Equality Breakfast 2022

Equality Breakfast 2022

Presenting Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

International Women’s Day
March 8, 2022

Please note this event has passed
For current events see: Attend an event

The program cover for the 2022 Equality Breakfast. Flowers and fruit are spread out in a circular pattern.

We loved sharing a unique virtual Breakfast for Dinner celebration with our community on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2022. It was the Equality Breakfast you know and love, now for the second year in the evening and on Zoom!

We were heartened by how many of you joined us for a joyous, thought-provoking, and inspiring evening, alongside keynote Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and emcee Michelle Eliot.

Check out our event program to learn more about our inspiring speakers and partners this year.

For event logistics, accessibility, and questions about your tax receipt, visit our FAQ section.

Presented by:

Diamond Partner

Hospital Employees Union

Keynote speaker: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (she/they) is a nonbinary femme disabled and autistic writer and disability and transformative justice cultural and movement worker of Burgher and Tamil Sri Lankan, Irish and Galician Romani ascent.

They are the author or co-editor of nine books, including Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement (with Ejeris Dixon), Tonguebreaker, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, and Bodymap. A Lambda Award winner who has been shortlisted for the Publishing Triangle five times, they are the 2020 Jean Cordova Award winner “honoring a lifetime of work documenting the complexities of queer experience,” and are a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow.

Raised in rustbelt central Massachusetts and shaped by T’karonto and Oakland, they currently make their home in South Seattle, Duwamish territories.

Their next book, The Future is Disabled, is forthcoming in fall 2022.

Emcee: Michelle Eliot

Michelle Eliot is an award-winning journalist and the host of CBC British Columbia’s weekday call-in show, BC Today, where she engages in conversation with listeners on the day’s top stories and on issues important to British Columbians.

Eliot has hosted numerous CBC news specials, including election and provincial budget coverage on both local and network programs. She has also tapped into her Filipino heritage as part of CBC’s Mabuhay B.C., an ongoing initiative to share stories from the province’s Filipino community.

Eliot has been recognized by the The Radio Television Digital News Association and the Jack Webster Foundation for stories that delved into the opioid crisis in B.C., the immigrant experience in Canada, and for coverage of the 2017 NDP-Green deal for a minority government in B.C.

Eliot was born in the Philippines and moved to Canada at 12-years-old, settling in North Vancouver. Her experience as a young immigrant inspired a yearning to tell the stories of people whose lives are changed by new circumstances. She received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UBC (University of British Columbia) and then went on to study Broadcast Journalism at BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) before joining CBC Vancouver in 2000.

Active in the community, Eliot has hosted numerous events and forums throughout the Lower Mainland, including panel discussions on proportional representation, basic income, costs of caregiving, and anxiety and motherhood. When not in the host chair, Eliot enjoys hiking and exploring Metro Vancouver’s diverse culinary landscape with her husband and two children. As a parent of a child with special needs, Eliot also participates in events in the disability community. In her spare time, she can often be found digging into a good book or dancing it out at a local hip-hop dance studio.

Gloria Macarenko is the host of CBC Vancouver’s afternoon show On The Coast, where she explores the day’s news and local communities. Gloria is also host of CBC Television’s Our Vancouver, a current affairs program that focuses on the city’s diverse culture, as well as The Story from Here, a national Radio One show that brings Canadians lively and intriguing interviews from across the country.

Previously, Macarenko hosted CBC Radio One’s B.C. Almanac where she connected with British Columbians through conversation. Prior to that, Macarenko hosted the award-winning television newscast CBC News Vancouver.  She has twice been nominated for the Gemini Awards in the category of “Best News Anchor” in Canada.

Gloria Macarenko is an award-winning journalist and senior leader on the news team. In her time with CBC, she has been awarded a Jack Webster Award for “Best News Reporting”, and multiple RTNDA Awards including The Peter Gzowski Award for Best National News Information Program. Gloria has guest-hosted on The National and CBC News Now.

Macarenko’s relationship with British Columbia goes far beyond the newsroom. You can see her volunteering and hosting for organizations such as Arts Umbrella, Dr. Peter Centre for HIV/AIDS, BC Cancer Foundation, the Gordon Smith Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, the Prince Rupert Foundation and the International Women’s Forum. Her charitable work in the community and contributions to Canadian broadcasting were recognized when she became a member of the Order of Canada in 2018. The Order of Canada recognizes outstanding contributions to the nation and is one of the highest civilian honours in the country.

