Dismantling Prejudice: How do we collectively commit to breaking down stereotypes?
Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
Prejudices lead us to perceive others as typified simplifications overlaid above an otherwise unacknowledgeg rich and complex personal narrative. And while prejudices are often felt in the context of interpersonal interactions, that are also the result of a narrative of intollerance actively fostered by public policies and institutions. This conversation considers the ways in which we can actively push back against institutional and individual racism. In what ways can we contribute to positive shifts to the collective discourse on inclusion? How do we concretely stand in solidarity with those whose lives are impacted by racism?
Musabbir Alam was born in Bangladesh, raised in Montreal, Canada and holds a background in academia (Biochemistry & Management) & Islamic Studies. He is a cosmopolitan, multilingual (English, French, Hindi/Urdu, Bengali, Arabic) educator, activist & community organizer. He is the Founder of PEACE Initiatives Canada and the co-founder of the Canadian Muslim Alliance. He is the Director-Imam of the Imani Community Center & Muslim Association of Little Burgundy.
Sameer Zuberi was born and raised in Montreal. Since 2002, he’s been active in human rights, media relations and political advocacy, to promote understanding between Quebec’s minorities, Muslim communities in particular, and society-at-large. He is currently employed by a Montreal university to promote diversity in higher education. Sameer’s on the board of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association and the West Island Assistance Fund. He holds a law degree from UQAM and a mathematics degree from Concordia.
Ceta Gabriel is the Family Resource Coordinator at Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre where she hosts a women's group "Sista Sista". She is an affiliate member of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University and believes that our oral histories and personal narratives can be the blue print and unique design for our future "life's experiences".
Lucia Plescia trained with the Vancouver Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University in 2007 and has since designed, facilitated and promoted collaborative dialogues for multi-stakeholder community events, from small to large, with a fervent passion for authentic sharing and solution-building. Her fascination with win-win scenarios drives her life work. Lucia currently has an online part-time life coaching practice and works full-time with the Institute for Co-operative Education at Concordia University providing professional and personal development skills to university students. She holds a degree in Political Science and Conflict Resolution.
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