Inclusion Project: Celebration recap

From June to February 2017, the Inclusion project supported youth to discuss and learn about topics related to inclusion, diversity, and racial justice in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish Territories.

To take action on these issues, these youth led migrant justice workshops (a workshop co-developed with members of No One Is Illegal) for schools and youth groups across the Lower Mainland. They also completed community action projects, including banner painting for local migrant justice issues and the creation of a short documentary film on immigrant youth experiences.

On Friday February 17, we hosted our final Inclusion Project event, a celebration and screening of a short film made by project participants at the Broadway Youth Resource Centre.

[Image description: Room full of mostly younger people facing forward towards someone at front of room]

[Image description: Backside of room full of people facing towards two people at front of room]

The evening was MC’d by Mutia, who was one of the project participants and youth filmmakers. Mutia started off the evening by introducing herself and sharing her interest in joining the project. As a teenager from Indonesia, she wanted to learn more about diversity in Canada and meet other like-minded youth who cared about social justice issues.

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Mutia is event MC, introducing herself and our poet Lovely, who shared poetry at the event [Image description, left: teenaged girl stands in front of audience beside ASL interpreter, reading from a piece of paper | right: teenager stands upright, looking out at audience]

Mutia introduced poet Lovely, another participant in the project, who performed two poems for us. The first poem was about their complicated relationship to their homelands in the Phillipines and the second was about non-binary trans identity.

We then watched the short film, which was directed, filmed, and edited by Mutia, Lovely, Angelo and Helena while munching on popcorn and seaweed snacks.  This film titled “Youth Immigration to Canada” features 5 young people sharing their personal and family immigration stories.


 

“The main reason we did this project is because we were interested in sharing immigrant experiences in film. We also wanted to demonstrate that youth, with their limited resources, are capable of affecting their communities positively.”
– Angelo, youth filmmaker

After the film, Mutia, Lovely and Helena answered questions from the audience about their experience making the film. They learned a LOT about filmmaking by taking on this project with highlights of the process including the final product and sharing snacks and fun hang outs together.

Filmmakers shared that it has become clear to them how different immigration experiences can be depending on one’s citizenship status, the length of time they’ve been in Canada, and different ages at time of immigration. There are so many barriers to be aware of and they hope that this film sheds light on the different challenges one may face, and the realities of being a young immigrant in Canada.

Filmmakers answer questions from the audience | Sharing some yummy food after the film

Filmmakers talk about their experience making the film and we ate food together afterwards!  [Image description, left: 3 youth sitting in chairs, laughing and smiling at one another. | right: Man in baseball cap drinking from a cup stands beside a woman serving food onto a plate.]

 We were really excited to have so many people join us for this event  Together, we shared snacks and food made for us by Siga Siga’s and Filipino Carendaria Restaurant, socialized, and added messages of love, hope and solidarity onto an art banner on the wall of the room.  It was a really special evening to showcase the work of the youth and have the group come together one last time as the project wraps up.

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Some of the Inclusion project youth sharing snacks! [Image description: youth of colour sit and stand together around a table, smiling.]

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Our art banner offered space where people could share thoughts and messages of hope. [Image description, left: Back of person adding message onto banner titled “Solidarity + Love + Care” with messages below. | right: drawing of flowers growing with text “let’s resist + grow together ♥ so grateful for everyone involved with this project. You make me smile + laugh + cry”]

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Some of the awesome people involved in the project! [Image description: group of young people stand in front of a banner and smile]

Photos taken by Jessie and Anastasia.

Thank you to Coast Capital Savings, LUSH Cosmetics, the Hamber Foundation, Groundswell’s Vancouver SOUP and individual donors for your financial contributions to supporting this event and project.

Thank you to the community educators, organizers, artists, front-line workers and activists who shared their knowledge and experience with us throughout this project, including Omar Chu of NOII and Sanctuary Health, aly dee, Sayeh Yousefi, Tsatia Adzich of the Metis Nation of BC, vanessa bui and Romi Chandra-Herbert of PeerNetBC, Susanne Tabata and Judy Hanazawa of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, Natalie Wai of the BC Teacher’s Federation, Kevin Huang of hua foundation, Cicely-Belle Blain of Black Lives Matter Vancouver, and Kayla Isomura

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