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Kick Off Pride Season with Blakes and Pride at Work Canada

May 24, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

“Exploring the Rainbow: Perspectives of LGBTQ2+ Indigenous Peoples and New Canadians”

As employers and employees continue to work to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond, it is important to understand the experiences of LGBTQ2+ people with intersecting identities and help tackle the unique challenges they may face. Join Pride at Work Canada and Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) for an illuminating discussion with panellists from Rainbow Railroad, Aboriginal Legal Services and BMO Financial Group, who will talk about the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and new Canadians in the LGBTQ2+ community, followed by a lively reception hosted by Blakes.

Please register online before Thursday, May 17th. Space is limited.  For more information, contact Joe McNamara at jo.mcnamara@prideatwork.ca.



Kimahli Powell – Rainbow Railroad

Kimahli has a wide range of experience in the non-profit sector and has spent more than fifteen years advocating for social justice, youth arts and culture. He was the Director of Development and Outreach at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the Senior Development Officer at Dignitas International, Director of Development at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival in addition to holding other director-level positions with non- profit organizations in Toronto and the National Capital Region. Among Kimahli’s achievements in advocacy and social rights, he most recently helped launch the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network’s legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law led public outreach initiatives including the Human Rights Networking Zone at multiple international AIDS conferences and guided the Legal Network through a monitoring and evaluation framework on legal advocacy.

During his period as Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad, he has led to the organization’s doubling in growth, expanded its International reputation and reach and led its efforts to intervene in the emergency effecting LGBTI people in Chechnya.

Promise Skinner – Aboriginal Legal Services 

Promise Holmes Skinner is a two-spirited Anishnaabe lawyer in Toronto. She is a Senior Manager at Aboriginal Legal Services, an Adjunct Professor at UofT Law and maintains a criminal law practice in chambers with Greenspan Humphrey Weinstein. Promise regularly travels across Canada and the world advocating for expansion of Gladue principles and better treatment of Indigenous people.

In 2013 Promise graduated from UofT Law with a Juris Doctor and a Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies. In 2014 she was called to the Ontario Bar and appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada on R. v. Kokopenance, challenging constitutional violation of rights of First Nations with respect to the jury process.

The following year she served on the Law Society’s Equity Advisory Group and, since its inaugural year during World Pride Promise, has co-chaired the Pride Parade for the Ontario Bar Association (SOGIC). Promise is currently contributing to a book focused on assisting clients who are members of the LGBTQ2 community.<br />

Paul Noble – BMO Capital Markets

Paul Noble is Vice-President, Deputy General Counsel, BMO Capital Markets. Paul is accountable for leading the BMO Capital Markets legal team globally, providing legal advice, guidance and direction on a range of issues, transactions and initiatives across the BMO Capital Markets businesses.  Paul has held a number of roles within the legal group since joining BMO in 2003. In 2008, he was appointed Vice-President, Deputy General Counsel, P&C U.S., responsible for legal and regulatory support for BMO’s personal and commercial banking businesses in the U.S. In 2011, he was appointed Vice-President, Deputy General Counsel, Private Client Group and held that role until his most recent appoint in 2012.

Paul is a member of BMO’s Leadership Committee for Inclusion and Diversity, a cross-enterprise group of leaders whose mandate is to guide BMO’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and Executive Sponsor for BMO Pride, BMO’s enterprise-wide affinity group for LGBTQ employees. Paul is an Executive Committee member of Legal Leaders for Diversity, a group of Canadian General Counsel committed to creating a more inclusive legal profession.  Paul also serves on the board of The 519, a City of Toronto agency dedicated to advocacy for the inclusion of LGBTQ communities.

Before joining BMO, Paul was with Torys LLP. Paul received his Bachelor of Law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.

Erin Hoult – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Erin Hoult is a Partner of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.  She is an experienced commercial litigator and regulatory defence lawyer.  She advises a range of clientele in relation to complex business disputes, securities regulatory enforcement, and constitutional law matters. Erin is an ex officio member of the Board of Family Service Toronto.  She is also the Director of the Wilson Moot competition, which honours Canada’s first female Supreme Court Justice and focuses on equality law issues.  Erin is a member of The Advocates’ Society, Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers Association, and the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations.


May 24, 2018
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
199 Bay Street, Suite 4000
Toronto, Ontario M5L 1A9 Canada
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