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Generous Futures: Supporting Refugee Resettlement

June 13, 2022
1:00 PM EDT - 2:00 PM EDT
Online via Zoom webinar
Laura Greflund, Alumni Relations Officer,
Generous Futures: Supporting Refugee Resettlement

Canada is often touted as a welcoming new home for scores of people seeking asylum from various forms of oppression and persecution. What are the hard realities of resettlement? How are leaders mobilizing their resources, networks and efforts? What have we learned from recent events? Join us for a panel discussion that will explore how leaders are taking action as global humanitarian crises continue to rise at an alarming pace.


Wendy Cukier

Wendy Cukier, Professor and Founder, Diversity Institute; Co-Founder, Lifeline Afghanistan; Academic Director, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, Toronto Metropolitan University University


The Honourable Ratna Omidvar

The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Senator for Ontario

Sajjad Ebrahim

Sajjad Ebrahim, President, Sajjadiyya Trust and CEO, Lark Investments Inc., Canada

Bayan Khatib, Impact Manager, Refugee Newcomers Investment Portfolio, The Northpine Foundation

Bayan Khatib, Impact Manager, Refugee Newcomers Investment Portfolio, The Northpine Foundation


Dr. Wendy Cukier is the Diversity Institute Founder, Academic Director of the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and Research Lead of the Future Skills Centre. She is the co-author of the bestseller, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic Park and former VP of Research and Innovation. The Diversity Institute has 100 research staff, 100 research associates from around the world, 200 industry partners and focuses on dimensions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, future skills, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Harnessing the power of innovation, it promotes the advancement of underrepresented groups. The Diversity Institute is also a research lead for the $300 million Future Skills Centre and the $8.6 million Women Entrepreneurship Hub. Wendy has been recognized with the Harry Jerome Diversity Award, the Bob Marley Award, the Canada-Pakistan Business Council’s Female Professional of the Year, the Metropolis Research Award, the CATA Alliance, Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN. She has been named a YWCA Woman of Distinction and one of the International Women’s Forum 2020 Women Who Make a Difference, a Woman of Influence and one of the "100 Alumni who shaped the Century" by the University of Toronto. Wendy holds a PhD, an MBA, an MA, and honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia.

Ratna Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. 

In 2016, Ms. Omidvar was appointed to the Senate of Canada as an independent Senator representing Ontario. Senator Omidvar is the Chair of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology and was the Deputy Chair of the Senate’s Special Committee on the Charitable Sector.

Previously at Toronto Metropolitan University, Senator Omidvar was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and founded the Global Diversity Exchange. Senator Omidvar was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011. 


SAJJAD EBRAHIM joined his family business at the age of 16 whilst still in High School. 

He received his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Karachi University, Pakistan and his MBA from Columbia University, New York in 1973 at the age of 21. 

In 1977 he migrated to Canada and bought Par Pak Ltd a company that manufactured plastic food containers that had 20 employees. In 2013 when he sold Par Pak it had 900 employees and over $200 million in revenue with operations in Canada, USA and UK.   

In 1993 Sajjad Ebrahim received the prestigious, “Canada Award of Business Excellence” in the Entrepreneur Category. 

The Canadian Plastic Industry Association gave him the” Leader of the Year” Award in 2008 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. 

He continues to run his family office, but devotes most of his time to social and philanthropic undertakings such as:

  • Help raise over one million Dollars for the construction of the Brampton Civic Hospital in addition to making the single largest individual contribution of $2.5. million to the Peel Memorial Health & Wellness Centre.
  • Through I.D.R.F supports various projects in Canada and overseas and also supports the work of Licensed to Learn (L2L) that provides underprivileged students with tutoring support.
  • Contributed a substantial amount to the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton, Canada
  • Founded, and serves as the President of the Board of Crescent Village a not for profit housing complex 
  • Sponsored 20 Syrian Refugee families through Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Serves on the Board of the Columbia Business School.
  • Received Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from Toronto Metropolitan University 
  • Received Lifetime Achievement Award from IDRF for his Philanthropy. 

Sajjad Ebrahim is also involved with education, housing, welfare and healthcare in third world countries especially as the principal supporter of The Society for the Prevention and Cure of Blindness in Pakistan which currently performs over 60,000 cataract surgeries annually in the impoverished rural areas of Pakistan. The Society has performed over 1.2 million surgeries since its inception. Sajjad Ebrahim received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2019. 

Bayan Khatib is the co-founder of the Syrian Canadian Foundation which aims to empower newcomers and people of diverse backgrounds as well as promote cross-cultural connections within Canadian society. She also served as the Executive Director of the organization for 3 years, building SCF from the ground up into a national organization, introducing first of its kind programming for newcomers in Canada. Bayan is the co-founder of the annual Syria Film Festival in Toronto which aims to give voice to the struggles and hopes of the Syrian people. During the Syrian uprising for freedom beginning in 2011, Bayan led a multinational media campaign, had numerous media appearances, and participated as a speaker on the Syrian crisis at local and international events and conferences. Bayan is the translator of Just Five Minutes: Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria, a memoir of a female political prisoner. She is the author of numerous short works of fiction and opinion articles published in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Today, Bayan is the Impact Manager of the Refugee Newcomers Investment Portfolio at The Northpine Foundation, one of the largest foundations with a dedicated stream of funding for refugees in Canada.

Generous Futures: Driving Change for Good

Through a series of panel discussions we will explore the triumphs and struggles of leaders as they address societal problems.

Promotional Partners: Association of Fundraising Professionals; Canadian Association of Gift Planners; Canada Helps; Imagine Canada
Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) Prix d’Excellence Award

Generous Futures is a proud recipient of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) Prix d’Excellence Award.

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