The Urban Alliance on Race Relations was invited to the Law Society of Upper Canada on December 6th to deliver a Keynote address on the Making Noise Project in commemoration of the National Day of Remembers and Action on Violence Against Women. The event, one of hundreds occuring around the country, was held in honour of the 14 women who were murdered at L’Ecole Polytechnique on December 6th, 1989. Ashley McFarlane spoke about the work UARR was doing around addressing and preventing gender-based violence in post-secondary institutions with the Making Noise @Humber project. Board member Margaret Hagemen discussed the work of the organization as it relates to the intersection of race relations, employment, coalition building, policing, feminism, and education. Attendees had a lot of questions and follow up discussion for the presenters at the end. It was a great event that fostered the meeting of two very influential groups for an important day.
Making Noise @Humber participated in the college’s Dec 6th event for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The event featured an amazing keynote address by Professor Sharon Stone, a short presentation of the work we’re doing at Humber College by Program Development Coordinator Ashley McFarlane, an address by the President of the Humber Students’ Federation, a rose ceremony and networking led by Jason Merai and Student Committee members Meghan and Hiroko. The event was presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity at Humber and included an address to the late Nelson Mandela who passed away in South Africa earlier in the day.
BY NICOLE ROSSI
Being a student in the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care program, I learn and deal with relationships and the importance of healthy relationships in an individual’s life on a daily basis. This workshop was a recap of what I have previously learned in my program, it furthered my knowledge on relationships and the importance of them.
Healthy relationships are important because they help an individual feel that they have support and encouragement and they allow people to feel that they belong. When we have someone that we can talk to, that understands us we feel a connection and closeness, this is necessary for human survival.
Humans are social beings and relationships are necessary for healthy living, whether you want one or not; we all have relationships with people around us they can be healthy or not healthy. Self-identity and how you see yourself is based on others opinions and ideas of how you are, this is formed through relationships.
Knowing how to create and maintain a healthy relationship is a basic life skill and it is essential in having a fulfilling life. Relationships can be with peers, friends, family, colleagues, or romantically. Formations of romantic relationships are considered to be one of the most important developmental milestones for adolescence.
This workshop further explained characteristics of a healthy relationship and non-healthy relationships. This is helpful because as a student in a Child and Youth Care program I will be dealing with children that have had problems in their overall relationships with other people; therefore understanding and learning characteristics of what a healthy relationship looks like is very beneficial to me.
Everything that I learned through this workshop can support me in my future as I am going into a career where I will need to fully understand relationships and the importance of them, as well as how they affect an individuals behaviours and thought processes. Through this workshop, I learned that the best way to interact with youth whom have had issues with their relationships is to teach them what a healthy relationship looks like and why it is important for them to have. I can explain to them the characteristics of a healthy relationship so that they know who in their life is bringing them up rather than down.
This workshop helped me understand that while in a relationship one must never neglect their own needs, they must put themselves first. Fully loving yourself is vital in relationships. Learning how to discuss and respect opinions of others and how to compromise can help youth better the relationships that they have.
If I was not in the Child and Youth Care program and was not already educated in healthy relationships this workshop would have been very beneficial and educational. There is a great importance in understanding healthy relationships because it leads to healthy living. Now, that I have even further knowledge of relationships I can use it in my career path and teach youth that I work with how to develop healthy relationships. This workshop was thought provoking and inspiring it made me realize the importance of the career I am entering.
By: Megan Fitzgerald
As a student at Humber College, I knew that there was a great acceptance of international students in my school community. However, I never really put much thought into this, or the process that is involved. This workshop demonstrated the relevance and the benefits of accepting other cultures that come to Canada and the importance of embracing them in a school community, as well as the general population. It was presented by the International Students Office at Humber. They provide support to international students coming to Humber, as well as students looking to study internationally. They have offices at both North and Lakeshore campuses.
For a few weeks prior to this presentation, we placement students had been working with the Urban Alliance facilitators in creating a Humber Life game that circled around the resources available at Humber and how to help students find their way. All the students who attended the workshop were given specific student profiles and they were to decide which resources they would need to be successful. It was interesting to see the difficulties that the students had in finding their proper resources. I feel like this activity was effective in shedding light on various resources that are available that the students may not have been aware of. It also demonstrated how crucial it is that better communication of resources be provided to the students, as many students did not even realize that Humber is blessed with so many services that can help them succeed.
When dealing with culture shock, I have learned through this workshop that cross cultural communication plays a huge role. There are many examples out there of things that may mean one thing to us, but means something completely different in another culture. Any message that is sent goes from the sender, through a series of their own filters, and is received by the other person through their own filter. Many times things can get lost in translation, but if there is more cultural understanding, the initial shock can be alleviated. The people who travel internationally offer so much potential that often gets over looked. There is a positive economic impact as well as greater cultural diversity that enhances a community.
What I learned in this workshop can help me in the future by influencing me to be more open minded about the cultural differences in society. I have a better understanding of what it means to be coming from another part of the world, and the psychological, academic, and physical challenges that can come along with it. I am in a program where I have the opportunity to help people in these situations, so having a better understanding of what it means can assist me in doing so.
