News and Events

FASS Events

  • Alumni Days | Keynote | Edward Snowden: Live from Moscow
    May 30, 2019 7:20 PM

    Our right to privacy is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. With international digital security scandals and government surveillance involving Huawei and Facebook  back in the headlines, now more than ever people are asking, “As global citizens, what are our rights and responsibilities when it comes to privacy?”

    That’s what will drive the conversation on May 30 when former American intelligence officer and fugitive Edward Snowden speaks (via livestream from Moscow, Russia) at Dal during an exclusive event.

    Snowden has become synonymous with the topic, and subsequently one of the most wanted men in America, since his revelations to the media about top-secret U.S. surveillance activities.

    In 2013, the former CIA and National Security Agency (NSA) computer programmer leaked top-secret documents to the media that revealed that the U.S. government had been conducting mass internet and telephone surveillance on its citizens, activities that were outside the limits of the U.S. Constitution

    But whether you find yourself squarely for or against Snowden’s actions – or somewhere in the middle – the conversation on May 30 is not about Snowden. It’s about our right to privacy as global citizens.

    Snowden will serve as the keynote speaker during the Open Dialogue event, which kicks off the inaugural Dalhousie Alumni Days. Open Dialogue aims to bring people together for thought-provoking conversations focused on timely and relevant topics. And one thing is for sure, privacy is a hot, albeit, necessary topic.

    The Snowden Saga

    The global implications of the Snowden scandal ignited a firestorm of debate about right to privacy in the digital age, and the civil rights of whistleblowers, and it made people question the surveillance acts of their own country.

    Snowden uncovered secret court orders directing companies like Facebook and Google to circumvent online encryption protocols and release user information enabling the government to spy on the activities of Americans and U.S. allies such as the EU. Though U.S. officials claimed the actions were justified under the rubric of combatting terrorism.

    As Snowden has stated, “These [surveillance] programs were never about terrorism. They’re about economic spying, social control and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.”

    Leading Expert

    Professor Frank Harvey, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, agrees. “The threat of terrorism is greatly exaggerated relative to the very real threats that have a deep and profound impact on our safety, security and privacy,” says Dr. Harvey who will serve as moderator for the Snowden discussion.

    A political scientist and internationally recognized expert on security policy, and a former Fulbright Chair and NATO Research Fellow, Dr. Harvey is well versed on the topic. “There are legitimate and pressing questions about the scope of government spending to combat exaggerated security threats and the corresponding emergence of a security industrial complex. The more troublesome feature of these trends is the apparent willingness of the public to relinquish their privacy, freedoms and civil liberties in exchange for a powerful surveillance state,” he says. “People are more inclined to be worried about exaggerated and uncontrollable risks and threats that are unfamiliar, such as terrorism, and less inclined to care about threats that they perceive as more controllable despite their enormous risks to public safety.”

    After all, Professor Harvey says people don’t recognize the threat to privacy as having any influence in their day-to-day lives. “The surveillance state has a tremendous impact, but it’s not sufficiently worrisome to generate a serious backlash against that increase in control and state power,” he says.

    “Essentially, people have already become willing participants in allowing their privacy to be chipped away thanks to things like social media, and they have been convinced that further erosion of their privacy is the necessary cost of keeping them safe.”

    But is it? Don’t miss an opportunity to add your voice to the conversation on May 30.


    As a requirement of Snowden speaking at Dal, event proceeds will go to Montreal-based non-profit For the Refugees which is working to bring to Canada the people who helped Snowden in Hong Kong.

    Register for the event HERE.

    Suggested minimum donation is $10.

    Check-in opens at 6 p.m. and doors at 6:45 p.m. Please arrive by 7:15 p.m. as entry will not be permitted once the event begins. A short Q&A discussion with questions posed by student representatives will follow the presentation.

    Thank you to our sponsors Ernst and Young LLP (EY Canada) and Atlantic Security Conference for supporting this event.

  • Alumni Days | Opening Doors
    May 31, 2019 12:00 PM

    Panel to discuss how immigration strengthens the Atlantic Canadian fabric

    Communities are strengthened by diversity. When we introduce new ideas and perspectives, expertise, customs and history, it expands our existing culture. Through immigration, our communities flourish into a more vibrant and dynamic society.

    In 2018, Nova Scotia set a new immigration record, which is good news for a province that continues to seek ways to boost its population and its workforce. But the increase in immigration does not come without challenges.

    Join experienced immigration representatives from Dalhousie’s Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Health and Management, and the university’s Legal Counsel on May 31 at an Open Dialogue event, as they discuss how immigration is impacting our province. They will focus on the challenges, opportunities and everything in between.

    The conversation will discuss the innovative, practical and actionable solutions that can strengthen Atlantic Canada’s immigration system, and how together, we can build more inclusive communities.

    Howard RamosHoward Ramos – Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

    Professor Ramos is a political sociologist who investigates issues of social justice and equity. He has published on social movements, human rights, Indigenous mobilization, environmental advocacy, ethnicity, race and Atlantic Canada. He is currently working on projects looking at Atlantic Canadian secondary cities, state funding of NGOs, environmental advocacy, tourism development, and integration of immigrants and refugees.



    Afolake Awoyiga – Faculty of Health

    Afolake Awoyiga is a Social Worker with experience in Child Welfare and Health Care Social Work with the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Her most recent experience has been working at the IWK Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as a Clinical Social Worker. Afolake is one of the founders of Generation 1 Leadership Initiative, a support and educational group for youth dedicated to providing immigrant children and youth with fun and inspiring experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Afolake has worked as a Faculty Field Advisor in the Dalhousie School of Social Work. In this role, she facilitated field teaching, student learning and the integration of theory and practice. Afolake is a Dal Alumna. BSW (’13) and MSW (’14) .


    Gregory Adolphe-NazaireGregory Adolphe-Nazaire – Faculty of Management

    Professor Adolphe-Nazaire, an immigrant from Port Au Prince, Haiti, is an award-winning teacher and one of Dal’s most well-respected and well-liked faculty members. Recipient of the A. Gordon Archibald Teaching Excellence Award, Adolphe-Nazaire strives to bring real-world experience and community understanding into the classroom.




    Karin McLayKarin McLay

    Karin McLay joined Dalhousie University in 2010 and works as the legal advisor for the university’s international portfolio. As part of her role, she provides immigration advice when the university recruits foreign faculty and staff. Prior to joining Dal, McLay worked for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and in private practice with a focus on employment and administrative law. She is a practising member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and earned her law degree from the University of New Brunswick in 2001.


    Scott BeltonModerator – Scott Belton

    Scott Belton is the senior vice president of TD Canada Trust in the Atlantic Region and sits on the Board of the IWK Foundation, which supports health care for women and children across the Maritimes. He is also one of the lead organizers and speakers at the Atlantic Immigration Summit.

    An eat-in-your-seat lunch will be provided. Please provide any dietary restrictions and allergies when you RSVP.

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