March 21, 2019

6 Degrees Calgary brings bright minds and bold methods together for global conversation on inclusion

UCalgary sponsors event for second year, featuring thought leaders, artists, activists, politicians and more
John Ralston Saul, left, and the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson welcome participants to 6 Degrees Calgary, a conference discussing the power the arts have to build inclusive societies. Photo by Neil Zeller, Institute for Canadian Citizenship
John Ralston Saul, left, and the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson welcome participants to 6 Degree

On March 14, the University of Calgary proudly returned as a presenting sponsor for the second edition of 6 Degrees Calgary, a full day of interactive conversation and action on building inclusive societies.

Led by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), an organization co-founded and co-chaired by the Right Honorable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, above, 6 Degrees is a global conversation that brings the brightest minds and boldest methods together in a unique forum to foster inclusion and advance citizenship. 

“Diversity is a reality and inclusion is a choice,” says Yasir Naqvi, CEO of the ICC. “6 Degrees is one of the many programs we have at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship dedicated to inspiring Canadians to be more inclusive, to create opportunities to connect and to create safe spaces for open dialogue.”

Founded in 2016, the event showcases the important role that arts and culture play in creating inclusive environments nationwide. In addition to showcasing the strength of pluralistic views and diverse perspectives, 6 Degrees also provides attendees with actionable steps to counter rising nativism and exclusion, in our city and around the world.  

“The University of Calgary is a proud supporter of events such as 6 Degrees Calgary that spark important global discussions on inclusion,” says UCalgary's Dr. Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic). “Diversity, equity and inclusion are a fundamental part of who we are at UCalgary. These values are integral to the well-being of our campus and allow dialogue and debate which leads to better decision-making.”

This year’s event welcomed Calgarians to various engaging presentations from a range of speakers including Shad, rapper and host of Hip Hop Evolution; Sage Paul, artist, designer, and innovative leader for Indigenous fashion, craft, and textiles; Mii-Sum-In-Iskum (Justin Many Fingers), artistic director of the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society; Adrienne Clarkson, 26th governor general of Canada; John Ralston Saul, award-winning essayist and novelist; Stephen Borys, director and CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; and Rachel Giese, journalist and author.

“Every year, this remarkable event takes a deep, bold and incredibly relevant dive into what the world needs now — and how we can listen and engage with increasing openness to foster diversity in our communities,” says Nuvyn Peters, vice-president (development and alumni engagement), who participated in the planning of the event. “The facilitation of such purposeful and respectful dialogue and debate speaks to the heart of this university, and how we strive to ignite positive, lasting change in Calgary and beyond.”