Born and raised in Prince Rupert, her travels take her around B.C. When not in the host chair, or on the road, she can be found enjoying a good book or sampling the spectacular culinary adventures Vancouver is known for.

Volunteer with us next year!

Want to volunteer with us next year at the 2024 Equality Breakfast?

Are you passionate about gender equality and social justice? Would you like to contribute to the success of a large-scale fundraising event?

Email us at breakfast@westcoastleaf.org for more info.

Keynote Address by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Thank you to our sponsors

Presented by

Diamond Presenting Partner

Hospital Employees Union

Hospital Employees’ Union

Media Partner

CBC Vancouver

CBC Vancouver

with Partners


Hospital Employees Union

Hospital Employees Union

Bronze Partners

Dentons Canada LLP

Forte Workplace Law

Harper Grey LLP

JFK Law Corporation

Juristes Power | Power Law

Lawson Lundell LLP

Mandell Pinder LLP

Public Service Alliance of Canada – BC Region

The Arnold & Anita Silber Family Foundation

Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP

Faculty of Law – Thompson Rivers University

Trial Lawyers Association of BC

Peter A. Allard School of Law – UBC

Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

ZSA Legal Recruitment

Print Partner

TPH Charitable

Audiovisual Partner


Merchandise Partner


Partner with us next year!

Demonstrate that you value gender inclusion and diversity in leadership in BC

Our annual Equality Breakfast is only possible because of the generous support of our Partners. Partnership is a highly visible way to demonstrate that you value gender inclusion and diversity in leadership, are committed to social responsibility, support access to justice for all, and want to see a more equal and just BC.

To learn more about the impacts and benefits of partnership, send us an email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Event Details

Cutoff to buy early bird tickets is January 31, 2023.

Cutoff to buy regular tickets is Friday March 3, 2023.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, from 7 am to 9:30 am PT.

Doors will open at 6:30 am PT.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia Street. See map.

The Equality Breakfast menu is, as usual, lacto-ovo vegetarian with a vegan option upon request. For other dietary requests including allergies, please fill out the form linked in your order confirmation email by Friday, March 3, 2023.

The venue has a recently upgraded air filtration system. We will have N95 masks available for guests.

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is wheelchair accessible. We provide American Sign Language interpretation and CART live captioning. Please let us know if you would benefit from ASL interpretation so that we can ensure that you have appropriate seating. For those who use a wheelchair or other assisted mobility device, we would like to reserve you a fully accessible seat.

Please enter any accessibility requests on your order form or email info@westcoastleaf.org. Please note that the deadline for accessibility requests is Friday, March 3.

There will be a photographer present to help us capture the event. If you do not want your photo taken for any reason, please let the photographer know. You may be photographed in a crowd shot. If you have safety concerns regarding photography, we will have a lanyard that you can wear to help us identify which crowd shots we should not publish or use to promote our activities.


Yes. There are sliding scale tickets available for the livestream.


Registration for this event is non-refundable. If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to transfer your ticket to a friend, colleague, or loved one. You are also welcomed to donate it back to us and we will redistribute it to a community member who might otherwise be unable to attend.

To take advantage of this option, please donate the ticket back to us via info@westcoastleaf.org no later than Friday, March 3, 2023.

Yes; you can ensure you are seated together by either becoming a Partner or by purchasing a table. Your organization can become a Partner, which, among other benefits, will give you access to a priority table so you can socialize with your group.

We do have a limited number of tables available for purchase. Otherwise, we suggest you plan to arrive early to choose seats together from the available open seating.

Tax receipts will be issued for a portion of the ticket and/or table purchase prices.


To learn about the impact and benefits of becoming a Partner, request a partnership package, or to discuss your level of support, please send us an email.

Silent auction

The silent auction will be available online and in person this year. You’ll have several days to peruse and bid on coveted items and services.

Can’t attend the event? You can still make your bids and win your most-wanted items. More details to come!

To donate to the silent auction, send an email and someone on our team will get back to you!


By purchasing an individual ticket, you are automatically eligible to become a member. Opt-in on the payment page!

If you did not purchase an individual ticket, you can purchase a membership.