2016 BCSSTA Conference
Media and Truth in the 21st Century
October 21, 2016
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Friday October 21, 2016

Vancouver Technical Secondary

Our Conference Theme this year is: Media and Truth in the 21st Century

The BCSSTA is proud to announce our Keynote  speakers as Mohamed Fahmy and Althia Raj

Journalist Mohamed Fahmy spent 438 days in an Egyptian prison—jailed for reporting the news for Al Jazeera—and was released in 2015 following massive international outcry. Imprisoned alongside members of ISIS and other groups, Fahmy witnessed firsthand how extremism spreads. He talks about the Middle East, free speech, and the ongoing struggle for universal human rights.

Mohamed Fahmy is an Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist, speaking on topics such as freedom of expression, human rights, corporate media responsibility, journalism in conflict zones, and extremism. Fahmy spent years reporting from the Middle East for CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Foreign Policy, and covered the Iraq War for the LA Times (which formed the basis of his first book, Baghdad Bound). He served as a delegate for the Red Cross to protect the rights of political prisoners, the missing, and refugees in Beirut. He received a Peabody Award for his coverage of the Arab Spring, and co-authored the Egyptian Freedom Story: a photo documentary of the January Revolution of 2011. He also received the Tom Renner Investigative Reporting Award for the documentary Death in the Desert, which exposes the trafficking of Sub-Saharan Africans to Israel.

In 2013, he accepted the title of Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief in Cairo. There, he was arrested by Egyptian authorities, who falsely accused him of conspiring with a terrorist group and fabricating news to serve the group’s agenda. He was imprisoned in the Tora maximum security prison where he spent a month in solitary confinement and over 400 days living with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and ISIS. After unprecedented outcry from international press freedom organizations and the diplomatic community—and with his attorney, Amal Clooney—he was finally pardoned of all charges and released in September of 2015.

While still in prison, Fahmy founded the Fahmy Foundation for Free Press: an NGO and non-profit dedicated to supporting journalists imprisoned worldwide. Upon his release, he appeared at the World Forum of Democracy in Strasbourg days after the Paris attacks and met with the Secretary General of the European Council. He received the Canadian Commission World Press Freedom Award, this year’s Freedom to Read award from the Writers’ Union of Canada, and a certificate from UNESCO during his incarceration. Today he teaches at UBC in the Centre for Applied Ethics. He lives with a spirit of acceptance after sustaining a permanent shoulder disability from an injury that was exacerbated in prison due to medical negligence. He is collaborating with Amnesty International on a charter to protect Canadian citizens imprisoned abroad, and is completing a memoir on his experiences. Tentatively titled The Marriott Cell, the book is set for a fall 2016 publication, and will be developed into a feature film by The Development Partnership.

 Althia Raj

Raj, Althia, photo Jean-Marc Carisse 2014 0827_9975 B

Althia Raj is The Huffington Post Canada’s Ottawa bureau chief. Prior to joining HuffPost in 2011, Althia worked as a national political reporter for Postmedia News. She has covered Parliament Hill on and off since 2006, writing for Sun Media and producing for CTV and for CBC Radio’s “The House.” Althia is a frequent contributor on CBC’s The National’s At Issue panel. She can also be seen and heard on CBC’s Power and Politics, CTV’s Question Period and various CPAC programs.
Althia will be talking about how the federal Liberals won the last election — the role the media played in the campaign, how things have changed and how the Liberals have best adapted to those changes.  She will also touch upon what’s happened since Nov. 4, 2015, with the new government and both opposition parties who are now engaged in leadership races which will probably be in higher gear by the time we meet in Vancouver.
She can be found on Twitter @althiaraj and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlthiaRaj

Here’s the Schedule for the Day – check out the Panel Discussion with Mohamed and Althia!

8:00 – 8:45am Registration & Package Pick up Exhibitor Hall and Registration Desks
8:45 – 9:00am Opening Statements & Introduction of Executive Main Auditorium
9:00 –   10:00am Mohamed Fahmy Keynote Main Auditorium
10:00 – 10:30am Movement to Workshops OR Althia Keynote and Panel Discussion Exhibitor Hall and Classrooms
10:30 – 11:15 Althea Raj Keynote Main Auditorium
11:15-12:00 Fahmy & Raj Panel Discussion/Q&A Main Auditorium

OR (participant’s choice!)
10:15 – 12:00 Morning Workshop Sessions Classrooms
12:00 -1:15pm Lunch & AGM Cafeteria, Staff Cafeteria (AGM) and Exhibitor Hall
1:15 –   2:45pm Afternoon Workshop Sessions Classrooms

2:50 – 3:00pm Closing and Prize Draw Main Auditorium
Apres Social


We offer a compelling keynote address which leads you into further workshops spread over two session-periods. The majority of workshops offered will tie into the the conference theme. We expect a wide variety of specific workshops to be available. Between the morning and afternoon workshop sections there will be a hot buffet style lunch served (part of your fee) and there will be a host of vendors and organizations with tables in the cafeteria and around the school offering information, free samples and draw prizes. We also hold the Annual General Meeting of the association in the staff cafeteria next to the main cafeteria. We strongly encourage you to drop in and take part in the AGM.


Please register well in advance. We need to know our expected attendance numbers a week before the conference for catering lunch and for our workshop presenters and so on. Please do not be upset if you register late and end up without a gift bag or even a lunch etc... When you register on line we will need you to pay by credit card and provide a working email address. Receipts will be emailed to you.

Our conference is proudly sponsored by Canada's History http://www.canadashistory.ca/