Social Justice

This Canada Day, Think Radical

David Suzuki | Posted 06.25.2014 | Canada Impact
David Suzuki

Canada was once seen as a country where respect for each other and our land, air, water and biodiversity were valued. Now, some government leaders and their industry and media supporters threaten those who dare question the mad scramble for short-sighted, short-term profits at the expense of the environment, our health and the world's climate systems, and label us "radicals."

Remember: At the End of the Day, It's Yourself You Answer To

Elizabeth Hawksworth | Posted 05.30.2014 | Canada Living
Elizabeth Hawksworth

I try to remember to admire the things I love about myself, to flirt if I want to, to smile for no reason at all. I remember that, like Dr. Angelou said, "I have a certain way of being in this world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved." I remember that in the end, always in the end, it's myself I answer to at the end of the day.

Nigerian Kidnapping Signals a Larger, Global Problem That We Can Change

Rosemary McCarney | Posted 07.21.2014 | Canada Impact
Rosemary McCarney

The latest headlines about the kidnapping of some 300 Nigerian girls are part of an even larger and generally unreported story -- the widespread, worldwide tolerance of violence against women and girls. While the kidnapping is clearly an act perpetrated by an extremist group, it is also much more than that.

We Don't Just Need More Jobs, We Need Humane Jobs

Kendra Coulter | Posted 07.18.2014 | Canada Living
Kendra Coulter

Some people may be able to find "a job" but is the pay enough to even cover basic expenses? Are the hours sufficient? Are they consistent? Or is it not only impossible to schedule the essentials of life, but to pay for them? Above and beyond these important, tangible dimensions, do people enjoy their jobs?

Being a Bigot Doesn't Come With a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

Elizabeth Hawksworth | Posted 07.10.2014 | Canada Politics
Elizabeth Hawksworth

You do have the freedom to say what you want. You don't have the freedom to escape the fallout from your words. When you are a bigot -- and I use the word without malice -- you are trying to block another human being from having the same rights you have. You can feel however you want to feel. There is nothing wrong with your religious or philosophical beliefs, and in our society, you are free to practice them and believe what you wish. But freedom of speech does not carry a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Let's Not Forget the Mothers of Child Labourers This Weekend

Cheryl Hotchkiss | Posted 07.09.2014 | Canada Living
Cheryl Hotchkiss

Many moms are wakened on Mother's Day by an ominous clattering in the kitchen: your loving-hearted children preparing to surprise you with coffee or hot chocolate in bed. There's also that cinnamon toast or oatmeal positively doused with sugar. What many moms don't realize is that such meals usually come courtesy of a whole crew of children.

Calling Out Mansplainers Isn't the Same as 'Silencing' Men

Anne Theriault | Posted 06.15.2014 | Canada Living
Anne Theriault

Dear Tom McLaughlin And Joshua Sealy-Harrington: We need to talk about your recent article in the Globe and Mail about being "silenced" based on gender. First of all, let's get a few things straight here: You are not being silenced. Yes, sometimes your opinions will be discounted because of your identity -- because you know what? In the context of social justice, lived experience trumps everything else every time.

Can Metadata Solve Washroom Graffiti?

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 05.02.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

Instead of reassuring yourself that since you have nothing to hide, collection of metadata won't reveal anything interesting about you, ask your children how they feel about the proposed washroom math lesson. Then you can both stand up for your rights.

Do You Know Where Those Valentine's Chocolates Came From?

Debbie Wolfe | Posted 04.14.2014 | Canada
Debbie Wolfe

What is it about chocolate that says 'love' on Valentine's Day? The first year I was married, I remember an almost overwhelming instinct to concoct h...

Animals Are Workers, Too

Kendra Coulter | Posted 04.14.2014 | Canada Business
Kendra Coulter

There are workers who are not counted in censuses, protected by labour laws, or given a paycheque for their labour. Some of these workers are not humans. One thing we know for sure is that animals do so much for people. So what will people now do for animals?

Why Philanthropy is the Best Medicine

Kim Smiley | Posted 04.12.2014 | Canada Impact
Kim Smiley

I know several philanthropists who will only fund the projects that no one else will touch. Give me the most stigmatized cause, the most complex client group! What does this teach us about life? The nobility of standing in solidarity with the marginalized.

Do We Have To Be Offended By Everything?

Anne Theriault | Posted 03.11.2014 | Canada Living
Anne Theriault

Life is an ongoing exercise in empathy. As a human being, your job should be constantly learning how to make your own way in this world while causing as little harm as possible. Which is why I'm ultimately baffled when people wonder aloud if they're supposed to look at everything critically and worry about its potential to harm others. Because yes, that is exactly what you are supposed to do.

Russell Brand's "Activism" Isn't Fooling Me

Lauryn Oates | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Lauryn Oates

The most revealing moment of Russell Brand's Newsnight interview is when Paxman asks what his revolution will be like. Brand begins his response: "Well I'll tell you what it won't be like." This response, which knows not what it wants and only what it doesn't want, is indicative of what I've come to think of as Che Activism.

