Launch of UofMosaic Student Advisory Committee Paves New Paths for Canada’s Future Global Leaders
The Mosaic Institute believes that peacebuilding starts with strong leadership at the individual level. For that reason, the UofMosaic – the Mosaic Institute’s specialized peacebuilding program on Canadian university campuses, made possible by support from the BMO Financial Group – launched its inaugural “Student Advisory Committee (SAC) this spring and has developed a specially tailored Peace Professional Development Program for its members. The Mosaic Institute hopes that the UofMosaic’s SAC will become a unique a hub to guide and support emerging student leaders who aspire to become globally-connected Canadians.
The16 students who comprise the 2014-2015 SAC have many stories to share. They are tales of belonging, building communities, overcoming trauma, and becoming peace advocates. “I’m quite taken back by the diversity among the people in this team, and each person identifies with a conflict. Everyone’s been affected,” commented Areeb Qureshi, a second-year business student at Centennial College and a member of the SAC. Drawn from colleges and universities throughout the Greater Toronto Area, SAC members represent a diverse cross-section of academic disciplines, experiences and immigrant communities.
Throughout the summer of 2014, the Peace Professional Development Program for SAC members will help to refine their leadership skills so that they can become effective ambassadors for the UofMosaic on their respective campuses. Students are participating in workshops on topics such as strategic networking, critical thinking, and public speaking. Each topic will help ensure that the UofMosaic has strong leaders at the helm of its campus chapters throughout the coming academic years. The end goal, however, to help prepare SAC members for the commitment to global leadership needed to become peace builders and change agents.
The SAC team is engaged in helping to develop a part of Mosaic’s fall programming. The Toronto-based UofMosaic chapters will collaborate throughout the 2014-2015 academic year in developing a speakers’ series and public discussion entitled “UofMosaic Talks Peace: Examining the Aftermath of War and Violence”. SAC members are designing and will host a series of events on the current state of affairs in five conflict- affected regions: South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Sri Lanka and the former Yugoslavia. This initiative is to be delivered at York University, the University of Toronto, and Ryerson University starting in September 2014.
In addition to developing programming, SAC members will be active participants in the UofMosaic’s second ‘Citizen Summit’ conference in late 2014. This year’s conference, which will be held on November 15th in Toronto, will bring together a select group of experts and students interested in global peace building to discuss the role of women in contexts marked by armed conflict.
Meanwhile, students from the UofMosaic chapters at Simon Fraser University and Concordia University are preparing to host a speakers’ series on diasporas and global affairs, while the students at the UofMosaic’s McGill University chapter are working on discussion series on the role of diasporas in international development.