Cross Cultures commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 31 March 2016

Greetings, here’s an update for the Thursday schedule …

there may be slight last minute variations

this is an open invitation to the entire community to participate and attend … FREE Public Event

spread the word! share with friends, community, network ..

with THREE entirely different but equally thrilling segments
9:00 am – 1:30 pm
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

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8:30 arrivals

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9:00 Opening Ceremonies:

· Elder Jean Becker leads indigenous opening prayer

· followed by O’Canada, in English and in French with Daniel Kelley

· Dignitaries bringing greetings

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9:30 Harold Albrecht MP on Politics and Faith

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9:40 Catherine Fife, MPP for Kitchener Waterloo

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10:00 Break:
students browse the displays

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10:15 Musical presentation of peace
(Grade 7 or 8 class) WCDSB :

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10:30 Carla Beharry
a proud Inter-Cultural Canadian, born and raised with a Guyanese Father, and a British Mother. Carla began mentoring women and girls in Guyana and Belize, 13 years ago. Her work abroad encompasses teaching sexual health & HIV education, leading women’s empowerment groups, and encouraging women to have a voice in standing up to end domestic violence. Most recently, Carla started her own mentorship group, Girls in the World, designed for teen girls in Canada to have a space to discuss gender, identity, race, self-confidence and self-worth. The groups are lead with the intention of supporting teens in rising up against discrimination, while cultivating courage, kindness, and compassion.

Carla’s talk will be an interactive forum for teens. All attendees will be given an opportunity to ask anonymous questions about culture, race, identity, and equality. We will work together, as a group to create clarity, and will work within the belief that educating children and teens, holding space for honest questions, and honouring our diverse, multicultural world is the only path to true freedom and liberation for all beings

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11:00 Student Senate will lead a panel discussion WCDSB

Politics vs Religion, The Challenges to promoting Peace and the need for Equity

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11:30 Lunch

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12:00 Lincoln Heights students WRDSB

Lincoln Heights is honoured to be joining the events for this years day to Eliminate Racial Discrimination. This is a topic that they are very passionate about and they have prepared short speeches of their opinions on this years theme Politics vs religion

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12:20 Presentation on Politics vs Religion:
a student from Resurrection will do a PowerPoint, and Blue scarf campaign

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1:00 Greetings from Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener

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1:10 Islamic School of Cambridge

six different presentation

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1:30 Wrap up activity
Game: Join the Dots, Resurrection to lead in this activity

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1:45 Students leave for buses

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2:00 Politics vs Religion panel

* Professor Norman Klassen
The Western Separation of Religion and Politics: A Paradox of Christian Humanism . . . building on his comments from last year’s discussion about the medieval Christian poet Geoffrey Chaucer: that his vision is for the togetherness of a pilgrimaging community. He gives a picture of what it means to recognize endless depths in one another: a responsibility to stay in dialogue with them. This year Professor Klassen builds on that with reference to another Christian writer, the influential novelist Marilynne Robinson. She likewise starts from the idea that “people are images of God” and ends with democracy as “the inevitable consequence of this kind of religious humanism”. Professor Klassen will ponder the effectiveness of these two writers as writers, precisely because they recognize the importance of freedom both for their characters and their readers. So freedom, including political freedom, is paradoxically bound up with a religious vision that has developed in the West as Christian humanism

* Doug Thomas
Doug Thomas is the president of Secular Connexion Séculière, a national organization that acts as a communication nexus for secular humanists, advocates for secular humanist rights in Canada, and speaks out for persecuted atheists around the world. Doug Thomas on the Subject of Politics vs Religion:

He sees the concept of “politics vs religion” as an unfortunate idea that implies that they cannot co-exist and that one must somehow supersede the other. Doug promotes the idea that democratic governments must avoid interference at the systemic level by religions, but that individuals should be able to bring their religious beliefs to the table as long as they do not insist on imposing their religion on other believers or on non-believers. At the same time, laws should avoid impeding the expression of personal belief or non-belief by individuals. The gold standard should be the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the case law developed from it by the Supreme Court of Canada

* BobJonkman
co chair, Fair Vote Canada, Waterloo Region Chapter
Bob has been advocating for electoral reform since the 2007 Ontario referendum on Proportional Representation. Bob would like to see a voting system based on Proportional Representation at all levels of government. In today’s panel discussion Bob will focus on how Proportional Representation isn’t only for political parties, but also for ethnic, religious and gender diversity

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3:00 WLU Diversity Team presentations

3:30 Brenda Halloran joins us and will be
speaking to a group of students about politics, their responsibilities, answer questions etc

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4:00 Hate Crimes Prevention Project
Coalition of Muslim Women
Sarah Shafiq
a unique grass roots project based in the Region of Waterloo, aiming to education Muslim women on how to recognize, respond and resolve a hate crime or incident. Some details on how the goal had to be modified from victim support after an incident, to educating the importance of reporting the incident to police and documenting it

