Building Bridges Home and School, Soomaalinimo and Canadianness – Community Forum on Education and Identity

Building Bridges: Home and School, Soomaalinimo and Canadianness – Community Forum on Education and Identity

The Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) was pleased to support this important forum on education and identity organized by Positive Change TO.

This event was attended by a cross section of the Somali diaspora in Toronto as well as educators, community organizers, young people, parents and community members. UARR was represented at this event by our president Gary Pieters and Past President Sharon Simpson, who attended and interacted with participants.

The focus of the discussion was on Somali identity in an increasingly diverse society. The main focus was on schooling and education and the presenters all shared various ways in which younger members of the community must be provided with all of the opportunities, resources and network of support needed for them to achieve their aspirations.

Overall, this conference was a wonderful opportunity to ‘build bridges’ and demonstrates the possibilities that can be leveraged as the community places a strong and consistent focus on the uplift of the young people in the quest to reach their full potential.

Positive Change Flyer, May 31 Event

What does it mean to be Somali-Canadian, especially in an academic setting? What role does
language play in the identity of Somali-Canadians? Positive Change is proud to host a free forum to discuss the issues of identity in the Somali-Canadian community, and addressing the implications, challenges and benefits of a hyphenated culture.

This free forum is open to parents, youth and their educators and will include a special presentation from Said Salah Ahmed, panel discussions and workshops.

For more information, please e-mail

P1070158Youth Presenter Abdi Hersi addresses the audience
P1070157Keynote presenter Said Salah Ahmed explains the cultural significance of the cow bell P1070151Keynote presenter Said Salah Ahmed emphasizing the importance of culture and identity towards a ‘sense of belonging’ for the Somali diaspora here as persons of Somali descent and as Canadians P1070149Keynote presenter Said Salah Ahmed explains the significance of various traditions from the Somali culture and their relevance to our young people who navigate an increasingly diverse society

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