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Attend PCC’s Virtual Anti-Racism Forum, Happening on Monday, February 27!

Philippine Centre Canada in partnership with Somerset West Community Health Centre is eager to present our virtual Anti-Racism Forum, “From Racism and Discrimination toward Inclusion,” on Monday, February 27th at 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

The main objective of this forum is to encourage a public discussion on racism and discrimination issues, to be able to push for policy and institutional reforms in the long term.  The issue of racism and discrimination is relevant and significant to Filipino-Canadians who in many ways experience racism and discrimination directly or indirectly.

We would like to thank Canadian Heritage for making this event possible.

Click here to register

Learn more about our moderator and panelists Below!

Our Moderator:

May Lui

May Lui (she/her) facilitates people and organizations to understand power, privilege, oppression and actions for change. May works to show how oppressions function in interlocking and intersectional ways and operate at individual, institutional, and systemic levels. Born in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Québec, Canada, May is mixed-race; a settler/ immigrant descendant of Chinese and white/ European/ Jewish ancestry. She is white-presenting and is an activist and supporter of many fights and struggles against violence and injustice including colonialism in Canada and around the world, anti-Asian racism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, sexism and misogyny, classism and consumer capitalism, and other forms of systemic oppression.

May graduated from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education / University of Toronto in 1997 with a Master degree in Education, specializing in Adult Education.


Our Panelists:

Andrew Calderon (he/him) is a 4th year student at the University of Ottawa studying Cellular and Molecular Biology. He is currently researching how ingesting Cannabis and other related plant species

Andrew Calderon

interact with the nervous system and immune system. Prior to living in Ottawa, Andrew was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, but has traveled back home to the Philippines in 2007 and 2017. His family, who comes from Los Baños, Laguna, and Talisay, Cebu, immigrated to Canada in the 1990s. In his free time, Andrew enjoys reading, playing basketball, soccer, and home cooking.



Shaila Safaee

Lolita Shaila Safaee Chalkasra (she/her) is an international affairs professional and is currently a Senior Desk Officer at Global Affairs Canada (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development). She previously worked as a researcher at Canada’s International Development Research Centre supporting policy-oriented research in developing regions.

Prior to immigrating to Canada from the Philippines, Shaila managed research programs at the Asian Institute of Management and was previously a lecturer at the Department of Political Science, De La Salle University Manila. She actively gives guest lectures and engages in research as part of her Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa, and has published peer-reviewed articles in the areas of climate adaptation and international development.

During her free time, Shaila actively advocates and supports youth and immigrant communities in Canada. She is currently a Board Member of the Philippine Centre Canada (PCC), and a Career Mentor at the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).

Kristen Kowlessar

Kristen Kowlessar (she/they) is a queer Trinidadian* PhD candidate and a lifelong community organizer and advocate from Thunder Bay, Ontario, located on the traditional lands of Fort William First Nation, Signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850. Kristen has notably served as the youngest Vice-President in history for the Caribbean African Multicultural Association of Thunder Bay, worked with Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services, and most recently, co-founded the CEDAR Care Collective. 

*Born in what we call Canada, Kristen is the proud child of immigrants from Trinidad & Tobago and identifies as such, while also acknowledging the nuances and contradictions that come with circuits of recognition under colonialism.

Pei-Ju Wang (she/her)was born in Taiwan and moved to Canada over 25 years ago. She is a settler to this land, the unceded and surrendered Algonquin territory. Currently, Pei-Ju works as Anti-Racism Specialist at the City of Ottawa. She is familiar with Somerset West Community Health Centre as she used to lead their Equity4Us project from the fall of 2019 to the summer of 2021. Pei-Ju likes reading books, travelling, hiking, having interesting conversations with peoples, and eating good food. She is passionate about community economic and social development as way of capacity and relationship building for anti-racism. She beliefs anti-racism work involves life-long learning. It is multi-disciplinary and is about becoming a human being. Pei-Ju continues learning and understanding the depth of the work every day. A Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thick Nhat Hanh, said, “the mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same”. That has been a guiding principle for Pei-Ju since she read about it a year ago and does her best to put it in practice when possible.

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