Clocking in from all four corners of the community
Especially, when it comes to my vehicle, and searching through the driving manual with pictures. So, if I am an hour late for our next meeting, you the reason why.
I would like to extend my congratulations to all the recipients and nominees at the 9th Annual Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards, held two weeks ago. I heard from many who attended that the evening went smoothly and guest speaker Nehal Azab shared a compelling talk about her experiences in her native homeland of Cairo, Egypt.
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in the 4th Annual Mission Writers & Readers Festival. This was my third time attending and it just gets bigger and better.
Kudos to the organizing staff. It was an action-packed day and I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in Speed Networking, where I met many interesting people. In the hour, a dozen or so people signed to come to my table and have a little chat. They expressed an interest possibly getting published as a columnist.
I had an opportunity to return to the University of the Fraser Valley campus in Abbotsford and be a guest on The Way I See It, an hour-long program with host Justin Goodrich on 101.7 FM CIVL Radio.
The focus of our discussion was local diversity and some of the issues around it. We touched on many aspects throughout the segment from inclusion to whether diversity is really working in our community. One remark that I do recall making is we need to mainstream our diverse communities. This should be the focal point of our campaign and discussion in the years to come. As the population grows throughout the decades we need more initiatives for people to be involved in mainstream activities - something we have moved away from.
There is no hiding the fact that our communities are experiencing isolation issues in schools, neighborhoods, workplace and how we communicate with each other on a daily basis. One way to conquer this is through building awareness. I don't believe people do it intentionally, but need to be reminded of some of the challenges we're facing. I also shared their many fabulous citizens who are working to bridge this cultural gap and are making a difference.
I had lunch with Abbotsford Member of Parliament Ed Fast recently, and he said something that stuck with me. He spoke positively about our local diversity. It's going to take a few generations for people to blend into the community and we're still early in that process. Great point, Ed. Station Manger Aaron Levy from CIVL Radio liked my point about mainstreaming our communities and invited me to come back to explore more topics.
- Ken Herar is a columnist for the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.