Discussion on anti-Black racism and discrimination in the workplace

Mar 6, 2023
Via Zoom
BHM 2023


For those who missed it, we invite you to view the discussion here. [VIDEO]

Speaker Biographies

Peter Engelmann

Peter Engelmann has practised labour, employment and human rights law for over 35 years. He is a senior partner at Goldblatt Partners in its Ottawa office. Peter has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and regularly advocates before arbitrators, human rights tribunals, and other administrative bodies. He has been selected by his peers to be named in the Canadian Legal Expert Directory as a leading practitioner in labour law and workplace human rights law. Most recently, he has been honoured by the Ontario Bar Association with its Constitutional, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights Law Award of Excellence. Using his expertise, Peter co-authors Trade Union Law in Canada, the leading text on the law governing the internal workings and obligations of trade unions.

Peter will present the legal framework and latest jurisprudence on anti-Black racism and discrimination in the workplace and touch upon the Black Class Action lawsuit.


Seyi Okuribido-Malcolm

Seyi (Shay) Okuribido-Malcolm is Director of the Anti-Racism Secretariat at the Department of National Defence. She has been with the Defence Team for five years, serving as Deputy Director within the Gender Equality, and Intersectional Analysis team before joining the Anti-Racism Secretariat. Seyi has been with the federal public service for 23 years and started her career as a coop student at the Public Service Commission working in the Employment Equity Positive Measures Program. Seyi holds a double major in Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology and a Master of Public Administration from Carleton University. Seyi has been a steady presence in the Ottawa community serving as a board member on the National Capital Alliance on Race Relations, currently on the Immigrant Women Services Ottawa board and a co-founder of Parents for Diversity, a collective of parents committed to achieving inclusive learning environments that allow children to fulfill their true potential in this world. Seyi is committed to optimizing the power of inclusion by advancing a state of equity where she can.

Seyi will speak to key nuances of anti-Black racism and discrimination, lived experiences and challenges faced in the federal public sector, and give an academic angle on what has already been discussed, as well as the individual versus systemic and which departments can assist members.

Behroose Yadollahi

Behroose is a Labour Relations Officer at the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE). He joined CAPE after 18 meaningful years with the Federal public service, occupying a variety of roles in different departments and agencies. He started his government career as a student and successfully earned himself a manager position in Corporate Labour Relations. Prior to joining CAPE, Behroose was leading a team of Senior Labour Relations Advisors, addressed almost 1000 pay grievances with union representatives, resolved multiple job content grievances with Classification experts, collectively bargained at the PA table with Treasury Board, and onboarded almost 20 Labour Relations Advisors into the field. His drive for continuously improving working conditions and environments, by leveraging both formal and informal approaches, has made him an asset to CAPE. His wide range of knowledge and experience in human rights, combined with his ability to target problems rather than people, provides our members with the confidence needed to raise their racial matters and achieve change. Behroose holds a Baccalaureate in Science from the University of Ottawa and has equally completed the school’s program in Human Resources, Business Administration, and Lean. Born to first-generation immigrant parents in Ottawa, Behroose lives in the National Capital Region with his family.

Behroose will elaborate on certain prohibited grounds of the Canadian Human Right Act, key elements of a prima facie case of discrimination, practical tips on crafting allegations and impacts of racism, options available to resolve racism, and stakeholders involved in addressing racism.