If You Want Style, Choose Ethical Fashion

Kendra Coulter | Posted 11.04.2013 | Canada Impact
Kendra Coulter

There are many threads which interweave people working in stores and in factories, near and far. Yet too often we compartmentalize and divide issues, creating silos of concern. People interested in making more ethical consumption choices are forced to pit priorities against each other.

Life is Beautiful? Even the Marginalized Can Benefit from Art

Imelda Nurwisah | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Imelda Nurwisah

As humble as they might be, beauty and art can play a part in the support service toolkit that helps the homeless with life challenges and provides assistance that is emotional, social, and spiritual in nature.

The Homeless Deserve Compassion, Not Condemnation

Ward Draper | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Ward Draper

The multiple tragedies faced by individuals living on the margins are further complicated by homelessness, which is in itself disempowering, painful, destructive, and unpredictable. It is in this pandemonium that there is little opportunity to reclaim personhood, control and clarity which is necessary to make healthier and richer decisions. They are barely recognized as persons let alone seen as having the capacity to make choice. There is so little our friends on the streets can take responsibility for nor are they even given many opportunities to claim responsibility.

What It's Really Like to Live as a Fat Person Every Day

Elizabeth Hawksworth | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Elizabeth Hawksworth

I don't believe that acceptance means that I'm making excuses. Who are you to decide if my experience is an excuse? That's derailing and dehumanizing. When you present your fitspiration article and ask me, a fat person, why I don't look like you and what my excuse must be, you're asking a question that is none of your business. I get that it's supposed to be inspiring and make me think, but you have no idea what I do for myself and what I'm working on personally. I don't owe anyone explanations, excuses, or anything else. I only owe myself those things.

Toronto's Future: Safe Injection Sites Are a Win-Win

Dr. Peter Ferentzy | Posted 11.20.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Peter Ferentzy

There has been much talk recently about the possibility of a safe injection clinic in Toronto. So our mayor -- surprise, surprise -- is against it. The provincial Liberals -- surprise, surprise -- have been ducking the issue. Since the feds are not on board, the Liberals have an excuse to sidestep rather than do the right thing and speak up (which would jeopardize their share of the redneck vote). Hey, Liberals will be Liberals. History will vindicate these efforts. History will condemn those who oppose these efforts. And, for the purpose of this article: history will not be kind to those who lag, stay on the fence, and do nothing. Toronto cannot afford to make that mistake.

6 Reasons Why There's No Wrong Way to Be a Woman

Elizabeth Hawksworth | Posted 11.17.2013 | Canada Living
Elizabeth Hawksworth

It's become apparent to me that the other side, the feminists working tirelessly to get rid of misogyny, are going too far in the other direction and trying to dictate what women should do and be. Enough, already. Here are six reasons why there's no wrong way to be the woman you are.

Going Hungry in a Land of Plenty

Ziyaad Mia | Posted 09.15.2013 | Canada Impact
Ziyaad Mia

Give 30 is an initiative established in 2012, tapping into Ramadan's lessons on social solidarity, to mobilize everyone -- regardless of faith or background -- to address the challenges of hunger in our society. Hunger in Canada is not an issue of food scarcity. Rather, it is directly related to income sufficiency and security.

JRAN: Standing Up For Human Dignity In Canada

Bernie Farber | Posted 09.07.2013 | Canada
Bernie Farber

As a result of what many in the refugee advocacy community believe to be a time of social cruelty here in Canada, government policy in our country has...

David Suzuki Empowers 8,000 Youth to Wake Up Canada!

Amy MacPherson | Posted 07.05.2013 | Canada Impact
Amy MacPherson

On April 25, 2013, renowned scientist Dr. David Suzuki attended the WFCU Centre to empower the crowd with his Wake Up Canada call. It's a campaign organized by the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition to support a day of action, encouraging kids to advocate for their environmental future through the very media that overlooked them this time around.

Why Stop at Red Lights?

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 06.16.2013 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

In my part of Toronto, I have noticed a new understanding of traffic regulation. Stop if it is convenient to do so, but if you are in a hurry, forget about it. If we only teach children that red means stop and green means go, we could be courting disaster.

How Young People Are Using Social Intraprenurship to Change Their World

Kira Burger | Posted 05.24.2013 | Canada Impact
Kira Burger

In an economy in which employment is increasingly scarce, Canadian youth need hard and soft skills to create their own opportunities. The Otesha Project, the youth-led non-profit where I work, combines experiential learning and bicycle tours to foster personal and professional development.

We're Queer. We're Muslim. Get Used to It.

Junaid Jahangir | Posted 10.31.2012 | Canada Politics
Junaid Jahangir

Many queer activists rise above their circumstances and assert their voice for justice that is not limited to LGBT issues. Belonging to a vulnerable minority, they understand prejudice and can empathize with "others." Queer Muslim activists, despite facing immense prejudice, continue their work quietly and with dignity. Their work ends up helping the very Muslim communities that so strongly shun them. They truly know the meaning of spiritual chivalry, to practice good without expecting the same in return.