Dear Mosaic Institute Friends,

We know that many of you have probably received news expressing shock and even grief about the choice made by our neighbours to the South.

America has been a good neighbour. And Americans have been good neighbours. It makes it all that much more difficult to understand their decision this week.

While we support a transparent and democratic process, we are saddened that this election has capitalized on the pain and anger of many Americans – pushing them to the point of electing a candidate who has racially targeted so many of America’s beautifully diverse communities.

This election result has underlined the globalized world we live in – one where the election of such a candidate has signaled to right-wing extremist groups around the world that bigotry can have a place in public fora.

Some of the hurt and pain that drove this election has ugly roots in misogyny, racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. For others, disenfranchisement and disillusionment.

We are saddened that many of these conversations gained traction here in Canada.

On this day of all days, Remembrance Day, when we recall those of valour with hearts of courage who fought the enemy of freedom so that we may live in liberty, embrace our neighbour and strive to kindness; on this day of all days the pain of choosing this president reverberates deeply.

As neighbours, allies, and fellow humans our responsibility is to stand with the victims against the victimizers and better understand their angst.

For those of us at the Mosaic Institute, this election result has confirmed our belief that safe spaces for learning and dialogue are truly needed – places where people can gather with those they disagree with and begin to understand each other.

Perhaps if we had more of these spaces, people would be more willing to honestly discuss issues instead of rallying around battle cries for insularity and exclusionism.

We hope that you will join us in somber reflection and hopeful action in the coming days as America transitions to its new government.

Maybe, just maybe, this president-elect will have an epiphany which will show him that the real causes of misery in the world are divisiveness and exclusion. We hope that he will not confuse power with strength, and will seek the strength to do the right thing.

Change begins with individuals. As individuals, we must all stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our beleaguered friends who may be concerned, even fearful, to say that we value what makes us different – because our differences are the solution.

We also hope that you will stand with us as we continue to work towards creating platforms for learning and dialogue among diverse communities in Canada to advance justice, promote peace, and reduce conflict.

The Board and Staff of The Mosaic Institute