Becoming Storytellers for the Day: Recapping #StoriesofUs

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator In early March MCIS partnered with the Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA) to host newcomer interpreters and translators for the Stories of Us workshop. The goal of the workshop was three-fold: 1) Empower newcomers by providing them with an open space to share their stories. Allowing them them to do so should help participants feel that, as Canadian citizens, they have a voice 2) Create resource books from the…

Keynote Speaker for the Language Policy Hackathon – Director Min Sook Lee

MCIS is honoured to be hosting Min Sook Lee as our keynote speaker for the Language Policy Hackathon, held in collaboration with the Policy Innovation Initiative (Pii), of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. Min Sook Lee and MCIS first formed a relationship in 2015, when Ms. Lee was invited as the keynote speaker for the Docs for Change Conference. Min Sook also donated her time as an instructor…

The What, Why, Who and How of the Language Policy Hackathon, Part I

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager What Depending on the angle, a policy hackathon could be a simple gathering of interested parties having a conversation about political processes – how policies are being made or articulated. After all, policies are the main instrument of a government’s agenda and the key to public spending. In that context, some see policy hackathons as a disruption to top-down delivery by introducing fresh and creative public input. Hackathons are…

Year in Review: Top 5 Moments of 2018 at MCIS

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator Another year come and gone. As we reach the end of 2018 and begin our celebrations to ring in the new year, it feels inevitable to reminisce over the past 365 days. While major and minor events – political and apolitical – shifted the global landscape, MCIS had a few of its own moments worth remembering. As a result, we’re proud to present MCIS’ Top 5 Moments of 2018…

Does Canadian education help International students? Statistics Canada study elaborates

“It is when the moon covers the sun that you see a solar eclipse,” says a mother turning to her son in Hindi on the way to the Ontario Science Centre. On the left, traffic is blocked, as everyone is scrambling to check out the one of a kind solar eclipse viewed by thousands on Monday afternoon. A block away from the centre, a Chinese couple walks fast towards the centre holding special glasses meant…

Why we shouldn’t Typecast Refugees

“They don’t look like refugees,” a friend of mine remarked when she saw a picture of a refugee family at the airport. I decided to dig a bit deeper. “Why do you think so?” I asked her. “Sorry, I had a different image of refugees in mind. This family looks so relaxed and carefree,” she said. I don’t blame her, nor do I blame those who believe that refugees look a certain way; haggard, shabby…

An Act of Kindness

Six p.m. on the subway can be tough, especially if you have had a rough day. Yesterday was different. Let me paint you a picture: A man in his 30s stood up and said, “Hi folks, I know you have to get home, but it would really help if you could spare some change; it is for my sister and she is in the hospital. I need to buy her some food.” For a second,…

Age is Not Just a Number

“Excuse me,” a senior citizen behind me, on the bus says. She is trying to make her way on a visibly overcrowded bus. As I give her some space, I realize the bus is teeming with senior citizens, not unusual for a commuter who takes the subway or bus every day. In fact, Canadians know we have an aging population which is increasing by the day. This is precisely the reason why we have a…

The Story of A Rape

During Sexual Assault Prevention Month, I thought I would relay this story of a rape (some facts have been modified), so we never lose sight of the immense harm it does.  I refer to it by the old term rape and not by the legal term sexual assault.  I believe most people have more of a visceral reaction to the term “rape” – I may be wrong.    We read gruesome tales of rape every day…

Newcomers and the Stigma of Mental Illness

Not quite the response I was expecting.A couple of years ago when I revealed to my father that I’ve struggled with depression for many years, he looked at me confused and asked why “I didn’t just get over it.”  Now, three things immediately came to my mind in rapid succession: 1)  Did my father really just say that? 2) Admittedly, he is a first-generation immigrant from a country that is only just beginning to understand…