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Posts Tagged ‘social activism’

Courage

pink.jpgI’d like to think that I would have done the same when I was in highschool, but I doubt it.

Travis Price and David Shepard, two grade 12 students who live in rural Nova Scotia, organized a school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a grade 9 boy who was being bullied.

The boy being targeted was new to the school, and had worn a pink polo shirt on his first day there, prompting a group of bullies to taunt him, call him “fag”, and threaten to beat him up. So Mr. Sheperd and Mr. Price headed off to a local discount store, bought 50 pink tank tops, and stood in the foyer of their school, handing out the shirts. The bullied boy walked in, and according to Mr. Price, “his face spoke volumes. It looked as if a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders.”

The bullies were never heard from again.

A small gesture, perhaps, but a truly courageous one, and I’m sure it made an enormous difference in the emotional life of the targeted student. Seeing two of their fellow students stand up for a victim, and witnessing the results were probably the most important lessons any of the students at that school learned this year.

Bravo!

(from the Globe and Mail)

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I hate the mall. Really, really hate it. It’s too noisy, too crowded, other people walk too slowly, they keep crossing my path aimlessly so that I can’t make my usual beeline. The lights are flickery and make my skin look sallow. I hate all of the shopping. All of the STUFF that nobody really needs, all of the fashions that keep coming and going. I hate it so much that I haven’t been in at least a year.

But we went there today. All in the name of donating a couple of cans of food. Above is a picture of the kids in front of “the world” made out of canned tuna. There was also an airport, a house, a car, and some we couldn’t figure out.

We dropped off our donations, and took a couple of detours

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before I was able to to get my grumpy self back home again.

 

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Road Trip

65758158_eee2a579e2_tBig kid R is off to Toronto tomorrow to take part in Me To We day, put on by an organization called Free The Children.

R met the founder of Free The Children, Craig Kielburger, through a friend of Anthony’s. Craig started this organization when he was 12 years old, and it is now the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. It has built more than 450 schools around the world, and it’s primary goals are to free children from poverty and exploitation as well as to inspire young people to develop as socially conscious global citizens.

R went to their leadership camp for a week in the summer, and met many thoughtful, caring teenagers who are passionate about affecting positive change. He came home full of ideas and purpose.

He’s hoping to start some sort of grassroots movement here in Manitoba, similar to this one, or to develop a branch of this organization here.

I think that’s cool.

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More or Less

DSCN0523Paradoxically, the day we were meant to be reflecting on food scarcity, we ended up seeing food in abundance. Took a tour of Peak of the Market, and then went to pick up our veggies. I know that many people wouldn’t be excited by a trip to a factory, but I find the “behind the scenes” field trips very interesting. It’s neat seeing things in bulk, too.Tee’s favorite part of the tour was watching the forklift. I liked watching the onions being mechanically sorted and bagged. Jay liked the carrots we were given to nibble.As for thinking up an appropriate activity for World Food Day, my search on the web last night proved fruitful (no pun intended, as this is quite a serious topic). I came across a group activity meant to emphasize the differences between rich and poor countries. Seeing as our group is quite small, I adapted it by using stuffed animals.

Food Distribution Around the World Activity

24 individuals (or stuffed animals)Group 1 (High Income): 4 individuals, or 1 in 6. They each get 50 pieces of “food”

Group 2 (Middle Income): 6 individuals, or 1 in 4. They each get 7 pieces of “food”

Group 3 (Low Income): 14 individuals. They get 1 piece of “food” for every three people.

The groups represent countries. The wealthy countries have the fewest people but the most “food” and the poor countries have the most people and the least amount of “food”. The kids divided up the stuffed animals randomly, and when they saw the food distribution in the end, they were shocked. They were sad for some of their favorite stuffed animals who ended up in the poor group, and wanted them to switch places with the lucky ones. It sparked quite the discussion on fairness, luck, and justice.It was hard though, because it was such an effective demonstration. The kids felt quite sad, and the talk was quite intense.

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