Main Content

Livestream: Celina Caesar-Chavannes on "Can You Hear Me Now? How I Found My Voice and Learned to Live with Passion and Purpose"

6:30pm to 7:30pm EST livestream; 7:30pm to 8:30pm optional networking

Co-Hosted By: Rotman Commerce and Rotman Events

Event Details

Speaker Series

Can You Hear Me Now Book Cover
Date: Monday February 22, 2021 | 06:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Speaker(s): Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Rotman EMBA ’15), Senior Advisor, EDI Initiatives; Adjunct Lecturer, Queen’s University; Business Consultant, Coach, International Speaker, and Author

Introduction By: Shyrose Janmohamed (Rotman Commerce, Hon B.Com '94), CFO, TFS Canada's International School

In Conversation With: Aneesa Oumarally (Rotman MBA ’15, B.A. (Hons), LL.B.), Managing Partner, OB Law
Topic: "Can You Hear Me Now? How I Found My Voice and Learned to Live with Passion and Purpose" (By C. Caesar-Chavannes for Random House Canada, February 2, 2021)

On February 15, Rotman Events will email registrants the link to the page where you can watch the livestream of the book talk on February 22 from 6:30pm sharp to 7:30pm EST.

Location: Online
Cost: $29.95 + HST per person (includes the link for the livestream and 1 hardcover copy of "Can You Hear Me Now?")
Register Now

Book Mailing: Starting February 23, unsigned hardcover copies of Can You Hear Me Now? will be shipped to paid registrants.

Please note: The stated registration fee for this event only applies to customers residing in Canada and the U.S.A. If you are registering for this livestream from outside of these countries, please contact regarding your registration as shipping fees vary depending on your location.

Optional Networking Session: Connect with Rotman MBA grad and author, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, to hear a first-hand account of her journey. This one hour networking session will give you an opportunity to connect with Celina and other Rotman Commerce and Rotman MBA grads once the formal book discussion has taken place. To attend, please register ahead of time by filling out our Zoom registration form. You will be sent a separate confirmation email with the details you need to participate. 

Book Synopsis: In Can You Hear Me Now?, Celina Caesar-Chavannes digs deep into her childhood and her life as a young Black woman entrepreneur and politician, and shows us that effective and humane leaders grow as much from their mistakes and vulnerabilities as from their strengths.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, already a breaker of boundaries as a Black woman in business, got into politics because she wanted to make a bigger difference in the world. But when she became the first Black person elected to represent the federal riding of Whitby, Ontario, she hadn't really thought about the fact that Ottawa wasn't designed for someone like her. Celina soon found herself both making waves and breaking down, confronting at night, alone in her Ottawa apartment, all the painful beauty of her childhood and her troubled early adult life. She paid the price for speaking out about micro-aggressions and speaking up for her community and her riding, but she also felt exhilaration and empowerment. As she writes, "This is not your typical leadership book where the person is placed in a situation and miraculously comes up with the right response for the wicked problem. This is the story of me falling in love, at last, with who I am, and finding my voice in the unlikeliest of places."

Both memoir and leadership book, Can You Hear Me Now? is a funny, self-aware, poignant, confessional and fierce look at how failing badly and screwing things up completely are truly more powerful lessons in how to conduct a life than extraordinary success. They build an utter honesty with yourself and others that allows you to say things nobody else dares to say--the necessary things about navigating the places that weren't built for you and holding firm to your principles. And, if you do that, you will help build a world where inclusion is real. Just as Celina is now trying to do, in all her brilliance and boldness.

About Our Speaker: Celina Caesar-Chavannes is a business consultant, coach and international speaker. She currently serves as the Sr. Advisor, EDI Initiatives and Adjunct Lecturer at Queen’s University and her forthcoming book, “Can you hear me now?” published by Penguin Random House Canada, will be available on February 02, 2021. She was the former Member of Parliament, with the Government of Canada, representing the Town of Whitby, a suburb east of Toronto, and served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from December 2015 to January 2017 and served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development et la Francophonie from January 2017 to August 2018.

During her term as a Member of Parliament, Celina advocated for people suffering with mental illness and was named Champion of Mental Health Parliamentarian Award in May 2017 by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. Her advocacy related to equity and justice resonated in Canada and around the world as she was also named one of the Most Influential People of African Descent, Global 100 Under 40, Politics & Governance and Black Parliamentarian of the Year in 2017, and a feature in the April 2018 edition of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine entitled, “What would you stand up for?”. Celina was also named Chatelaine Magazine’s Woman of the Year 2019.

Before entering politics, Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes was a successful entrepreneur, launching and growing an award winning research management consulting firm, with a particular focus on neurological conditions. She was the recipient of both the Toronto Board of Trade’s Business

Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012 and the 2007 Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award. Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes is a renowned research consultant and has worked with a variety of private, government and non-government organizations. Her work required her to build and manage effective collaboration across a wide range of interests and perspectives, and she has years of experience managing complex projects involving industry, federal agencies, health care professionals, researchers and patient advocacy groups.

An international lecturer on the inclusion of marginalized populations in clinical research, Ms. Caesar-Chavannes has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, an MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Phoenix and an Executive MBA from the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto.

She is a past member of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, and also served as member of the Institutional Advisory Board for the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, which is part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She is also a member of the Congress of Black Women.

She is available on all social media platforms via @iamcelinacc

Co-Hosted By: 

Questions:, Daniel Ellul, (416) 978-6119 

Never miss an event
Sign up for upcoming events notifications »

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received in writing to 24 hours prior to the event will receive a refund less a $10 administration fee per person. If we do not receive written notice of your cancellation, you will be charged the full amount for this session. Substitutions are always welcome.

Rotman's Event Privacy Policy

We adhere to both FIPPA and CASL. Read our Event Privacy Statement for details.