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A National Discussion About the Canadian Justice System with Lawyer & Author Marie Henein and A Room Of Your Own Book Club Founder Tanya Lee

The Challenge

Back in September of 2021, Criminal lawyer Marie Henein came out with a new memoir entitled “Nothing But the Truth”. This memoir highlights Henein’s story, as an immigrant from a tightknit Egyptian-Lebanese family to becoming arguably the most sought-after lawyer in the country. This book is a powerful memoir that many young individuals could learn from and be inspired by. The TDSB later banned Henein’s book.

As a response to the TDSB’s ban Henein partnered up with Tanya Lee’s national book club, A Room of Your Own Book Club. Henein and Lee wanted to invite students from all across the country to a virtual book event for Henein’s Memoir and were expecting 1000+ students to attend. At the start of the event they wanted all of the attendees in the same room to hear a reading of Nothing But the Truth and a discussion between Tanya and Marie. Then they wanted to break the group up into smaller concurrent sessions and invite lawyers from across Canada to run these sessions. At the end they wanted everyone to come back into a single group.

The Solution

Pre Event

The FCCF team began by creating a custom landing page to localize all of the event information. Due to the high volume of attendees that were expected, this landing page made it easy for students and news outlets to easily access any details on the event. We also created, embedded, and managed attendee registration from the landing page. To keep our client up to date on registration numbers, we routinely provided updates with a shared spreadsheet of current registrants.

Prior to the event, our team proactively organized the registered participants into their designated breakout room. Within seconds, we moved the hundreds of participants into their respective rooms automatically and once the sessions were concluded, we brought them back together instantly.

This was a high stake event for Marie and Tanya; many news outlets were scheduled to attend and write critical articles. To ensure everyone was on the same page prior to the event our team hosted a practice session with the speakers.

During the event

During the event there were many moving pieces that needed to happen quickly and seamlessly. We shared any presentations that needed to be on the screen for speakers. We spotlighted presenters and even spotlighted the lawyers that were moderating the breakout rooms 1 at a time as they were introduced.

Due to the high volume of attendees, our facilitators disabled the ability for participants to unmute themselves to ensure no one disrupted the speakers. During the Q&A session we ensured those asking questions were unmuted and on camera, we then made sure they were muted after they asked their questions. We were present throughout the entire event to assist anyone with any tech issues that they might experience.

An audio recording of the event and various photos were taken throughout the day by our team.

Post Event

At the conclusion of the event, we generated an attendance report that included important metrics such as amount of registrants, total number of attendees, average time spent in the event, and a breakdown of attendees by province and school district. We provided photos, an HD audio recording of the event, a transcript, and a transcript with all of the questions that were asked throughout the day. Our team created and distributed 2 post event emails to all attendees; the first being a mental health message and the second being a personal message from Tanya Lee herself.

The Results

About A Room Of Your Own Book Club

A national book club in Canada entitled A Room Of Your Own for high risk teen girls who cannot afford to buy their own books. The mandate of the book club is to buy books for high risk teen girls, focus on mental health and wellness, and have the teen girls meet the author and discuss the book. Teen girls (including transgendered, and non-binary) between the ages of 13 to 18 are allowed to participate in the book club and are given their books for free. The expectation is that if you take a book, you have to read the novel before the book club, and show up online for the book club to talk with the author. We have authors from around the world participate in “A Room of Your Own Book Club.” Meeting virtually online has enabled us to expand across Canada. Our membership has grown by leaps and bounds! Our goal is to engage school libraries across Canada to participate in our book club.

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