On May 4, 2022, The Marc Garneu Collegiate Institute (MGCI) Council hosted a Zoom Webinar to help students, parents, the general public, better understand and address Anti-Asian Racism in our community . This event was supported by the MGCI School Council 2021-2022 PRO Grant, and chaired by Sharon Wang, Adjunct Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.
In his Opening Remarks, MPP Vincent Ke reminded us that May was proclaimed as Anti-Asian Racism Education Month.
Keynote Speaker, Gen Ling Chang, spoke eloquently on the importance of Representation, Identity and Belonging.
“Being Racist or Anti-Racist is not about who you are. It’s about what you do.”
History matters. Asian Canadian history predates Confederation. Ms. Chang traced the history of Asia Immigrants settling into Canada since the mid-1800’s, and faced institutionalized racism.
Asians were denied the Right To Vote, which also denied them the right to Post-Secondary Education, with significant negative consequences.
Dismantling the Right To Vote started the path of Multiculturalism in Canada.
Asians are a diverse group, comprising 48 countries from these regions: North Asian (Siberia), Central Asia (The-Stans), Western Asia (The Middle East and the Caucaus), South Asia (Indian subcontinent), East Asia (Far East) and Southeast Asia (East Indies and Indochina)
Acknowledging the history of Anti Asian Racism in Canada, exacerbated during the Pandemic Years, and consciously “calling out” such acts would lead to mitigating, and though very difficult, hopefully eliminating racism in Canada.
Sara Hira and Amand Wu, members of the MG Asian Heritage Month Student Committee, produced a colourful, entertaining and educational video: “Why is Asian Heritage Important to me?”
Melvin Lowe, Vice-Principal of MGCI stressed MGCI School Council’s Resolution and Commitment to fight and eradicate Anti-Asian Racism.
Guidance counselling services available for Students (and where appropriate, for Parents) were explained by Jaime Yamashita and Sunita Bhowmik.
On behalf of the Parents, Chris Chen thanked all those involved in organizing this event.
Representing the MGCI School Council, Harry Liu listed 6 books donated to school libraries as resource material for understanding and addressing Anti- Asian Racism.
• How To Pronounce Knife
• Righting Canada’s Wrongs – The Chinese Head Tax
• How to be An antiracist
• Minor Feelings – An Asian American Reckoning
• We Gon’ Be Alright
As a token to thank the participants of this event, a Raffle was drawn giving 12 lucky winners each a $20 Amazon gift certificate.