TODAY.AZ / Voice of Diaspora

First Azerbaijani-Canadian grassroots & advocacy conference held at the University of Toronto

04 December 2010 [14:23] - TODAY.AZ
As earlier reported, late November, the Azerbaijani Student Association at the University of Toronto (AzSA), the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Canada and the Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC) co-organized the First Azerbaijani-Canadian Grassroots & Advocacy Conference at the University of Toronto (UofT).

The event was hosted by AzSA in the landmark Hart House at the UofT, and attended by Azerbaijani-Canadian community in the greater Toronto area, students at the universities of Toronto and Waterloo, and media representatives.

The purpose of this first conference was to inform participants about the activities and objectives of Azerbaijani-Canadian grassroots, to learn about public advocacy experiences of communities in Canada and the United States, and to discuss the engagement and networking of Azerbaijani youth and students in Canada.

The keynote speaker at the event was Azerbaijani member of Ontario Provincial Parliament, Dr. Reza Moridi. Among other speakers at the Conference were Azerbaijan`s Ambassador to Canada, Mr. Farid Shafiyev, chairman of UofT AzSA, Mr. Iskandar Gadirzade, former Director of Public Relations of B`nai Brith Canada, Mr. Michael Mostyn, General Director of AAC, Dr. Javid Huseynov, and the Board Director of the Assembly of Azerbaijani-Canadian Organizations (AACO), Mr. Yashar Moghan.

At the event introduction, Ambassador Shafiyev talked about the role of Azerbaijani grassroots in Canada as an important mechanism for advancing the interests of Azerbaijani-Canadian community and strengthening ties between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Canada. In his keynote address, Dr. Moridi talked about his service at the Ontario provincial legislature and shared his vision of Azerbaijani grassroots in Canada. Michael Mostyn informed the participants about his experiences with the Jewish-Canadian grassroots and public advocacy strategies, while Dr. Huseynov talked about the impact of Internet on Azerbaijani grassroots, and successes and challenges of Azerbaijani Diaspora in the United States.

Speaking further, Iskandar Gadirzade informed about the activities of AzSA at UofT, future plans to broaden Azerbaijani youth networking to other Canadian universities, and to build a first Azerbaijani-Canadian online grassroots portal. Finally, Yashar Moghan talked about the work of AACO and appealed to the audience to more actively participate in grassroots and advocacy. The conference presentations were followed by Q&A sessions with active participation of the audience.

AAC expresses its appreciation to all organizers and participants at this event and is looking forward to future educational grassroots programs to be organized in Canada during 2011.


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