Shihan Van Clief  will be our keynote performer at the 2nd annual White Ribbon Conference at Ryerson University: What Makes A Man. Shihan, most known for being apart of HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, speaks about his own life experiences and reality, allowing for us to have real discussions about manhood, fatherhood, love and relationships.  With poems that often talk about his wife and children, he also writes poetry that serves a purpose. From poverty and capitalism to institutional racism, Shihan brings to light the injustices in the world as well as the little things that can easily be taken for granted.  Shihan returns to Ryerson University after last year’s successful  ‘Love, Hip Hop and Spoken Word’ event by the Urban Hip Hop Union and Ryerson White Ribbon Campaign.


‘What Makes A Man. Higher Unlearning: The 2012 White Ribbon Conference’  is a discussion-focused conference looking at the spectrum of identities, experiences and realities that determine ‘What Makes a Man’. It will be more of an ‘anti-conference’ as speakers are invited to complete the statement ‘what makes a man’ with a 5 minute casual talk (not an academic lecture) that sparks dialogue and conversation. Our facilitator then includes the audience in further dialogue for 15-20 minutes.  We have invited speakers who’s voice will provide great contributions to a casual discussion of how manhood, masculinity and gender are created and enforced in society.


Shihan grew up in New York’s Lower East Side and began his writing career in 1989, which he used to get a scholarship to Williston North Hampton School for Creative Writing. After signing with MGA Records in 1993, Shihan wrote for the video game NBA Jam Session series and the theme for Reebok’s “Blacktop” campaign. The first poet to be named iTunes “Download of the week,” Shihan was also a part of the writing and performing for MTV’s Rock the Vote campaign and Schoolhouse Rocks videos.  


What Makes A Man. Higher Unlearning: The 2012 White Ribbon Conference
Saturday February 11th

ENG 103 in the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre.
245 Church St. (South/East corner of Church St and Gould St.)
Ryerson University

11:00am – Morning Session begins
12:20pm – Lunch Break
1:20pm – Afternoon session begins
4:30pm – Dinner Break
5:45pm – Evening session with SHIHAN

ADMISSION $10 (or pay what you can)
Lunch provided by Salad King.
*All proceeds go to the White Ribbon Campaign*
Visit for more details