Western University Presents

The Walrus Talks Belonging

London 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.

Questions about the Walrus Talks? Read our FAQ here.

General admission $10

London Music Hall
185 Queens Ave.,
London, ON

Citizenship, community, and what it means to come together and belong.


  • Hanny Hassan, chair, board of governors, Western University
  • Erik Mandawe, artist in residence, London Arts Council
  • Kim Samuel, president, Samuel Family Foundation
  • Kamal Al-Solaylee, author and professor, Ryerson University
  • Heather O’Neill, novelist
  • Jonathan Hood, motivational speaker, leadership coach and youth mentor
  • Molly Burke, YouTuber and motivational speaker
  • Carol Todd, founder, Amanda Todd Legacy Society

Hanny Hassan

Hanny Hassan holds a Bachelor of Engineering Science from Western University and a Master of Engineering from Dalhousie University. He manages Alef Consulting Inc. following a long and successful career at Dillon Consulting. He is chair of Western University’s Board of Governors, director of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, past chair of the Ontario Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, and past co-chair of the National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee. He received the Order of Canada in 2011.

Erik Mandawe

Erik Mandawe is a musician, filmmaker, storyteller, academic, and the current Artist-in-Residence at the London Arts Council. He holds an Honours BSc. in Medical ANthropology, has worked as an actor, and has studied arts and music at Western University. Mandawe’s artistic practice is informed by communication, travel, and land-based teachings. he is a Sundancer at the Rattlechild Sundance Lodge, and a medical student at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. He comes from northern Alberta’s Beaver Lake Cree Nation.

Kim Samuel

Kim Samuel is president of the Samuel Family Foundation, a professor of practice at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development, and a policy advisor to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. Under Kim’s leadership, the Samuel Family Foundation engaged in collaborative, community-driven partnerships to achieve sustainable change. In 2016, she convened the second Global Symposium on Overcoming Social Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness. That year, she delivered the first course in this emerging field to graduating students at McGill University.

Kamal Al-Solaylee

Kamal Al-Solaylee is an associate professor at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. He holds a Ph.D. in English and is the author of Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, which was a Toronto Book Award winner and a CBC Canada Reads finalist. His second book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone), won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction.

Heather O'Neill

Heather O’Neill is a novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and essayist. Her books, which include Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, and Daydreams of Angels, have won CBC’s Canada Reads, the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. She has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and, in two consecutive years, the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her latest novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, came out in February 2017.

Jonathan Hood

Jonathan Hood is a former linebacker for the Toronto Argonauts who has made a name for himself off the football field as a motivational speaker, a youth mentor, a leadership consultant, an an entrepreneur. In 2012, he launched the Ahead of the Game Youth Mentoring Program, which has re-engaged hundreds of students with their schools, families, and communities over the past five years. Jonathan is pursuing a PhD in Leadership and Business Management at Western University, and was recently awarded the Toastmaster Communication and Leadership Achievement Award.

Molly Burke

At age four, Molly Burke was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a retinal disease causing loss of vision. At age five, she began speaking publicly for the Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada. Molly has travelled the world sharing her story with youth, families, and corporate organizations. She ran with the Paralympic torch in 2009 and was named Miss Teen Canada International 2010. Molly attended Canada’s first Youth Accessibility Forum and recently became the face of Dove’s international ad campaign. She releases weekly YouTube videos to a worldwide audience.

Carol Todd

Carol Todd founded the Amanda Todd Legacy Society after the death of her daughter, Amanda, on October 10, 2012. The organization brings awareness about bullying in digital culture and aims to orient people’s behaviour away from abuse and toward kindness.