Enhancing Dialogue on Criminal Justice in Canada

July 29, 2021

Recently we have seen long-standing anti-oppression movements capture long overdue public attention. In this moment there is a broader understanding of systemic inequality and how it can reverberate for generations. This context provides a new lens for how we approach criminal justice as a society and an opportunity to explore transformational change. Can it be seized?

In this next session of our Doubling Down virtual event series, we will bring together voices advancing dialogue about Criminal Justice in Canada. Sabreena Delhon (our Democracy and Justice Fellow & Executive Director of the Samara Centre for Democracy) will moderate this conversation which will include questions such as:

  • How can we re-frame the present conversation to draw stronger links to historical injustices?

  • What role does language play in shaping our view of criminal justice?

  • What is unique about this current moment and how can it improve dialogue to secure long-term change?

Video recording


  • El Jones is a community activist breaking grounds on defining de-funding the police as the chair of the Subcommittee, appointed by the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners. She also was Halifax’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015.
  • Jennifer Taylor is a lawyer practicing civil litigation and co-wrote the independent legal opinion on street checks for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. A member of the NS Policing Policy Working Group, she is also providing research support to the Subcommittee to Define Defunding the Police.
  • Meenakshi Mannoe, is the Criminalization & Policing Campaigner at Pivot Legal Society. She is trained as a social worker, and has worked in health, community, and legal services. She also belongs to the Defund 604 Network and Vancouver Prison Justice Day Committee.
  • Brandon Rolle, has been the Managing Lawyer of the Halifax Youth Justice Office since 2017. He is co-chair of the Equity and Racial Diversity Committee within Nova Scotia Legal Aid and also a member of the Racial Equity Committee & Criminal Standards Committee with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.
  • Alyshah Sanmati Hasham, has covered courts, crime and justice-related issues for the Toronto Star since 2014. She is a joint recipient of the 2021 Landsberg Award in recognition of stories addressing women’s experiences of male violence—including police workplace sexual harassment.
  • Xhopakelxhit has been directly involved with indigenous resistance for three decades her work has spanned every single area, from organizing, film making, to training. Coast Salish, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, and Snuneymuxw Matriarch and Author of the world renowned Ancestral Pride Allyship Zines.