I loved this powerful conversation I recently had with Mubin Shaikh, where he fully opens up about once wanting to join the Jihadi Movement and what lead him to pivot toward a completely different direction. During our conversation I was awoken to the ways in which a person can be swayed by the ideas of a group especially when that person is experiencing their own inner struggles. Today, Mubin works with law enforcement agencies all around the world to help uncover terrorist plots and is most well known for his efforts in the famous “Toronto 18” case which lead to the conviction of eleven aspiring violent extremists. Get ready to take a ride during this exciting conversation.
Six albums deep and Juno Award winner Kellylee Evans is still shaking it up on Come On, her latest Decca album.
The stylistic connoisseur has tackled everything from jazz to R&B and pop in such previous tasty classics fight or flight?, Nina – her Juno-winning tribute to the legendary Nina Simone – and I Remember When.
Praised by the Latin Jazz Network for a "gorgeous voice (that) rises to the heavens in rapturous wonder as if in consanguinity with a chorus of angels" and by the Yukon Arts Centre for "a stunning crystalline voice, both powerful and emotive," Evans now pushes her muse firmly into the soulful pop territory with Come On: a wonderfully refreshing album about love and life that comes on the heels of two nearly career-ending accidents: a freak lightning strike in her Ottawa kitchen and further effects of a concussion suffered during a fall at her home.
However, Evans is nothing if not resilient: the runner-up of the 2004 Thelonious Monk Competition offers views on love and loss in an alluringly rhythmic approach that has touches of psychedelic pop, resonating soul groove and that je ne sais quoi that is strictly Kellylee and forged by her jazz discipline.
From the stirring soul-stomper "Come On" - which combines an effervescent Motown feel with traces of psychedelia – and the funky groove-a-liciousness of "Hands Up" to the string-and-horn-spiced magnetism of "Know His Worth," the 10 songs of Come On find Kellylee at her most magically potent.
Produced and co-written by Eric Legnini (Stefano Di Battista), this is post-romantic soul at its finest; a project of strong vision and great execution that signals the return of Kellylee Evans as a bold explorer and interpreter.
It only gets better when you experience her live, in her element.
Many people talk about following their heart, but not everyone does it. Ember Swift is one of those rare people who understands at her core that she has a legacy to create and she’ll be damned if anything is going to get in the way of that. A single mother of two beautiful children, Ember lives in Beijing where she makes a living as an artist and what it’s taken to get there is jaw dropping. Ironically, she will be the first one to tell you that it wasn’t as crazy as it seems. Take a moment and treat yourself to a conversation where Ember offers insights on what it takes to follow your passion, while navigating through the risk, sacrifice and responsibility that comes with it.
Sultan Akif is an award-winning CEO of two social entrepreneurships, published author, tech professional and speaker who has traveled to and inspired people in over 75 countries of the world. He was recently recognized in the Top 10 Global Changemakers list by The Introducer Magazine. He left a success 17-year career in the technology industry to connect with his purpose and inspire thousands with his story. Prior to his success, Sultan was once a boy who could not afford any books. He is now on a mission to build 100 libraries around the world with his own hands and has completed 23 so far in 7 countries.
Prior to becoming a social entrepreneur and professional speaker, Sultan was a corporate executive for 17 years and performed various senior roles around the world for companies like Microsoft and IBM. In his tech career, he delivered and contributed to over 1.2 billion USD of consulting revenue for some of the largest organizations on the planet. During his travels around the world, he discovered his real purpose which was to empower the next generation leaders, help people overcome personal barriers and set change makers in motion. He has now committed his life to empowerment of people as the CEO of Library in a Week organization and the founder of Experience Your Life Expo, which is one of the largest youth empowerment and employment events in Canada.
Sultan has taken the stage as a professional speaker for only one reason – to drive real change in the hearts and minds of people. He uses his voice and his own personal story to communicate to the world that we are the change the world needs, and we have the power to make a difference. If a very ordinary boy who could not afford any books can build libraries around the world, then anyone can do anything!”
Sarah is an American activist, speaker and Executive Director of Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA). Born in Pakistan and raised in Texas, Sarah spent her early youth as a practicing Muslim, leaving religion in her late teens.
Today, Sarah advocates for the acceptance of religious dissent and works to create local support communities for those who have left Islam. In addition to freethought, Sarah is particularly passionate about civil liberties and women’s rights.
