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We can make our schools inclusive. Will we?

Photo: flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation
Earlier this month, the Toronto District School Board was in hot water after it's plan to help Somali-Canadian youth in school became controversial. Parents argue the plans marginalize their kids.

Related rabble.ca story:

Canadian schools must be culturally inclusive. Why aren't they?

Photo: flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation

The country's largest and most diverse school board was in the spotlight earlier this month for all the wrong reasons. 

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB)'s plan to help Somali-Canadian youth better succeed in school erupted in controversy when a segment of the community denounced their efforts.

"Our children are born and raised in Canada; we don't need a special brand of education," argued one parent. "We don't need more labelling and separation; we've had enough already." 

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'Tales from the Kraka Tower': A new comedy web-series about academia

| March 12, 2014

Seniors' Multicultural Festival

Friday, April 25, 2014 - 11:00am - 3:30pm

Location

1420 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Canada
49° 15' 38.646" N, 123° 8' 11.5908" W

This will be the 4th Annual Seniors' Multicultural Festival, planned for Friday, April 25th 2014. We will provide entertainment, including music and dancing with performances from more than 20 different multicultural seniors groups from the lower mainland. We also provide food tasting from around 15 different countries, which will be available at minimal cost. In addition, we will showcase Aboriginal culture through performance and artifacts. There will be a dialogue between immigrant seniors and the urban indigenous community, focused on reconcilation.

Why are visible minorities invisible in Canadian media?

Photo: flickr/4lexandre

"The world we inhabit is a world of representation. Media do not merely present a reality that exists 'out there'; nor do they simply reproduce or circulate knowledge. As active producers of knowledge, media construct and constitute the very reality of our existence." -- Augie Fleras and Jean Lock Kunz, Media & Minorities; Representing Diversity in a Multicultural Canada

Recently, a former Quebec journalist argued that Canada's mainstream broadcasters were hypocritical for seeming to lend a sympathetic ear to those opposing the proposed Quebec Charter of Values.

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David J. Climenhaga

Pride flags over Alberta: Sincere, or a cynical commitment of convenience?

| February 11, 2014

President of the OFL talks 'right to work' laws, union attacks and diversity

Photo: OFL Communications

It’s the Friday afternoon on the last day of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) convention and Sid Ryan, President of the OFL, is tired. For a week he’s been leading the convention through its paces, which included a protest to raise the minimum wage and a whole host of eminent speakers, including Maude Barlow and the Official Opposition leader, Thomas Mulcair.

Most significantly, delegates voted to approve a new common front plan that will see the OFL expand its activism outside of its traditional labour scope.

Ryan’s exhaustion is then understandable -- but even after working hard for a week, he’s still ready to talk about labour issues. This is an edited and condensed version of our conversation.

 

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Columnists

Quebec's 'poutinesque' charter of values and forms of nationalism

Photo: dszpiro/flickr

The Parti Québécois government in Quebec is floating a "Charter of Quebec Values." It makes me nostalgic for the old days of Quebec nationalism.

Tenth anniversary Peace Iftar lights up Ramadan and diversity in Toronto

Photo: Farhat Rehman

When theatre director and spoken word artist Rhoma Spencer was growing up in Trinidad, she looked forward to Ramadan just as much as the Muslim children in her neighbourhood.

"In Trinidad, Eid al Fitr, the celebration at the end of the fasting month, is a public holiday. We always looked forward to Eid simply because it was the feast when our Muslim neighbours shared their special meat dishes with us. And we didn't have meat very often. So we all loved it!"

On moving to Toronto fourteen years ago, Spencer says, she really felt the absence of Ramadan, Eid, and other important dates from the calendar of Canadian public holidays. And it wasn't just because she missed the food at Eid.

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Many battles left to fight: The state of media in Canada

The Media Gaze: Representations of Diversities in Canada

by Augie Fleras
(UBC Press,
2011;
$32.95)

Alternative Media in Canada
Kirsten Kozolanka, Patricia Mazepa and David Skinner, eds. (UBC Press, 2013; $29.95)

The need for diversity of opinion in Canadian media is dire -- many groups don’t see their concerns and successes reflected in the myriad of television shows, newscasts and print journalism being published daily. Two books are a call to action for more voices in our media.

The marginalized left out of the mainstream media

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