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4:30 Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter
Bob Jonkman, will expand on proportional representation and will show slides

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5:00 Colleen Sargeant James
Colleen is the co-founder and CEO of Divonify, She works with businesses to provide holistic solutions that meet global diversity and inclusion benchmarks. Colleen is committed to helping empower businesses to establish diversity and inclusion best practices and creating a corporate culture of authenticity and inclusiveness. Colleen is a dedicated member of the community, she has over ten years experience working in public administration and the not-for-profit sector. She is an active member of Zonta International, a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. Colleen writes a regular blog that specializes in diversity and inclusion awareness and is a graduate of the University of Toronto

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6:00 Jane Richard
KW Right to Life is an educational prolife non profit charity, one of hundreds of like organizations across Canada that promote the value of human Life from conception to natural death.

Sketch of talk content … followed by discussion from the floor: Following the preamble of the Canadian Bill of Rights, the protection of moral and spiritual values based on the supremacy of God – the dignity and worth of the human person and the position of the family – time honoured – changing to a secular approach where people become their own moral agent – legally allowing abortion and assisted suicide on demand. – the implications on individuals and Canadian society

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. . . this annual general arts and culture extravaganza encompasses the broader sense of the word culture !
song, dance, instrument, drama, poetry, visual art & photography display, CD & DVD etc

* Mark Evans and the band

* 2yLite Tha Titan is a Palestinian-Canadian rapper and producer who stands for social equality and freedom among all people. He has been making music for a total of 16 years and has 4 CDs released with performances in several cities in Canada. He will be performing some of his latest music from his soon to be released album “Evolve Or Dissolve”
p.s. if you are wondering, my name is pronounced Twilight The Titan

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for those who have not joined us over the years:

Cross Cultures has been organizing Waterloo Region’s full day FREE event to commemorate the

UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

for educators, students, organizations and the general public ..

since March 21st this year falls on the Monday back from March Break and holy Easter week
the consensus has been that we go with March 31st instead

Please feel free to connect with me by phone or email:
looking forward to hearing from you

Gehan D. Sabry
Editor / Publisher
Cross Cultures magazine (since 1991)
POB 20002 Kitchener ON N2P 2B4
Tel: (519) 748-9520
Fax: (519) 893-4259

This item was mirrored from the Cross Cultures Facebook Event.

Fair Vote Waterloo Region Chapter: Walk, Rally, Talk and Pub Night – Monday, 16 September 2013

Fair Vote Canada logo
Fair Vote Canada
Sunday is International Day of Democracy, but on Monday, 16 September 2013 the Waterloo Region Chapter of Fair Vote Canada is celebrating by holding a Walk, Rally, Talk and Pub Night.

Meet at Kitchener City Hall at 6:00pm to walk to Waterloo Square. Banners, placards, whistles, pots & pans are all welcome to make a lot of noise for electoral reform!

At 6:45 Craig Scott, MP for Toronto Danforth and NDP electoral reform critic and Anita Nickerson, FVC’s Executive Director will address a short rally at Waterloo Square. At 7:00pm Craig will speak at First United Church, 16 William North about the the NDP’s policy on electoral reform and listen to our concerns about electoral reform.

This is a great opportunity to share with the NDP the need to make electoral reform a major election issue in 2015 & highlight the need for electoral reform to our community.

Following the Walk, Rally, and Talk the Waterloo Region Fair Voters, Friends, and Relations will retire to The Duke of Wellington Pub to continue the conversation.

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes – Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Eleanor Grant writes:


On Wed June 5, the men in our community will combine their big hearts and big feet at the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, in support of YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo.

The walk begins at the Waterloo Public Square map at 11:30. Walk (in red high-heeled shoes!) to Kitchener City Hall, where a lunch is provided. Event ends by 1 pm.

Get your pledge form at: Walk A Mile In Her Shoes – KW YWCA

Photograph of a similar event:

Eleanor Grant writes a semi-regular e-mail newsletter on social justice issues. You can contact Eleanor at

March Against Monsanto Everywhere – Saturday, 25 May 2013

In her e-mail newsletter Eleanor Grant tells us:

Marches are planned in over 250 cities around the world, to take back our food supply from the growing use of genetically modified crops (GMOs).

Marchers will meet in front of the KITCHENER MARKET map at 2 pm, and peacefully walk to Kitchener City Hall, where great speakers are planned. WEAR A RED T-SHIRT – and bring a sign if you like! Contact <>

For more info on the world-wide movement, please visit March Against Monsanto. If you click on the drop box in the “Home” bar, there’s a Links tab with informative articles on GMOs. For example, Der Spiegel on-line reports that German scientists are investigating suspected links between GMOs and Colony Collapse Disorder in bees – but can’t get funding to continue their research.

