McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy to Host Conference on Racial Profiling in Policing

Published: 2 March 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University is pleased to announce its upcoming half-day conference Racial Profiling in Policing to be held March 25, 2021. This online event brings together speakers with lived experience and expertise to explore the human impacts, data, and research of racial profiling. Activists, lawyers, politicians, human rights experts, criminologists, police, and victims of profiling will discuss policy ideas that foster community trust and safety, with a focus on Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour.

Recent, unprecedented protests have brought police accountability for excessive force and brutality to the fore. The wrongful arrest of Mamadi Camara, the alleged assault of Montreal lawyer Kwadwo Yeboah, and the violent arrest of Chief Allan Adam in Alberta in June 2020 by RCMP, are among recent incidents that have highlighted an urgent need for change.

“We have all seen troubling and deeply disturbing incidents of racial profiling in North America, in Canada, and in Quebec in recent months,” said conference chairperson Pearl Eliadis, a human rights lawyer and Max Bell School professor. “Informed analysis and effective solutions are needed now to address the many dimensions of this pressing public policy issue.”

No national law in Canadian policing prohibits random stops and similar practices at the core of racial profiling everywhere. In 2020, a human rights tribunal issued a landmark order against Montreal police to collect and publish race-based data on police checks and to conduct training on racial profiling. Police and governments in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax say they are taking steps to change their practices.

Event steering committee member and former RCMP officer Alain Babineau says: “Only if police services and communities work together as equal partners can we hope to achieve meaning and sustainable change.”

Speakers at this event include Fady Dagher, Joel DeBellefeuille, Hon. Marlene Jennings, El Jones, Anne-Marie Livingstone, Nakuset, Majiza Philip, Will Prosper, Kanika Samuels-Wortley, Philippe Andre Tessier, Scot Wortley and Fo Niemi. Read more about these speakers here.

Event details

When: March 25, 2021, from 1:00pm - 5:00pm EST


Questions & Inquiries

Media is invited to attend, observe the proceedings, and partake in the discussions. The conference proceedings may prove useful for background and source material.

If you have any questions please contact Katrine Claassens, Communications Manager, Max Bell School of Public Policy, katrine.claassens [at]

If you would like to submit a question to our panelists in advance, please send your question to the following email address: [at]

About the Max Bell School of Public Policy

McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy is committed to the research, teaching, public outreach, and practical advocacy of sound public policy, with each of these four dimensions grounded in a solid understanding of the overall policy process, not merely as it is described in theory but as it exists in the real world, with all its imperfections and limitations. The principle-based design of policy solutions to important problems, the interaction of policy development with partisan politics, and knowledge of the workings of the machinery of government all play central roles in the activities of the Max Bell School.

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,800 international students making up 31% of the student body.


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