The Mosaic Institute
Public Engagement

Through Our Eyes: Community Conversations

On Tuesday, August 18th, 2020, the Mosaic Institute hosted a live Community Conversation featuring youth discussing racism, discrimination, and lived experience.

Focusing on anti-hate and anti-racism initiatives that bring people from ‘opposite sides’ together, Community Conversations is a free, unique community initiative that educates, inspires, and informs about tangible ways to reduce the divisions that exist between us. This youth-led Conversation discussed Anti-Asian racism, Anti-Black racism, Anti-Indigenous racism, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and discrimination against intersecting and LGBTQS+ identities with a focus on sharing experiences and recommendations.

Through weekly prompts on social media, we invited you to discuss your experiences with hate and racism. Each week, the Mosaic Institute highlighted discussions targetting different identities in order to provide a platform to discuss racism and discrimination, encourage change, and promote allyship within these communities. This conversation concluded with a panel discussion, featuring youth activists Jessica Ketwaroo-Green, Masuma Khan, Riley Yesno, Ryan Chan, Ryan Persadie and Anna Press.

Anti-Asian Racism

Discussion Prompts:

  • How do you think COVID-19 has impacted perceptions of the Asian community?
  • How has Asian portrayal in media changed throughout discussions of COVID-19?

Join the #CommunityConversations on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Discussing Anti-Asian Racism:

To learn more about the community response to the growing anti-Asian racism that has intensified amidst COVID-19, visit Fight COVID Racism, a website platform dedicated to tracking and reporting anti-Asian racism and xenophobia in Canada. This project aims to validate the spectrum of experiences felt across Asian Canadian communities and seeks to use the documentation to inform future efforts for collective action against anti-Asian racism and xenophobia. The Fight COVID Racism website is a collaboration between the Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Chapter; Chinese Canadian National Council Social Justice; Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic; and, Civic Engagement Network - Society of Canada

Anti-Black Racism

Discussion Prompts:

  • What do you think it would take for Anti-Black Racism to be defeated in the short or long term?
  • What do other communities need to know about your experience being Black in Ontario?

Join the #CommunityConversations on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Discussing Anti-Black Racism:

Islamophobia

Discussion Prompts:

  • Do you feel comfortable discussing your religious practice with your peers?
  • Have you ever adapted your behaviour to prevent an Islamophobic reaction?
  • Have you ever encountered an unexpected ally? What did they do that was helpful?

Join the #CommunityConversations on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Discussing Islamophobia

Anti-Indigenous Racism

Discussion Prompts:

  • Have you felt that others (primarily settler Canadians) have tried to impose an identity on you?
  • Have you felt that Canadian identity, past, and present excludes you?
  • Is there a version of Canadian identity that includes Indigenous peoples?

Join the #CommunityConversations on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Discussing Anti-Indigenous Racism

Anti-Semitism

Discussion Prompts:

  • Is the Jewish Community inclusive of Black Jews and Jews of colour?
  • How can racial equity and inclusivity be actively encouraged in Jewish spaces in Canada?

Discussing Anti-Semitism

Discriminating Intersecting Identities

Discussion Prompts:

  • How do we ensure that multiculturalism is implemented into the LGBTQS+ community to avoid racial discrimination against ethnic members of the LGBTQS+ community?
  • How can we strengthen bonds and bridge gaps between the movement for LGBTQS+ equality and racial justice to further empower the Black LGBTQS+ community?

Join the #CommunityConversations on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Discussing the Discrimination of Intersecting Identities

The Community Conversation Panel Discussion

Following the discussion prompt series, Mosaic hosted a Community Conversations panel discussion, featuring youth activists Jessica Ketwaroo-Green, Masuma Khan, Riley Yesno, Ryan Chan, Ryan Persadie and Anna Press. Through this discussion, panellists shared their lived experience with racism and discrimination, drawing on connections to those of other identities and creating community calls to action.

Live Discussion Community Conversations Live Panel: Youth Discussing Racism, Discrimination and Lived Experience

Learn more

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About Mosaic Institute Events

The Mosaic Institute holds public events to raise the level of public discourse and public engagement on issues related to anti-hate, anti-racism, conflict, our responsibilities towards one another, and our legitimate expectations of one another.

Unlike other series, Mosaic events connect participants with speakers through audience participation. With a focus on speakers who embody our values of inclusion, pluralism, conflict resolution, respect for difference, and respectful dialogue, Mosaic brings together differing perspectives with the objective of providing a platform for unlikely allies to unite in their common goal of creating a better world.

This project is part of a series of dialogues, research, and action initiatives, on race relations in Ontario. For more information, see the series announcement here.