And view for free the feature-length documentary The World According to Monsanto (YouTube video, 1h49m)

Eleanor Grant writes a semi-regular e-mail newsletter on social justice issues. You can contact Eleanor at

Suubi Youth Dance and Drum Troupe, 22 and 30 May 2013

Eleanor Grant writes:

An exciting upcoming event on Thurs May 30:

In conjunction with Dream for Uganda, Neruda Productions is pleased to present the Suubi Youth Dance and Drum Troupe from the Cambridge Secondary School in Eastern Uganda on May 22 at Gallery Momo in St Jacobs, and on May 30 in the Rotunda Gallery at Kitchener City Hall.

Suubi Youth are the stars of the drama club at the Cambridge Secondary School which provides refuge, counseling, and an education free of cost to 400 children impacted by war, poverty and AIDS.

“The enthusiasm and joy of these young people who have faced such great adversity has a lot to teach us about the healing power of dance and music,” explains Isabel Cisterna, Neruda Productions’ Artistic Director. “Their music and their joy is inspirational.”

Suubi Youth will spend time with students at Rockway Mennonite School in Kitchener and will also visit high school students in Tobermory and Lion’s Head between performances in Waterloo, Toronto and London.

In Uganda, education is not free so the Cambridge school motto, “nothing without struggle,” applies not only to its students, but also to those who founded and operate the school.

Suubi Youth are touring Southern Ontario on a cultural exchange from May 18 to June 1, visiting schools, performing, and raising funds to purchase a biofuel stove for their school in Kyengera, just outside the capital, Kampala. The biofuel system will provide enough clean burning gas to power stoves and eventually lights, making the school more self-sufficient and able to give up the dirty charcoal brazier that requires cutting down trees to fuel.

Performances by Suubi Youth in Waterloo are by donation, or ‘pay what you can’ (PWYC, suggested $10).

For more information or an interview contact Isabel Cisterna, Artistic Director, Neruda Productions at: or +1-519-502-9677

Dream for Uganda: Suubi Youth
When: May 22, 2013 – 4:00pm
Where: Gallery Momo – The Mill, 1441 King St. North, St. Jacobs, ON

Dream for Uganda: Suubi Youth
When: May 30, 2013 – 6:00pm
Where: Rotunda Gallery, Kitchener City Hall

For more information visit:
— 30 —

Eleanor Grant writes a semi-regular e-mail newsletter on social justice issues. You can contact Eleanor at

Homelessness Awareness Week (5 – 11 May 2013)

Eleanor Grant writes:

  • Sun May 5 at 10:20 a.m: First United Church, Waterloo (King & Wm) – Outreach church service focussed on homelessness in our community.
  • Sun May 5 at 7 pm AND Mon May 6 at 9:15 pm: Princess Twin – Movie: HIT ‘N STRUM, a drama about a homeless musician in Vancouver.
  • Stepping Up: Monday May 6th 2013, 11:30am -1:00pm: Join us for a silent walk with masks, from Waterloo Square to Kitchener City Hall, to raise awareness of homelessness in the Waterloo Region.
    RSVP to Mike Savage by Phone: (519-579-5268) or by email :
  • Speaking Up: Tuesday, May 7th, 1:00- 2:30pm at Kitchener City Hall Rotunda: Speakers from all walks of life will discuss personal experiences of homelessness as well as challenges of service provision in the Waterloo Region. Light Refreshments will be served.
  • Tues May 7 at 7 pm: First United Church – Discussion of Hit ‘n Strum movie. (This is not a screening of the movie.) Please RSVP to Mike at
  • Thurs May 9 at 5:30 pm at Kitchener City Hall: free BBQ sponsored by Downtown Kitchener Community Health Centre – followed by Kindred Spirit awards.

For more information:

Eleanor Grant writes a semi-regular e-mail newsletter on social justice issues. You can contact Eleanor at

Sustainability forum focuses on collaboration

City of Kitchener logoThis is a media release from the City of Kitchener

KITCHENER – Collaboration and commitment are on the agenda for the Sustainability Networking Forum on Saturday, April 20 at Kitchener City Hall in the rotunda from 9 a.m. until noon.

Hosted by the City of Kitchener councillor, Yvonne Fernandes, and the environmental advisory committee, the forum highlights the need to work together and also identifies the values and principles that underscore collaboration. During the morning there will be a guided presentation for attendees to work together on a variety of activities.

Grassroots environmental groups have a wide variety of reasons for organizing; this forum will be an opportunity for them to connect with each other, find common threads and perhaps pool resources in a wider effort to get their message out to the public. The hope is that a bigger annual event can be planned so that the public will be able to attend in the future.

Participation in the forum is open to community environmental organizations by registration. Contact Brian Scott, City of Kitchener, at

What: Environmental sustainability networking forum
Who: Councillor Fernandes and the environmental advisory committee
When: Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. to noon.
Where: City hall rotunda


The Kitchener City Hall Rotunda is at 200 King St. W., Kitchener, Ontario (map)