Our second day with the students at Rick Hansen Secondary School began again with a land acknowledgement by Damian George. The rest of the morning was full of workshop time for the students and facilitators. Students participated in our core workshop for the day – “Identity: Race, Culture, and Tradition”. In that workshop, students shared stories of their identities, how those identities change in different settings, and what parts of their identities are unique or shared with others. The facilitators led students in their classrooms in creating collective “Identity Maps” that were shared with everyone at the end of the day.


After the core workshop,m students attended one of five elective workshops. The five workshops were:

  • Deconstructing Youth Gang Violence
  • Stopping Stigma: Mental Health and Disability
  • Unpacking Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Prejudice
  • Violence Against Women: End it Now
  • LGBTQ: Being an Ally


Throughout the day, the student organizing committee were practicing their media skills by interviewing their classmates, taking photos of the workshops, and writing blog entries about the day. The project staff, Isaac (one of the facilitators), and one of the technology teachers at Rick Hansen worked with the student organizing committee to make sure students had the support for their media work.


In the afternoon, students went back to their core groups to start planning their community service projects with their community partners. They were assisted in their planning by their teacher and facilitator.


The day ended with our guest speaker, Ranj Dhaliwal, sharing his experiences with gang violence in Vancouver and Abbotsford. Ranj Dhaliwal is the acclaimed author of the best-selling novel Daaku, the first work of fiction to tackle the issue of Indo-Canadian gangs in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.


We gave away copies of Daaku to excited students as they shared parts of the day with their classmates.


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Day 2 Guest Speaker, Ranj Dhaliwal