Freedom From Religion: Is the government going too far in the secularization of society?

Featured Speakers' Bios

Karen Busby,  Professor, Faculty of Law and Academic Director of the University of Manitoba Centre for Human Rights Research

Karen Busby is the Academic Director of the University of Manitoba Centre for Human Rights Research.  She is leading projects designed to connect the University of Manitoba with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She and her team have amassed a group of more than 30 university and community-based researchers to work on projects related to water as a human right. Her research focuses on the discriminatory impacts of law regulating sexuality, sexual violence, obscenity, prostitution, sexual orientation and human reproduction. She was inducted into the Canadian Q Hall of Fame in 2011.


Steven Lecce, Associate Professor and Departmental Head, Political Studies, Faculty of Arts and Associate Director, Law and Politics, Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics

Steven Lecce teaches political theory in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, where he is Department Head.   His research is primarily concerned with contemporary theories of social and distributive justice, and the ethical bases of the liberal-democratic state.  He is the author of Against Perfectionism: Defending Liberal Neutrality (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008), and numerous articles about political philosophy. Earlier this year, he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University’s Centre for the Study of Social Justice.  He is one of the co-organizers of the Fragile Freedoms lecture series currently ongoing at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.


David Matas, (Alumnus) – Human Rights Lawyer

David Matas earned his Bachelor of Arts at the U of M before going on to Princeton University to earn a Master of Arts. He then attended the University of Oxford where he earned a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) and Bachelor of Civil Law. Matas is a Winnipeg lawyer and human rights advocate who focuses his private practice in refugee, immigration and human rights law for more than three decades. He serves as senior counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, and is a founder of Beyond Borders. He has received many awards and honours including the Order of Canada in 2009 and the 2009 Human Rights Award from the International Society for Human Rights. He was nominated with former MP David Kilgour for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for their investigations into organ harvesting of Falun Gong followers in China.