The social and political events of this summer demonstrated the worst and best of humanity. I was deeply disheartened by the violence in Charlottesville which revealed a very ugly side of humanity rooted in racism, bigotry and hate. At the same time, I was overwhelmed with pride to witness our capacity as human beings to overcome this hate with love and acceptance as millions of people from all walks of life marched peacefully together in anti-racism rallies around the world. It is in that same spirit of love that we must stand together against hate and intolerance and walk together to create an intercultural society that values the strengths in our differences.
With the growing levels of xenophobia and racism we witnessed this summer, I am even more confident in MFRS’ holistic family cultural brokering approach as the antidote to this hate.
The MFRS / MCHB collaboration nurtures a culture of support that celebrates the strengths and potential of refugee and new immigrant families. This summer our Youth Leaders were mentored in, and then modelled, an approach that embraces the intentional creation of safe and inclusive spaces that give room for self-determination while offering tools that support understanding of cultural differences, encourage connectivity, and nurture confidence. They celebrated an amazing intercultural summer with a wind up event that combined inclusive games amidst open discussions about race, gender roles, identity and belonging.
I am filled with hope when I bear witness to the youth voices and their fierce determination to address racism and hate speech which is increasingly present in the Alberta landscape today. The Youth team exemplifies the antidote, they are the new generation of intercultural youth who are holding space for other youth to give voice to their invisible realities, to decolonize prescribed identities with their own empowered self-locations, and to nurture ways we can live well amongst each other with love and kindness. There is much encouragement and inspiration.
With your continued active support, we will continue to nurture the conditions for a thriving intercultural community of support.
Winnie Chow Horn
Executive Director, MFRS