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Join us for the 2021 WAMS Gala Toronto!

Date: Friday, November 5th, 2021
VIP Reception: 11:15 AM-12:00 PM EST
Lunch & Formal Program: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM EST
Venue: Virtual
To view the digital program for this event, click here.
Join us for an afternoon to raise funds and awareness for MS research, while enjoying gourmet food, and impactful speakers.  There will be meaningful networking opportunities with local business leaders, a silent auction, and more!  
Your attendance at the WAMS Gala Toronto drives us towards a world free of MS.  
To preview and bid on some amazing Silent Auction items, click here.   
Emcee: Liz West

On behalf of the MS Society and the WAMS Cabinet, we would like to welcome and thank our emcee, Liz West! Liz West has enjoyed an extensive career as a television reporter, anchor and host for 5 major networks, and has delivered hundreds of interviews across the spectrum including celebrities, newsmakers, royalty and hometown heroes. She is an event emcee/host and coach to professional and future stars who strive to be outstanding, whether they are speaking on stage, in the boardroom, or online. Liz also created and instructs the Virtual Communicator Program at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is also co-author of Scratch Your Butts Seven Words That Get in The Way, a guide to becoming a better communicator.

Keynote: Risha Grant
Diversity Done Differently

Motivated by her passion to correct societal “isms” like racism, sexism, classism and plain old stupidism, it’s Risha Grant’s personal mission to expose the value of diversity and inclusion, while shining a light on the economic impact it creates. From her race, gender, and lifestyle choices, to growing a small business and tackling economic issues, every area of her life intersects diversity. It’s this range of experiences that has earned her an internationally renowned reputation as a diversity, inclusion, and bias expert.

Founder and CEO of Risha Grant LLC, an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm, she is also an edgy, educational, and motivational speaker and author. She covers the important topics of diversity, inclusion, and bias as NBC KJRH’s community correspondent and host of the Risha Talks series. Through her Tulsa World column, Risha Talks, and as a contributor to Black Enterprise Magazine, she has motivated and educated numerous corporations, associations, and universities. Through her interactive keynotes and deep-dive training sessions, Grant teaches and empowers attendees with diversity and inclusion tools to increase their bottom line and get rid of their BS.

In her book, That's BS! How Bias Synapse Disrupts Inclusive Cultures and the Power to Attract Diverse Markets and her corresponding “BS” video series, Grant has led audiences to new places of respect and understanding. These audiences have included Discover Card Financial Services, Samsung Electronics America, Wells Fargo, Boy Scouts of America, the US Airforce, NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, and University of Oklahoma.

Grant has been featured in Forbes, The Financial Times, Bloomberg Media, Engage Magazine, among many other print, television, and radio media outlets. She’s also been awarded numerous honors such as being named a 2019 Top 100 HR Influencer by Engagedly, a 2018 Inclusive Leadership Award Winner, and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.

Honouree: Narinder Dhami

Narinder, a Canada Top 40 Under 40 2019 honouree, has worked across sectors and silos, bringing depth, perspective, and rigour to her work in North America and the Global South. She is the President of the Sonor Foundation, Executive Lead of New Power Labs, Managing Partner at Marigold Capital and an Advisor to Justice Fund. Narinder has been recognized as a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader. Across the last decade, she designed and scaled two social ventures: as the Managing Director she built LEAP | Pecaut Centre for Social Impact, an innovator in venture philanthropy, and as the founding Executive Director of Rise Asset Development she built a microfund for individuals with a history of mental health and addiction challenges. Her work spans to the Global South where she helped grow the Première Agence de Microfinance across Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and worked on the portfolio team with Acumen in Ghana and Nigeria. She is a lecturer at Ryerson University and Narinder co-created the first course in microfinance and impact investing at the University of Toronto. Narinder also currently serves on the board of Community Foundations of Canada, Acumen Canada, Venture for Canada, The Circle and CAFIID.

Impact Speaker: Karen Jacoby

Born and raised in Toronto, Karen was living a healthy, active lifestyle prior to her multiple sclerosis (RRMS) diagnosis. Her decade long, “award winning” management career in the luxury retail sector came to a halt. Now at 34 and living with multiple sclerosis, Karen has embraced the opportunity to partner with the MS Society of Canada and is taking full advantage of the many programs and resources they offer to help her live her best life.  As an MS ambassador since 2019, she has raised over $50,000 for the annual MS Walk held in May. In addition, she has volunteered her impactful social media skills and participated as an engaging spokesperson in multiple MS-focused campaigns.  Determined to be inclusive and advocate for others, Karen’s kind demeanor, philanthropic philosophy, and hopeful spirit has been inspiring to her army of “MS Buddies” around the world.
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Can’t make the event? Want to help? If you would like to make a donation to the MS Society as part of the WAMS event, click here. Tickets can also be purchased to donate back to the organization to allow for those living with and affected by MS to attend. Contact to connect with a staff member to make arrangements.
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