On Thursday, May 18, our organization partnered up with Bow Valley College to host "Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion" activity with their students. This event was also part of our latest project about inclusive language. We are currently working with several partner organizations across Canada to build a glossary of words that identify words that are not inclusive, the reason behind that, and what words to use instead. We're hoping to bring this project to life by next year through creative mediums.
We'll keep you updated on the progress, and feel free to get in touch with us to contribute.
By: Mansharn Toor, Policy Analyst for Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
Amidst the recent controversy revolving Canada’s National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s “grammatical” mistake, we’ve witnessed a humiliating lack of religious understanding from the media. Unfortunately this is nothing new.
Minister Sajjan was under a lot of heat this week for his comments made on a recent trip to India where he described himself as the “architect” of the Canada-led military operation against the Taliban in 2006. The attack was a critical moment for Canadian forces in Afghanistan in an effort to destabilize Taliban coalition forces.
The opposition are calling Minister Sajjan a liar and question his honesty. Sajjan apologized for his mistake and corrected the statement saying that “While I am proud of the role I played during my deployments to Afghanistan, my comments were in no way intended to diminish the roles of my former superiors and fellow soldiers. To them I offer my sincere apologies.”
Where he should have stated that he was an architect rather than the architect, Sajjan’s role in the military operation was significant nonetheless. The Calgary Sun ran a political cartoon on May 2nd 2017 in an effort to criticize Minister Sajjan. The commentary was intended to be “a pun on the Minister stewing in his own lies” as stated in an apology by Jose Rodriguez, the Calgary Sun’s Editor.
The Sikh community were less than pleased with this depiction. For those of you who don’t study theology and are not familiar with Sikhism, the depiction of Minister Sajjan was considered an insult by Sikhs because it was similar to the death of one of Sikh’s ten Guru’s, Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji was killed by martyrdom of the elite Hindu and Muslim. At the time of his death, Sikhism and its philosophy was spreading throughout India, which was seen as a threat to some religious leaders. The result of the ongoing tension between differing faiths was the torture and death of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji`s last moments on earth was sitting in a burning hot pot where hot sand was poured over his body until his last breath. The image here is one depiction of the death of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, look familiar? Sikh’s thought so.
Many in the community reached out to the Calgary Sun, who for their credit have replaced the image of Minister Sajjan. While the wrong has been remedied, this event has sparked some outcry among Sikhs who are troubled with the insults made about a man who proudly represents Sikhs in Canada. The question then becomes, was this “an act of deliberate ignorance of Sikh history”?
Giving the Calgary Sun the benefit of the doubt, as many may not know the history of Sikhism, however, a simple blurb apologizing to Sikh community does not show the willingness to bridge understanding with a community that continues to shape the countries landscape.
Our media plays a vital role in our society. It is time the media take responsibility and educate their staff on cultural and religious understanding. If you are going to communicate to us, get to know us first... because we all contribute to Canada’s mosaic.
Are you a Canadian teacher and have about three hours in the next three months to volunteer your time? We are working on a multicultural curriculum that k-12 schools will use in their classrooms (for free). We are looking for volunteer teachers who would like to take part in this project to give us any useful perspective and insights on what they think is needed. It wouldn't be much time commitment and we're fairly flexible. Please contact us today if you're interested.
We are proud to announce that Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation (CanadianCMF) has been recognized for the work that we do in promoting diversity, tolerance, acceptance, and mitigating racism through unique ways. Our organization was nominated and won the 2017 Diversity Award. The Diversity Award is an annual award given by Diversity Magazine to celebrate the work of Albertans in promoting diversity and inclusion. Thank you to everyone for supporting our work. We will work hard to continuing doing more in the future.
As many of us know, Malala Yousafzai, became the sixth and youngest person to become an honorary Canadian citizen.
During her ceremoney, Malala called on Canada to play a leadership role in promoting education for girls and refugees around the world.
In a historic address to Parliament, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and human rights activist heaped praise on Canada for its commitment to helping refugees, advancing women's rights and working for world peace.
It was also an exciting moment for our organization, as our CFO, Asjad Bukhari, was invited to the ceremony and got to meet Malala herself!
Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably. It is an active way of seeing, and being in, the world, in order to transform it.
Our team members are active in society in getting Canadians to engage in Anti-racism conversations, bring understanding and asking others to participate in the movement by spreading the knowledge and acting upon it.
Over the past years, we have led and participated in hundreds of Anti-Racism community led initiatives. But our work is not done! Every event brings about a new perspective. We recently participated in The Women’s Centre of Calgary's Anti-Racism workshop. Several individuals gave their real life experiences and the intersectionality of racism was a consistent theme. The event overall was great and an important part of overcoming the issue and working towards solutions. Our work is not done, but we hope every time we do a presentation or talk to others, they also take on a bit of the work. We can do this all together.
For the second year, we held another Anti-Racism Festival, and this time in Edmonton.
The 2017 48-hour Anti-Racism Festival took place during February and March of 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The 48-hour film challenge took place on February 17-19, 2017 and 26 teams participated (65 people). There was also a Spoken Word Poetry Jam took place on Saturday February 18. The Red Carpet Screening took place on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at the Princess Theatre in Edmonton where 11 teams competed for first, second and third place. A total of 350 people attended the red carpet screening.
Check out all the films!
Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
presents the release of
YYC Colours is a solution-based documentary that sparks discussion about racism in Calgary, and Canada in general. Over the past year, we have had the opportunity to screen this film over 100+ times nationally across Canadian schools, workplaces, theatres, and events. Almost every screening included a discussion afterwards, which was the purpose of our film - get people talking about racism. To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we have released our film to the public - watch, learn, and engage!
It's been a great past year for us. Our film, YYC Colours, has screened nationally across Canada over 150 times. Hundreds of community discussions about ending racism have begun because of it... many in schools, workplaces, government level, and friends circles. We have also had the opportunity to lead some of these discussions. Our last screening & panel discussion took place tonight at the University of Calgary. It was a full house and the crowd was very engaging. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in this two & a half year-long project. From starting the film idea, to creating it, to editing, releasing and all the screenings. There are too many names to name - but thank you to everyone.
Are you a student in Alberta who is studying or is interested in graphic design? We're looking for you! We need a creative student intern who can help design our annual report. This is a short internship that you can complete on your own time and be paid $1000. Student must currently be enrolled at one of the 26 publicly-funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta. (check here to ensure you are eligible.) In order to apply, you must also create an account on SCiP.
Interested in the opportunity? Apply today.
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