Announcing THROUGH OUR EYES series2020/06/08
The Mosaic Institute was founded on a simple but powerful article of faith: that we are all stronger, wiser, and better together, not in spite of our differences, but precisely because of our differences. Yet, while our country and our province have been quick to hold up this creed in words, there is no denying that we have sometimes struggled to embrace it in deeds.
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown this tension into stark relief.
On the one hand, it is a powerful reminder that our interests as individuals are inextricably entwined with the health and prosperity of every other human being. On the other hand, the highly uneven distribution of insecurity and suffering caused by the virus has exposed societal inequities with a brutal candour that fine words cannot soothe.
This is an apt moment for us to look into ourselves, to ask difficult but essential questions about the reality of race relations in our province, the extent to which we are living up to our creed of inclusion, and what steps we must take where we are falling short.
Mosaic’s work has always been built on rigorous, impartial, public research and engagement. We believe that the most direct path to successful societies is one that follows the truth, wherever it may lead and no matter how discomfiting the journey might be.
But this is not a path any of us need tread alone.
Together with our partners, we are proud to launch "Through Our Eyes" - a series of dialogues, research, and action, on race relations in our province.
Our dialogues will bring together members from a range of cultural and ethnic communities, to discuss their experiences of race relations in Ontario, in settings that will emphasise openness, empathy, and mutual respect. We will seek the participants’ insights into what measures public-sector institutions, private-sector organisations, and citizens at large could take to enable our province to better reap the benefits of equity and inclusion.
Our research will examine how specific communities are affected by online hatred and intolerance, and the concomitant responsibilities for social media platforms, public regulators, and educators. This will build on Mosaic’s earlier work with the federal Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and with Facebook Inc, on social media governance.
Our action projects will foster province-wide public reflection on the questions and recommendations raised by our dialogues and research. Critically, we will involve policy makers, business leaders, and media platforms in these projects, both to inform debate and to be influenced by the consensus.
Our dialogues, research, and action will be carried out through distance technology, to fulfil our responsibilities during the coronavirus pandemic. It is precisely amidst the stresses of physical distancing, that we must redouble our efforts to stand together.
With thanks to the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate for their support