow their hearts as they walk their personal life journey.


Representing Judaism
Dr. Karen Mock - Toronto

Dynamic speaker, human rights consultant and psychologist. Karen was Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada. Recipient of many awards, widely published on multiculturalism, equity, hate crimes and race relations training. Active founding member of the Women's Intercultural Network, the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims, the Arab Jewish Dialogue, and the Antiracist Multicultural Education Network of Ontario.


Representing Islam
Mubarak A. Nazir - Toronto

Senior Vice President and Missionary Incharge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada. Prolific speaker who regularly appears on broadcast media, and has lectured at numerous forums explaining contemporary Islamic issues. Mubarak is a graduate with a scientific background. After dedicating his life, served as Missionary both in Africa and Canada. Principal of various Ahmadiyya Islamic Schools in Africa and most recently of the Ahmadiyya Islamic Institute in Canada.


Representing Sikhism
Rupinder Kaur - Ottawa

A learned erudite of Sikh traditions and an Influential South Asian. Rupinder worked as a press secretary for NDP for 5 years. Graduated from Guelph in International Development and postgraduated in International Project Management. During recent federal elections, worked in the media units. Worked as a community TV reporter for OMNI and weekly political columnist for South Asian papers. Worked closely with former NDP leaders Alexa McDonough and Jack Layton.


Representing Hinduism
Amit Madhusudhan Kinikar – Toronto

Remarkable speaker and an ordained minister of the Vedanta. Amit studied MBA and founded his own successful business. In 1998 he dedicated his life full time to the study, research and propagation of Vedanta. Joined the Vedanta Academy in Pune India and received comprehensive training covering traditional spiritual disciplines of Gnana, Knowledge, Bhakti Devotion and Karma Action. Founded the Vedanta Cultural Foundation Canada in 2008. At present conducts five classes.


Representing Christianity
Rev. Felicia Urbanski – Fergus

Minister for The United Church of Canada, Felicia currently serves the Erin and Inglewood pastoral charges. She has also served congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association. Her passions include empowering people to develop vital spiritual lives and healthy intergenerational churches, creating engaging worship, promoting environmental stewardship, and caring for the disadvantaged in our society. Her interfaith involvement began in 1994. Felicia enjoys playing her violin and singing in choirs.


Representing Buddhism
Susan Child - Waterloo

Spiritual guide and an teacher, Susan began practicing meditation, and engaging in spiritual inquiry in the 1970s. Since 1991, has been involved extensively in Buddhist study and practice in Europe, Asia and North America, with respected Dharma teachers, primarily in the Theravadan and Tibetan traditions. Founder of the Waterloo Riverview Dharma Centre (1999) a non-sectarian centre for meditative practice in the Buddhist tradition where she is the spiritual coordinator.


Representing Humanism
Doug Thomas - Elmira

Retired teacher, Canadian historical fiction novelist, Doug Thomas is President of the Society of Ontario Freethinkers and founding President of Secular Connexion Séculaire, a new advocacy group for Canadian Humanists. Editor of Canadian Freethinker magazine with essays published internationally in The United States, United Kingdom, Europe and India. A respected Agnostic Humanist, Doug actively promotes open secularism as a means of separating Church from State in Canada.


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