Sarah has been profiled and featured in numerous magazines, news outlets, and shows including The Economist, Slate, BBC, Global Journalist, Quillette, National Review, the Daily Beast, and NPR.
I love meeting people who never identified as just one thing. Mark Sakamoto is definitely one of those people. He started out as a lawyer and soon after began working in the music industry. From there he went on to become a political advisor. In between he decided to write a book that ended up winning the annual Canada Reads competition. Today, he is an award winning entrepreneur investing in digital health, digital media and real estate. I recently had the chance to have Mark on my podcast and if you take a listen you will see that it’s a conversation with many exciting twists and turns that will have you laughing and learning along the way!
In addition to wrangling some of Canada's most talented comedians as host of LAUGH OUT LOUD, Ali Hassan is also a stand-up comic and actor.
Previously the lead comedy panellist on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Hassan has recurring characters on Odd Squad (PBS Kids), Man Seeking Woman (FX) and Game On (YTV).
Hassan has also acted in the films Breakaway, French Immersion (Canadian Comedy Award nominated) and GOON (a TIFF Top Ten movie, Canadian Screen Award nominated). He brings nine years of experience performing stand-up comedy all over Canada, at clubs in the U.S. and in the Middle East. In 2012, Hassan performed at both the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and JFL42 in Toronto, and he has performed twice at the Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival in Jordan.
Holistic Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show, now shown in over 78 countries. Her award-winning bestseller, Meals That Heal Inflammation, has helped over 100,000 people enjoy allergy-free foods that taste great. Julie's latest book, Hot Detox, was the number #1 Canadian health book in 2017 with 11 weeks on the bestseller list.
She has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including The Dr. Oz Show, and is a resident nutrition expert for The Marilyn Denis Show.
In her 20 years as a designer and 14 years as an entrepreneur, Laura has learned that aligning purpose with brand design is the key to success in business. She prides herself in finding fun and creative solutions to help aspiring and established entrepreneurs become happy, confident and prosperous business owners.
Laura says her business is built on the solid relationships she has created and fostered with clients and suppliers. At the end of the day, she is a people person. She loves to create chemistry with the people in her life and the most important element in fostering those relationships is communication. She listens attentively, coaches directly, and understands profoundly.
Laura is also an award-winning public speaker, offering inspirational and passion-filled presentations on branding and design to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Toronto is Laura's home, but the world is her inspiration.
Jamil Jivani tackles some of the biggest challenges in the world as a lawyer, community organizer, and teacher. With research and teaching appointments at Yale Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School, Jamil focuses on issues that impact youth, immigrants, and low-income families. He is also the founder of the Citizen Empowerment Project, a public education organization leading initiatives related to policing, racial profiling, democratic participation, voter turnout and economic development.
Jamil’s change leadership is informed by his personal journey of empowerment from being a failing high school student and working as a dishwasher, to attending the most exclusive law school in the world. Coming from a single parent household, as a youth he nearly fell into many of the traps that send young men on a detour away from success. It is this experience that propelled him into activism, focusing on issues such as bridging the gap between police and communities, overcoming the radicalization of youth, and encouraging young people to achieve success. His TEDx Toronto talk, How Racial Profiling Hurts Everyone, Including the Police, has been viewed over 110,000 times.
Jamil is the director of law and policy at Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit organization founded to develop solutions to the issues raised in J.D. Vance’s bestselling memoir, Hillbilly Elegy. He has also served as Vice Chair of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, and has volunteered with youth organizations in Kenya, Egypt, and Belgium.
Jamil’s work in disadvantaged neighborhoods in North America and Europe has led him to appear on BBC, CBC, CTV and TVO. His writing has been published by The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and Huffington Post.
Jamil graduated from Yale Law School in 2013, and formerly served as President of the Yale Black Law Students Association. While at Yale, Jamil worked for Senator Cory Booker in New Jersey, as a Connecticut high school teacher, and as a Manhattan corporate lawyer. Since graduating, he has practiced corporate law in Toronto at Torys LLP, and was named the 2015 Young Lawyer of the Year by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. He was also a 2016 recipient of th eThompson Reuters’ Lexpert Zenith Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
Jamil’s first book, Why Young Men, was published in April, 2018.