TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2018 /CNW/ - On October 1, 2018, 400 of Canada's top journalists, media executives, business and political leaders will gather at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Toronto to recognize journalists from Northern Ontario to South Sudan and Syria to illustrate the powerful social and development impact of their work. Last year the event raised more than $300,000 for rights-based journalism programming, with more than 400 guests. This year, with programs expanding both in Canada and abroad, JHR targets raising $350,000.
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is delighted to announce that Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors, will host the evening in his role as Honourary Co-Chair.
New this year in the co-chair role supporting Masai is Director of Media Relations at Accenture Canada Theresa Ebden. Also in the co-chair role: Catherine Cano, Chief Executive Officer of CPAC (Canada's Cable Public Affairs Channel), Michael Cooke, Journalists for Human Rights Board Chair and former Editor of the Toronto Star, Lisa LaFlamme, Chief Anchor and Senior Editor for CTV National News, Richard Linley, President of the Wine Council of Ontario, Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President of News, Global; Radio and Station Operations for Corus, and Bobby Walman, principal of Civic Works Consulting Group Inc.
The Presenting Sponsor of this year's Night for Rights is Global News, which has a long and proud history with JHR and helped pioneer the first expert trainer program for working journalists. Global Toronto anchor Farah Nasser and national managing editor Grant McDonald will serve as emcees for the evening.
Leading sponsors of Night for Rights include The Logic as the Innovation in Media Sponsor, CTV News, Accenture Canada and CBC as Partner sponsors; Toronto Life as Media Sponsor; BMO, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, Ellis Don and Unifor as Gold Sponsors; Airbnb and Ryerson University as Silver Sponsors, and The Canadian Press, AIMIA, Twitter, Coca-Cola and Wine Council of Ontario as leading in-kind sponsors.
Commented JHR partner Dr. Anver Saloojee, Assistant Vice President International of Ryerson University: "Initiatives such as JHR's work in South Africa with JamLab are critical to strengthening the vibrancy of public discourse in Africa. Harnessing the ideas and insights of the continent's innovators, and linking them with the best minds and institutions in Canada and beyond, premised on the principals of reciprocity and mutual benefit, will help to give profile to the voices we'd all do well to listen to more often."
"Night for Rights is JHR's once-a-year opportunity to gather our dynamic community together in celebration of the extraordinary things that happen when courageous journalists tackle tough human rights stories," said Executive Director Rachel Pulfer. "With Masai as our Honourary Co-Chair and Catherine, Michael, Theresa, Richard, Lisa, Troy and Bobby as Co-Chairs, supported by an incredible team, we are on track for our best night ever."
About Journalists for Human Rights
Journalists for Human Rights is a Toronto-based organization that aims to empower journalists to provide objective and ethical reporting on human rights issues. JHR has operated in 23 countries and trained more than 15,650 journalists and journalism students on rights-based reporting, reaching over 65 million people. Night for Rights is their annual benefit gala to support these programs. More information about JHR can be found at: www.jhr.ca. Gala tickets can be purchased at: night4rights.com.
The Honourary Co-Chair for Night for Rights 2018 is Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors. His leadership has helped boost the Raptors into a position as one of the NBA's top teams. "What JHR is doing, is speaking out and teaching people how to speak out and tell stories about human issues that I think are going to continue to affect us for a long time," says Ujiri.
Catherine Cano has more than 30 years' experience in the journalism industry, reporting on the conflict in Middle East, the U.S. Presidential Elections, and the Olympic Games. She has been honoured as one of the top 100 most powerful women in 2012 by the Women's Executive Network, won two Geminis Awards, and is a recipient of the Michener-Deacon Fellowship. Her passion and commitment for human rights journalism is a big asset to JHR. "Protecting human rights and safeguarding democracies is as crucial now as it has been historically, maybe even more…JHR trains journalists to report on human rights and governance issues in their communities. Because of its mission, JHR has helped journalists open a window on issues that were under reported or not reported at all. It is imperative that this work continues and be duplicated."
Michael Cooke is the former editor of the Toronto Star. Prior to leading the Star's editorial team, he has also held the editor-in-chief role at the Vancouver Province, the Chicago Sun-Times (twice), and the New York Daily News. Cooke has travelled extensively in Africa in the last five years, most notably doing pro-bono work for Journalists for Human Rights. He has given journalism seminars in many countries, with longer stays in Congo, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia. "No democracy without a free press … no press free without a democracy," Cooke says. "That just about sums up what JHR's folks are working towards abroad, especially in countries such as South Sudan, which has a democracy about as fragile as it gets."
Theresa Ebden leads Accenture's media relations in Canada. As a former journalist, she has reported and produced news coverage with Business News Network, Bloomberg News, The Globe and Mail, The Telegram in St. John's Newfoundland, and the Toronto Star. Ebden is on the board of JHR, and is also the chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism's Industry Advisory Board. She holds a degree in Journalism from Ryerson University, and trained as a photojournalist at Loyalist College.
Richard Linley is the President of the Wine Council of Ontario, which represents over 100 Ontario VQA wineries from across the three designated viticultural areas of the province (Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore – including Pelee Island) as well as emerging wine producing regions such as Ontario's South Coast and Georgian Bay/Grey County. Richard resides in Toronto with his wife and two children and volunteers on the Board of Directors of Unison Health and Community Services. "I'm very honoured to be supporting this year's Gala and the important work of JHR. In an increasingly complicated world, the ability to access the media, but also communicate and report has never been more critical."
Lisa LaFlamme Lisa LaFlamme is the Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News - the most watched news programme in Canada. She is also the winner of multiple RTDNA and Canadian Screen Awards, and a powerful advocate for providing voices to those who need their stories told. "To me, the work that JHR does, particularly at this time of global tumult is critically important. Spreading press freedom, education and holding the powerful to account is the biggest step in building democracy," she said. "I have had the privilege of working with these brave journalists and have seen first hand their dedication to helping others shine a light into the darkest corners of corruption and help make positive change."
As head of news and local broadcasting for Corus Entertainment, Troy Reeb oversees 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, the BC-1 all news specialty channel, and Globalnews.ca. A former political reporter and Washington Bureau Chief for Global, Reeb was promoted to the network's top news job in 2008 and later assumed oversight of all television stations, before adding the Corus Radio portfolio to his responsibilities in 2016. Troy is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal and numerous industry awards, and has served on the board of Journalists for Human Rights since 2013. "The message of JHR resonates," says Reeb. "People have seen the power of information, truth and understanding, and that is the promise of JHR."
Born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, Bobby Walman is a fundraising, sales and marketing executive with a deep understanding of Canadian politics, having staffed elected officials including former Ministers and Premiers Peterson, McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne. Bobby resides in Toronto and currently serves on the board of Journalists for Human Rights. "JHR is a beacon that shines around the world, especially in places that need the proven support and training that only JHR provides," says Walman. "I am equally proud of JHR's leadership role assisting Indigenous Canadian reporters."
- Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement -
SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)
For further information: Media Inquiries: Janine deVries, Program Development and Community Engagement Coordinator, Journalists for Human Rights, Tel: 416-413-0240 x 210, E-mail: [email protected]