Related rabble.ca story:
When you ask youth about their place in society and they respond by telling you that the media is what negatively impacts them and stops them from feeling a sense of belonging in the broader community, you (should) pay attention. Maybe even do something about it.
That's the basis of a new project, the Multimedia Multicultural Initiative (M&M), now operating in seven cities across Canada. It is run by the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC). While not the actual UN, the organization is part of a federation of United Nations Associations around the world that promotes and educates around the broader mandate of the UN, issues like good government, equality, diversity, and human rights.
I have high regard for President Barack Hussein Obama. His ascent to the presidency was a magnificent moment in history. As an African-American citizen with a Canadian family, it was a particularly poignant moment for me to actually have been in the U.S. to vote for him.
The Obama campaign for the presidency offered much to admire and learn from. But a very significant aspect of President Obama's victory was his vision for the United States, which was primarily one of inclusiveness. His plea was, and after his second State of the Union address essentially remains, that the fulfillment of a nation's destiny can only be achieved by harnessing the potential of all its people, not just a select few or elite. Whatever else his problems may be, we can learn a lot from this.
Let's Chat About Racial Profiling was an interactive forum that brought together Ottawa Police Service representatives and residents to discuss the police service's draft policy on racial profiling.
Organized by the OPS Board on Nov. 30, 2010 as part of its community engagement strategy, it was meant to solicit feedback. Since the strategy's introduction two-and-a-half years ago, the board has held eight such public interest meetings in Ottawa to address important community issues and sensitize the public to the board's role and work.
In 1979, Canadian students produced a TV program called Campus Giveaway against what they called a "foreign" (i.e. Chinese-Canadian) takeover of university campuses. Chinese-Canadian students protested the equating of "Chinese" with "foreign" and challenged the exaggerated statistics used to justify the arguments of the program.
I must admit that I learned about the criticism of the "Too Asian?" article in Maclean's before I actually read it. I received emails asking me to write letters of protest to universities that were warning of an "Asian invasion," help with community outreach, and was later invited to two "Youth Coalition Against Maclean's ‘Too Asian'" meeting in Toronto and Waterloo. The Chinese Canadian National Council also condemned the article for fostering an "us versus them" mentality.
Salman Hamdani died on Sept. 11, 2001. The 23-year-old research assistant at Rockefeller University had a degree in biochemistry. He was also a trained emergency medical technician and a cadet with the New York Police Department. But he never made it to work that day. Hamdani, a Muslim-American, was among that day's first responders. He raced to Ground Zero to save others. His selfless act cost him his life.
"There's a cartoon where activists march bearing placards. ‘No more motorways,' says one. ‘Stop the War,' demands another. ‘Down with the corporations,' shouts a third. And, finally, the guy at the end proclaims, ‘I hate my dad!'"
- Andrew Harvey
While personal pain is probably not the sole motivation for why activists do what we do, we probably all have to admit that it plays some role, even if only to sensitize us to the suffering of others. Perhaps, however, we are unaware of just how much personal pain we carry with us into our work.