Decolonizing Memories: Takeaways from the Memories of Mogadishu Conference

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager The Memories of Mogadishu Conference (#MOM19), which took place at the Ottawa Art Gallery on May 4th, 2019, was curated by documentary filmmaker and second generation Somali-Canadian Asha Siad. The goal of the conference was to gather international speakers, most of them with strong ties to Somalia and Mogadishu, storytellers, historians, members of the library and archival community, as well as students of Somali origin to explore themes regarding the…

Getting Loud for Mental Health Week

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), mental health is ubiquitous. Just like physical health, we all ‘have’ it; some of us may have poorer mental health, due to the presence of some mental illness, but we are all impacted by it and able to feel mental health via our wellbeing. Extending this to mental illness and disorders, if you are to prescribe to a relatively newer way of thinking among psychologists and other…

Letter to Premier Doug Ford Regarding Cuts to LAO

Please find below, a letter to Premier Doug Ford, from MCIS Executive Director Latha Sukumar, written in response to the Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) funding cuts announced as part of the 2019 budget. April 10, 2019 Honourable Premier Doug Ford Government of Ontario doug.ford@pc.ola.org Honourable Premier Doug Ford Re: Proposed cuts to Legal Aid funding for Refugees and Immigrants I am writing to express my concerns about the proposed cuts to provincial legal aid funding…

A Personal Reflection on Women’s History Month

By Latha Sukumar, Executive Director When I was a young girl, my mother used to take us to the village where my uncle and his family lived. It was a village steeped in rituals and practices that I had never witnessed growing up in Mumbai. On one of these visits my mother moved outside of the house, into a little room by the well; it was a pretty shabby room, with just a small light…

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…

Non-Profit Innovators – We Need You!

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” — George E. P. Box Over the past couple of years the Government of Canada has made some significant moves in terms of accelerating innovation in the social sector. First, in 2017 they appointed the Co-Creation Steering Group, to guide the development of a Canadian Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy. After a year of consultations, the Group presented its recommendations…

African American Spirituals and the Slavery Connection: When the Song is the Message and More

By Gregory Bourne, Sales Representative As with many black families whose parents migrated from the West Indies in the late sixties, my sister and I were raised in a Christian household. My mother started hauling us to church when I was six. Dressed in my Sunday best, I wore a pint-sized suit, impossibly shiny black shoes, and the most annoying clip-on-tie. I looked like a cute, black but very angry ventriloquist dummy. As I got…

Bangladesh’s Fight, the World’s Prize: The History of International Mother Language Day

By Sarah Haque, Board Administration and Communication Coordinator I have heard from more than one non-Bengali speaker that when they hear Bengali spoken it sounds sweet and melodious. I speak Bengali. It is my mother tongue. My language is my identity. But these feelings and my story would’ve been entirely different if Bengali student demonstrators, Abdus Salam, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Abul Barkat, Abdul Jabbar and many others hadn’t sacrificed their lives and become language martyrs….

The Ultimate Language Hack: Highlights from the Language Policy Hackathon

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator 25 percent. The figure marks the near percentage of working Canadian immigrants in 2016. The following year, 60 percent of the country’s increase in employment was from immigrants joining the work force. So to anyone who genuinely believes that immigrants should not be welcomed into Canadian society, we must ask, what would we do without them? As for those who support migration to Canada, and who believe in it,…

Supporting #BellLetsTalk: Why Joining the Conversation Is Necessary

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator ‘Join the conversation,’ and ‘Today, let’s talk!’ These slogans are likely on every other post of your social media feeds today, most probably followed by the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. It began as a single day in 2010, to aid in eliminating the stigma that surrounds issues of mental health and mental illness. Unfamiliar with how it works? For each tweet and RT that includes the official hashtag, Bell donates 5…