A new project introduced by the Timmins and District Multicultural Centre aims to make the community more inclusive and welcoming.
Launched June 22, Timmins is Listening is a collaborative initiative between the Timmins and District Multicultural Centre, Timmins Local Immigration Partnership, OPSEU’s Provincial Human Rights Committee and the Canadian Council for Muslim Women.
The idea came as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and events that occurred across the border as well as in Timmins, said the centre’s local immigration partnership co-ordinator Mike Scott.
“We wanted to give a public forum to people of colour, bystanders and allies. Basically, anybody who has a story to tell,” he said. “They could be stories of racism and discrimination in our community but they can also be stories about the absence of those things.”
Project leaders hope to have a mix of positive and negative submissions.
“It starts to give us some perspective on where we are as a community on issues of racism and discrimination that we can see these stories for face value and not to delude ourselves into thinking we’ve somehow solved racism and discrimination in our community and we’re so far gone we can’t be corrected or we can’t adapt.
“The hope is it holds up a true-to-life mirror into the community and gives us some indication of what the next steps forward are,” Scott said.
Stories can be submitted in any language and should not contain any personal attacks on other people, businesses or organizations.
“The idea for it to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. And we really want to invite people to come forward, to share their stories anonymously,” Scott said. “We understand regardless it being anonymous or not, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to relieve these stories and share them publicly.”
Submissions can be sent to email@example.com.