Nelson Mandela would have been 96 this week. It's the first birthday since his passing -- celebrations replaced with mourning and reflection. With the passing of Mandela, humanity lost a quiet voice of reason -- one we still sorely need in an increasingly polarized world. In honour of Mandela's birthday, here are some of our own fondest memories of "Madiba."
The chance to save lives is simple--become an organ donor. The chance that someone from a particular ethnic group will receive an organ, like Canada's aboriginal and South Asian populations, is a little more complicated. We're a diverse country, but does our donor pool match that diversity? In Ontario's predominantly caucasian communities, up to 50 per cent of residents are registered. But in more diverse areas like the GTA, the registration rate is around 14 per cent.
Make no mistake, everyone on that list is worthy of inclusion. They all made great contributions to our country and our world. But where are the women and non-whites who have contributed just as much? A pantheon so steadfastly monochromatic and male hardly reflects the diverse and multicultural nation we claim to be.
Since 2006, Canada alone has pumped more than $180 million into education in Afghanistan, according to the Canadian Foreign Affairs project browser. Thousands of schools have been rebuilt or rehabilitated by western nations. Afghan government statistics show more than -- up from just 5000 in 2001. So why is it that, despite this decade of massive investment, the literacy rate for women is still only 22 per cent according to UNICEF? It's the same problem we've seen so many other places: failing to realize that building a school is not the same thing as providing an education.
For us in the West, it's hard to imagine life without education. But what if you couldn't read the words on a basic contract, write your name on a job application, or count the money you earn at work? Imagine no one in your community knew how to prevent your crops from failing, basic accounting to run a family business, or how to treat a common illness.
"Feminist" is an unavoidably loaded word. If we asked a group of parents if they believe in raising children that are respectful of both men and women, and who believe in equal opportunity, we suspect the answer would be overwhelmingly, "of course." Ask that same group if they believe in raising feminists, and the response may be slightly more hesitant.
Faster. Higher. Stronger. Cheaper? As we gather excitedly before our televisions this month to marvel at Olympic quadruple jumps and backside 1440 triple corks (yes, these tricks look as cool as they sound), yet another human rights issue in Sochi marks a stain on the ice rinks and ski chalets themselves.
If there were such a thing as a rock star politician, the man known affectionately around the globe as "Madiba" is one. Today's youngest generation did not witness his historic struggle, release or election. Yet they know his extraordinary messages of equality, hope and forgiveness. And they are ready to receive his torch.
Through her energy and determination Emily has brought her community together to become more inclusive. She has also inspired others who face similar challenges. On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, what will you do to be a difference maker and create an inclusive world for everyone?
This is where sh*t got medieval. And by this I mean we were building walls old school brick and mortar styles. The guys had to chip away at massive stones in order to make them fit. And then there was the "flicking". The process basically involved throwing mud at the new wall to reinforce the bricks.
In 2010, I joined Artbound, a nonprofit volunteer organization committed to championing the power that an arts education has on creating sustainable change. Our first 80s-themed fundraising event was an incredible success and raised $150k in order for Free The Children to build an arts centre at their Kisaruni High School for Girls. This would be the first of its kind in East Africa.
It was the speech heard around the world. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" are some of the most recognizable words in history, and 50 years later, the March on Washington Square is an enduring example of the struggle for basic freedoms through peaceful assembly. Now, it's time for reflection.
The story of how Jesse Giddings got his break in the entertainment industry reads like the opening act of a Hollywood film: star-hopeful moves from the suburbs to the big city with nothing but a duffel bag and a dream. We caught up with Giddings to find out what motivates him, and what he would say to his high-school self.
Hannah Alper is a 10-year-old blogger with a resume that would make recent journalism grads jealous. She earned a press pass for the 2013 Juno Awards, where she worked backstage as their official blogger. The reach of her environmental blog, callmehannah.ca, has landed her in the hot seat as interviewee with the likes of CBC Television's George Stroumboulopoulos.