We are looking for an illustrator student who is currently enrolled at one of the 26 publicly-funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta to help us bring our new project to life!
Our new project is a comic art/meme project and we need someone who can work independently from whatever location they prefer, are artistic, a good drawer/cartoonist, interested in race relations, pop culture/memes/social media and wants to work on this awesome project because they believe in the cause.
This student can work virtually and be located anywhere, but they will be required to be part of meetings from time to time, either via video chat/phone/in-person (only if possible). We will work with you to make sure the project is successful and it will be a lot of work, but it will be worthwhile. The project must be finished by April of 2018. Upon completion, you will get $1000 CAD.
Apply today via SCiP!
Note: You will need to make an account and be eligible through the website.
Get to know the diversity of people that are part of our city. Learn about the diversity of cultures and ethnicities in Calgary. This year during Culture Days on Sep. 30, come out to YYC Diversity Fest at the Genesis Centre where folks can engage in understanding and learning of cultures, ethnic groups, practices and more. Enjoy over 30 interactive booths, free cultural foods, entertainment and artist showcases, as well as other learning opportunities free for all.
Following the event, stick around for Culture Shock 2017 at 5:30pm, an urban youth dance battle celebrating diversity and community put on by Antyx Community Arts.
Culture Days is a 3 day-long, annual collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
Schedule of Performances:
12pm: Land Acknowledgement, Welcome, Thank you to partners and funders
12:15pm: Indigenous Traditional Hoop Dance (Indigenous Dance Studio)
12:30pm: South Asian Dance Performances
1pm: Chinese Traditional Dragon Dance (Honan Shaolin Association)
1:15pm: Choreographed Dance/Song performance (Progressive Cultural Association Calgary)
1:30pm: Russian Folklore Singing Group (Russian choir "Razdolie)
2pm: Free Food is Served! (Biryani from Tandoori Kabab Hut Restaurant)
2:15pm: Teekay performance (Calgary hip-hop singer, Tarik Robinson from Dragon Fli Empire)
2:45pm: Epic Bhangra Dance Performance
3pm: Brazilian Music and Dance Performance
3:30pm: Sarb Akal Music School (Classical Indian Music, Flute and Drums performance)
4pm-5pm: Battle of the Choirs ("Symbol" Choir from Bucharest, Romania vs. MRU's Ariosso Choir)
By Mansharn Toor, Policy Analyst at Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
The former contributor to the Toronto Star, The Walrus and the Torontoist, Desmond Cole has spent much of his adult life challenging policing and racism in Canada. Cole, having been a victim of police discrimination, is now travelling through Alberta to discuss the practice of carding. At a discussion at the Calgary Public Library, Cole educated the audience on what the practice of carding involves, our rights, the role of an ally and the trends across Canada and more specifically in Alberta. Here are major points you'll want to remember and understand:
1. What is Police Carding?
Carding, quiet simply, is when an individual who is in a role of authority gathers personal information of an individual without reasonable suspicion that you have or were about to break the law. While carding is often associated with the police, the interrogation of an individual and tracking of information can occur in various places where the authority abuses their position of power. Carding can result in the gathering of sensitive information that is then shared across jurisdictions, with the RCMP and even with Canada’s Security Intelligence Services (CSIS). The consequences of police carding and tracking of personal information is significant and has led to harassment, mental aguish, and in some cases the loss of life. As the next section will allude to, people from marginalized communities are disproportionately targeted by the police.
2. Trends across Canada
While statistics are important and should be utilized, Cole is quick to point out that people of colour have been saying what the statistics have for years. In many cases, simply talking to people from marginalized communities can inform the lay person of the issues and concerns. However, as we know numbers speak louder than words. And the numbers don’t paint a pretty picture. Indigenous people (especially women), black communities and Middle Eastern people are far more likely to be carded than their white counterpart. The overrepresentation of Indigenous women is extremely troubling provided that the police are part of the reason for the high rates of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Persons with mental health issues, from the LGBTQ+ community and from poor socio-economic environments are not given the help they desperately need by the police and authorities. Rather, racism and discrimination are rationalized in the name of keeping neighbourhoods safe. However, the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association (RMCLA) in Alberta has observed that carding simply does not correlate with crime statistics. Cole, has been stopped by the police over 50 times, he now uses these four words and recommends anyone who is the victim of police carding to state: “am I being detained?”. These words are important because Section 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedom protects individuals from being arbitrarily detained.
3. Becoming an Active Ally
Cole confronted the issue of an active ally, by exclaiming that words do not matter as much as actions. Privilege is a responsibility and must be acted upon. As one activist in the audience expressed, it is not always safe to stand up against the police and can lead to abuse, violence, and loss of life. The loss of life and harassment is becoming all to normal in Canada which is why its important that ally’s place their bodies, themselves in between and beside individuals who are victims to unfair policing or anyone wearing a uniform. It becomes the job of the general public to pressure politicians and Canada to enforce freedom rather than continuously seek justice. One manner is to put an end to the practice of carding. Finally, it is equally vital that the information collected by the police is handed over to the public to be utilized by academics, researchers and policy makers to inform and assist vulnerable communities.
Cole is currently working on an upcoming book on systemic racism in Canada, sure to be a best seller. We'd like to thank Progress Alberta and Desmond Cole for putting on these events and educating us all.
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.