For future development, I feel that there should be a better presentation of resources around Humber. There are so many services that my school has to offer, that are often not taken advantage of, simply because no one knows they are there. I encourage students at Humber to completely look into what the school has to offer to help build your college experience and guide you along. No one should have to struggle alone.
By Shanique Mullings
The Gender-based Violence workshop was truly amazing. Before coming to this workshop I always thought that Gender-based violence was an act of physical violence against someone of the opposite sex, but here I learned that it isn’t only an act of physical violence it’s much broader than that. First you have to think about what gender is and how it is defined. We also learned that gender is created and defined for us from the day we are born. We are labelled as either male or female, which does not give our parents or us the choice whether or not we want to identify as a female or male. Then we defined violence, which is any form of pain, fear or harassment. There were so many definitions we came up with when trying to define violence because there are so many different forms, like financial, which is taking someone’s money to control them or spiritual which is keeping someone from their spiritual practices to control them. Then we had to define power and state who has that power and when they have this power, how do they use it to control another person or group of people.
The engagement and the discussions were the best part for me because I got the opportunity to hear what other people thought gender was, what violence was and what power was. I learnt the signs of being in a violent relationship and to know that someone was being abused in different ways. It’s shocking how someone right beside you in the subway or the bus can be getting abused and you don’t even know because there aren’t any physical signs. There was so much I learned. Learning about my rights and knowing that if you are being abused you are not alone and it is never your fault. No matter what your abuser might say or how they may make you feel you are not to be blamed for something you didn’t ask for.
Gathering all this information in this workshop was very good for the field which I am going into. I will come across youth and children who face Gender-based Violence. I might have a family member who is going through it and knowing the signs and how help him/her is very good because no one in this world should be belittled no matter where they come from, how they look, or what they choose to do in their lives. No one should think that they have the ‘power’ to control and abuse people because they think they can. Just speaking about it makes me infuriated.
I need a little more information so I know exactly where I can go or send someone who needs the right support. For instance where the woman’s shelter in the area is or how can I help someone who is in denial face reality and know that they don’t deserve how they are being treated. Being well-informed will not only be for my benefit but I’ll be able to help whoever needs it and in the end I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.
I felt lucky to be a part of such a wonderful workshop and experienced so much from some great people learning more than I already knew and being able to go out and share.
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations, the Human Rights Legal Support Centre/ Centre d’assistance juridique en matière de droits de la personne de l’Ontario and Labour Community Services
“I am not a Stereotype” – End Racial Profiling Now
International Human Rights Day Community Forum
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 3, 100 Queen St. West
All are welcome
Join human rights lawyers, Pat Case, Michelle Mulgrave and Geri Sanson, Toronto Star reporter Jim Rankin, Cutty Duncan, Action for Neighbourhood Change and Zya Brown from Breaking the Cycle to fight back against racial profiling.
What’s the latest with racial profiling cases?
Have you been racially profiled?
Find out what to do and who to call.
Everyone is welcome.
By: Megan Fitzgerald
Being a student in the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care program, I come face-to-face with diversity and anti-oppressive attitudes on a daily basis. I thought I knew all there was to know about LGBT youth, being an ally myself with family and friends who have identified themselves on various parts of the spectrum. However, there is always more to the story, and I was surprised by how much more I didn’t know. This workshop was presented by SOY: Supporting Our Youth. SOY provides various community programs that help support and create opportunities for queer and trans youth and adults in the community. It is located at the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto.
I honestly believed that I understood all there was to understand about the proper terminology that was to be used in given situations. However, the greatest amount of information that I learned through this workshop was all the terminologies that can fall under the spectrum, which proved to be far more than I ever expected. Because language is not static and will change over time, the glossary always seems to be growing. It is important for everyone to be aware of these definitions because no two LGBT youth are the same. The facilitators of this workshop provided a great interactive and informative presentation with a positive attitude that was welcoming to any questions or concerns of the students. This helped enhance the learning and the willingness to discuss the topics further.
Everything that I learned through this workshop can support me in my future as I am going into a career where I will need to maintain an open mind and a supportive environment for all walks of life. Through this workshop, I learned that the best way to interact with queer youth is to know how they identify themselves. It is better to ask than to assume. It did not occur to me that they may not even like the use of pronouns, such as “he”, “she”, or “they”. Sometimes it is best to just always use their names. This should all be clarified with the individual when meeting them. It was also important for me to understand the idea that the facilitators were emphasizing at one point that transgender does not mean queer. Before this workshop, I wasn’t even sure I had a grasp on what queer meant. Now that I do, I can understand this statement in a way I didn’t before, in the same way that I can understand the different ways to identify all youth.
For future development, I would like to develop a better understanding of the resources that are available for youth in the community. SOY is great for this, because they provide a diversity of programs, making sure that there is a program that is suitable for anyone who walks in their doors. I would like to know what else there is for queer and questioning youth and how SOY determines how to assist every individual, seeing as no one is the same or identifies the same as the other. In the future, it will be necessary to observe how language evolves and what new terminologies take shape as the years go by. I would also like to know more about volunteer opportunities with either this facility or others in the community that would keep me well-educated and connected with LGBT youth. Overall, this workshop was an inspiring and thought-provoking workshop, in which the knowledge that was gained will stick with me in my future career.