GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

Speaking the language of reconciliation

“I was angry at my grandparents for a long time.” Onowa McIvor grew up in northern Saskatchewan, where her grandparents feared prejudice against Indigenous peoples and did everything they could to bury their Cree roots. They refused to teach the language to their children and grandchildren. McIvor felt robbed of her heritage. As McIvor le...

April 8th, 2017 read more

The hottest trend in advertising: A social cause

Conventional wisdom in advertising says steer clear of politics. But at the Super Bowl, the Holy Grail of advertising, brands broke the rules. Shelling out $5 million for a 30-second spot, marketers made poignant statements about gender pay equity and immigration while hawking cars and beer. They used the biggest ad stage to take a stand for a c...

March 25th, 2017 read more

Black History Month can make us all better Canadians

Standing in front of an auditorium of mostly white faces, the president of the Ontario Black History Society asked a group of elementary students what they knew of Black History Month. A precocious girl in the first grade raised her hand. “She said to me, ‘That’s the month we have to feel bad about black people because they were slaves,’...

February 18th, 2017 read more

Libraries: Relics of the past of more relevant than ever?

If you really want to rile up a Canadian, threaten to take away their library. Craig got his first taste of activism speaking out to save our local library. We’ve noticed ever since then that when provinces and cities experience a budget crunch, libraries are often first on the chopping block. Yet invariably, citizen rise up to protect them fr...

May 28th, 2016 read more

Art is a powerful way to transform women’s lives

Julia was a drug addict living on the streets of Toronto. Then a pottery wheel changed her life. Seven years ago, Julie (her name has been changed) joined Inspirations Studio. The pottery social enterprise is run by the Toronto non-profit, Sistering, which helps low-income women who have experienced poverty, homelessness and mental health issues. ...

May 7th, 2016 read more

Water: One of the First Casualties of War

When the people of Aleppo, Syria, turned on their taps in early March, they saw clean, running water for the first time in months. In January, the Islamic State seized the sole water plant that serves the entire city of Aleppo and shut it down, depriving three million people of drinking water. Syrian government forces took back the facility last...

April 15th, 2016 read more

Women on Currency: Why Settle for Just One?

Merna Forster was stunned as she watched Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announce on International Women’s Day that women will be represented on one of Canada’s banknotes again. “After fighting for this for years, it was hard to believe the victory,” the historian and author of 100 Canadian Heroines (Dundurn, 2004) and 100 More Canadian He...

April 9th, 2016 read more

Is a world without juvenile prisons possible?

The city of Seattle, Washington, plans to never put another young person in jail. Is it a naïvely utopian vision, or an idea whose time has come? In September, the Seattle city council unanimously approved a motion calling for zero youth incarceration. Seattle councillor, Mike O’Brien, told us the idea emerged as community groups met to oppose ...

October 31st, 2015 read more

Volunteerism—today’s MBA for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

Remember that gung-ho teen who hit you up at the mall for your signature on a petition or donation to a local cause? You might have just met tomorrow’s millionaire entrepreneur. Sure, manufacturing and natural resources remain an important part of Canada’s economy, but the real economic drivers and job creators are entrepreneurs. The Canadian ...

August 8th, 2015 read more

Pen pal project brings Yemen conflict home for students

The Facebook message came from the middle of a war zone. “It’s people like you that give me and so many others hope that we are not forgotten and alone,” wrote Yemeni peace activist Nina Aqlan to Canadian teacher Kathleen Connors and her students. That online exchange is part of a modern-day pen pal project for kids at North Ward Public Sc...

May 2nd, 2015 read more