Michele Landsberg and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis

We are thrilled to host mother-daughter dynamos Michele Landsberg and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis as our 2016 Equality Breakfast keynote speakers!

Michele Landsberg - DON DIXON

Photo by Don Dixon/Courtesy of Michele Landsberg

Michele Landsberg is a trailblazing and iconic Canadian journalist, author, speaker and social activist, who has published more than 3,000 columns and features since 1962. She is an outspoken advocate for women and children, human rights and social justice. A multiple award-winning journalist, she is also the author of four bestselling books, Writing the Revolution, Women and Children First, This is New York, Honey!, and Michele Landsberg’s Guide to Children’s Books.

Michele began her career with the Globe and Mail in the 1960s and went on to join Chatelaine in the 1970s, before joining the Toronto Star, where she wrote a column for 25 years. Michele is one of the first journalists in Canada to provide a feminist interpretation of the news, chronicling the lives of women, their struggles and achievements, while addressing sexual harassment in the workplace, racial discrimination in education and employment opportunities, and a lack of gender equality in divorce and custodial legal proceedings.

In 2005, the Canadian Women’s Foundation established the Michele Landsberg Award to recognize outstanding young women and their accomplishments in media and activism. In 2006, Michele was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. A mother of three and a grandmother, she has been married since 1963 to Stephen Lewis, a former UN Secretary General Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa and co-founder of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. A feminist hero and an unflinching activist, Michele is an inspiration to the women who read her columns, and to a new generation fighting to see that the revolution continues.




Photo by Davida Nemeroff for Chatelaine/Courtesy of Ilana Landsberg-Lewis

Ilana Landsberg-Lewis is a tireless labour and human rights lawyer who is devoted to global grassroots social justice as the Executive Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. In 2003, she joined with her father, Stephen Lewis, to establish a foundation that would work directly with grassroots organizations in sub-Saharan Africa in their struggle to turn the tide of the AIDS pandemic. The Stephen Lewis Foundation has funded more than 1,100 initiatives, partnering with more than 300 community-based organizations in 15 African countries.

As a labour and human rights lawyer, Ilana spent eight years at the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), working to strengthen the UN’s implementation of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Ilana assisted grassroots women’s groups around the world to use human rights conventions in their battles against gender violence. She also co-created a program to bring grassroots activists into the CEDAW Committee to speak directly about their experiences, a practice so powerful that it is now integrated into CEDAW’s official proceedings. Ilana was instrumental in launching the United Nation’s Trust Fund on Violence against Women.

In 2009, Ilana received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for International Development, and was named one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada in 2012.


Emcee: Erica Johnson

TORONTO, ONTARIO; SEPTEMBER 30, 2015 ñ Charlsie Agro; David Common and Erica Johnson of CBC's Marketplace photographed in Toronto, Ontario Wednesday September 30/2015. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen )

Photo courtesy of CBC

Erica Johnson is a reporter for Go Public, an award-winning investigative news segment featuring stories that hold those in power accountable. Formerly, she was a reporter with and host of Marketplace.

Erica began her journalism career in 1987 and joined the CBC in 1990 as a radio news reporter in Toronto, becoming a national radio reporter and hosting various CBC radio programs, including Radio Noon and Ontario Morning.

This award-winning CBC journalist is a four-time Gemini nominee for best host of a news/information series, and recently won a Leo Award for best host of an information series. Among other television and radio awards, Johnson has won a Freddie, a New York Festival Award, a Golden Sheaf Award, a Gabriel Award, and several RTNDA and Jack Webster Awards.


Back to Equality Breakfast event page.