The teen started a non-profit to help children in poverty.
Growing up, there was an unspoken absence in Zainib Abdullah's life. In Richmond Hill, Ontario, far from the home her family left in Iraq, she pieced together the story of her uncle. He had been unjustly arrested and disappeared years earlier by Saddam Hussein's government, without a trial or a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. Now she puts pen to paper, writing letters on behalf of people unfairly imprisoned around the world.
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Civics means learning about citizenship -- how our nation is governed, and our rights and duties as Canadians. It's a subject we believe is every bit as vital as math or science. Yet, across much of Canada, civics is tucked away in high school history or social studies curriculums.
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Kids connect with characters who look like them, even if those characters are sidelined. But during playtime, your kid is the casting director. A toy they can identify with makes them the hero of their own story, and could overcome what we call 'activist's block,' the self-diminishing excuse we hear often: "I'm just one person. What can I do?"
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We need to hear tales that move beyond stereotypes to challenge and teach. These stories are out there - indigenous people have been telling them for generations, but too often we haven't listened.
Years ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu counselled us not to get discouraged by disheartening news headlines. Instead, think of them as a to-do list for changing the world, he said. As we look to 2017, we're taking that advice, focusing on positive outcomes and galvanized communities instead of lamenting past events.
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"We talk about the police but we don't talk about the judge, we don't talk about the [store] clerk. This is a comprehensive experience."
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In the 18 years since Kilee was diagnosed, David Patchell-Evans' evolving understanding of her condition has mirrored changes in the way scientists talk about autism. From an incurable disease to a spectrum that will affect one in 68 children, we now view autism as a range of conditions that are distinct in every individual.
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There's a new cadre of indigenous chefs who are part historian, part cultural ambassador. Piecing together recipes long passed down orally, Chef David Wolfman helps people find a sense of history and identity through food. For many experiencing the residual effects of residential schools, food provides a link to a culture they didn't even know they were missing.
"Go back to your f---ing country," the white man screamed at the non-white man. This outburst was caught on camera, not in post-Brexit England or post-election America, but on a streetcar in the middle of multicultural Toronto. Lately, Canadian headlines teem with tales of hate crimes. So what can you do? Lots.
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"I think the opportunities to access help are just not there for people in the north."
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Too often, the elderly live forgotten in depressing conditions. The mind of a five-year-old might be exactly what elder care needs. What about a facility designed by Disney? It's just one of the creative solutions popping up around the world, proving that engaging, personalized environments improve quality of life, health and longevity for seniors.
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Across Canada, forward-thinking universities and colleges are finding innovative ways to give back to the communities they call home. In so doing, these institutions are also improving the quality of education for their students and strengthening their own relevance in a changing world.
With positions of influence (and a massive media presence), these leaders are role models for youth. We got to thinking about what kids have learned about competition, both from this election and from an increasingly cutthroat social culture.
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"Donald Trump is horrible in so many ways but [Pence] is incredibly homophobic and I don't think that’s been highlighted a lot during this election."
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Canadians send more than nine million tonnes of garbage to landfills every year -- an estimated 35 per cent of that waste is packaging from food and consumer goods. And not all packaging waste makes it to the dump. Scientists have sounded the alarm about pop can holders and grocery bags polluting our waterways and oceans
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Engaging all of your senses to commune with nature sounds a bit hokey. But it is part of a growing movement that recognizes green space is more than just lungs for the Earth. Nature is also vital to the well-being of people -- not just hippies -- and hard science shows it can help address real health concerns.
"Everything's going to end up being OK. It's just a nightmare right now."
Before Gord, Mike Downie and Pearl (Chanie Wenjack's sister) got on stage at WE Day, I knew about the conditions of the indigenous communities, but like most Canadians, we weren't taught what a residential school was and why both the truth and reconciliation is so important to not only the indigenous community.
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When Rick Hansen first started his tour, the cinema in his hometown didn't have an accessibility ramp.
This is our history, and it's our duty to learn from and re-tell it. Let's re-imagine these narratives to show all the diversity and creativity of Canada today. Because these stories belong to all of us, and every one of us has a part in telling them.
The ladies get in formation at We Day Toronto 2016!
We Day makes the case that Indigenous issues should matter to the youngest Canadians.
They told Chanie Wenjack's story to 20,000 students Wednesday. And the students listened.
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"... he's so involved in his own self that he forgets he's presidential and should be looking at issues."
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Parents often fear that a gap year will set their children back, stunting their education and career opportunities. On the contrary, hitting the pause button to gain life experience before resuming studies can actually boost future prospects.
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Welcome to microvolunteering, 10-minute increments of doing good that can (mostly) be done from home. Code-slingers and charities are inventing ways to make use of these small pockets of downtime to give a growing movement of people the chance to step up for a cause.
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Professor Jeremy Bailenson has been researching the neurological and psychological impact of virtual reality for 15 years at Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Visual, auditory and dynamic spatial cues mimic real-life responses in the brain; he's found that the immersive quality of this technology leaves an indelible mark on users in a way that still images don't.
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Food demands on our planet will double by 2050, when the population is set to reach 9.7 billion. With the global dinner table getting crowded, and the planet running out of arable land, it's going to take some extreme gardening to keep everyone fed. These breakthroughs could herald the future of food production.
Unlike blocked arteries or broken bones, mental illness is shrouded in stigma. People are reluctant to talk about it and, when confronted with someone in crisis, few know what to do. Still, odds are much greater that you'll encounter someone with an anxiety disorder or depression than someone with heart disease. Statistically, mental illness affects much more of the population -- one in five Canadians. You don't have to be a passive bystander, struggling for words or paralyzed by ignorance. You can become a mental health first responder.
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"Now, for both girls and boys, instead of going to the bush to take care of animals, we are going to school."
The Rio Olympics have now come to a close, but here's a satirical spectator sport for those of us who were frustrated by the nightly highlight reels belittling female athletes. It's called "Olympic media sexism bingo." Comedian Megan Ford posted the game card on her Twitter account.