2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Ali Velshi in Conversation with Ian Hanomansing

As the Chief Correspondent for MSNBC, a weekly economics contributor to NPR, and host of his own news show, “Velshi”, Ali Velshi has covered multiple U.S. Midterm and Presidential elections and significant stories around the globe. In Small Acts of Courage, he fuses the personal and the political, tapping into 125 years of family history to advocate for social justice as a living, breathing experience—a way of life more than an ideology. 

More than a century ago, Velshi’s great-grandfather sent his seven-year-old son to live at Tolstoy Farm, Gandhi’s ashram in South Africa. This difficult decision would change the trajectory of his family history forever. From childhood, Velshi’s grandfather was imbued with an ethos of public service and social justice—ideals that his children carried forward as they escaped apartheid, emigrating to Kenya and ultimately Canada and the United States. 

Small acts of courage matter. Sometimes, they change the world. Velshi’s story will inspire a commitment to fight for change, as he sits down for an eye-opening conversation with Ian Hanomansing, host of CBC’s The National.

Books will be for sale at the event courtesy of Book Warehouse, a division of Black Bond Books.


Participants and Speakers

Ali Velshi

ALI VELSHI is an award-winning journalist, host of “Velshi”, Chief Correspondent for MSNBC, and a weekly economics contributor to NPR’s “Here And Now.” He has covered multiple U.S. Midterm and Presidential elections and significant news stories around the globe, including extensive reporting from Ukraine and across Central and Eastern Europe during the Russian invasion, the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey and Jordan, the Iran Nuclear Deal in Tehran, the Greek debt crisis in Athens, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. He hosts the “Velshi Banned Book Club” on MSNBC, and the “Velshi Banned Book Club” podcast. Velshi is known for his immersive on-the-ground reporting and his interactive discussions with small groups, which form part of his ongoing series, Velshi Across America. Born in Nairobi and raised in Toronto, Velshi holds a degree in Religion and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Canada’s Queen’s University. Velshi is the author of Gimme My Money Back and The Trump Indictments, co-author of How to Speak Money and the upcoming Open Space (2025).

Ian Hanomansing

IAN HANOMANSING hosts CBC News’ flagship program THE NATIONAL from Vancouver on Fridays and Sundays, and is also the host of CROSS COUNTRY CHECKUP on CBC Radio and CBC News Network. Born in Trinidad and raised in Sackville, New Brunswick, his major assignments have included the Exxon Valdez oil spill and San Francisco earthquake (both in 1989), the Los Angeles riot (1992), Vancouver’s two Stanley Cup riots (1994 and 2011), the Hong Kong handover (1997) the Slave Lake Alberta wildfire (2011), the Humboldt bus crash (2018) and seven Olympic Games. His work has won a Canadian Journalism Award, Canadian Screen Award, Justicia Award from the Canadian Bar Association for Excellence in Legal Journalism, the 2008 Gemini for Best News Anchor, and the 2016 Canadian Screen Award for Best National News Anchor.