Congratulations React to Racism challenge winners
Youth are speaking up against racism.
This challenge invited youth to speak up against racism and discrimination. It was inspired by the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which takes place every year on March 21. Through writing, artwork and media, participants told us how they’d been affected by racism and suggested ways we can end it.
Here are the winning entries.
Félicitations aux gagnants du défi Dénoncer le racisme
Les jeunes dénoncent le racism. Dans le cadre de ce défi, on a invité les jeunes à dénoncer le racisme et la discrimination. Le défi a été inspiré par la Journée internationale pour l’élimination de la discrimination raciale, qui a lieu tous les ans le 21 mars. Les participants nous ont raconté la façon dont ils ont été touchés par le racisme et ont fait des suggestions pour y mettre fin par des documents écrits, visuels et multimédias.
Voici le nom des gagnants.
Runner up: Diversville
Winner: One people
– Deep Boyzz (Abdoul, Omar, Florent & Edwin)
Runner up: The Seven Words (The Seven Sacred Teachings)
– Grade 10 Broadcasting/Media Arts Class at Tec Voc High School (Ian, Autumn, Taryn, Justin, Leon, Kainen, Halley, Jacob, Archie, Alyssia, Chris & Jocelyn)
Winner: Anita’s Story
The loud ringing of a familiar tango jolted me awake. I retreated underneath my pillow. I groaned as I pulled the lead phone to my ear. I could hardly make out what was being said, but I knew what the call was about.
“Be right there,” I grumbled. I rolled out of bed and glanced at the clock. 1:45 am. Ugh.
I had a few minutes so I sat in my car and let my mind wander. I thought about the moment that I decided to be a nurse and couldn’t remember why I wanted it so badly then. It was a cramped place for immense thoughts but my mind was too tired to stop them.
The sterile white walls stretched onwards for decades as I approached the room that my patient would be in. I had been given a briefing on her condition. Cirrhosis of the liver. She had ignored it for too long and it caused kidney failure. She wasn’t expected to last until morning.
I took a deep breath and stepped into the room.
A Native American woman, who I guessed to be about 60, was the only one in the beige room. I assumed that she was sleeping but at hearing my footsteps she turned to face me.
“Hello, my name is Karen, I’ll be taking care of you tonight” I said as I inspected the IV bags on the stand.
“It’s nice to meet you, I’m Anita,” She said weakly. The disease had taken it’s toll on her, her chocolate brown eyes had begun to take on a yellowish tinge along with her once copper skin. It was clear that she was close to death.
It was always difficult trying to make small talk with a patient who was in such a precarious state of life, where little occurrences didn’t mean a whole lot. She was facing the idea of eternity and I was going to try and talk about the weather?
“Can you get the doctor for me? I want to know what exactly happened in the surgery,” she said, breaking the short silence.
“Oh, of course,” I said. I was a little surprised that she hadn’t already been told. I checked to see who her surgeon was. Dr. Smith. Ugh.
“Excuse me Doctor,” I said sheepishly as I approached him in the main office. I asked him what she wanted to know
“Her liver damage caused her to have kidney failure.” He said quite simply.
I stood there for a few moments expecting him to leave the office to speak with the patient but he just stood there with his eyebrows raised. He expected me to relay the message.
On returning to the room I told the patient what the doctor told me, and she began asking questions that I couldn’t answer. The doctor still didn’t come to talk to her though.
“Listen,” Anita said after this ridiculous relaying had gone on for some time. “I know that I don’t look like someone who is worth helping…”
“It’s not that,” I protested “It’s just that he’s just…” a jerk“…Busy at the moment. I’ll get him.”
I found the doctor, chatting away to the nurse at the desk about the weather.
“Excuse me,” I said.
“What is it?” he replied angrily.
“The patient would really like to speak with you,”
“I don’t have time,”
“It will only take a couple minutes…”
“I don’t have a couple minutes to waste on someone who has clearly destroyed their own liver with alcohol” He snapped
“I didn’t know that was the cause…” I said, shocked. What I didn’t say was that it didn’t matter, a woman was dying, the least he could do is explain to her what was going on.
“Isn’t it obvious?” He said
“What?” I said but he didn’t answer. I remembered now that her health information didn’t specify the cause. There was no mention of alcohol.
I returned to the room in quiet defeat
“He’s very busy…” I said weakly
She simply sighed and shook her head. There was a wordless conversation that passed between me and the dying woman, where I told her what the doctor said and she told me that she was used to it.
“Come sit here,” Anita said gesturing to the chair beside her bed. “Let me tell you a story,”
She began to tell me the story of her life. She told me a remarkable story starting with her childhood. A childhood full of colour and fire. Of nature. She told me of the legends that were passed down from who-knows-how-many years, from the beginning of time it seems. As a child she loved birds and the freedom that they had, always moving and always knowing where they should go.
Then she was taken away. The people came and took her from her family and put her in schools to teach her how to be white. She lost her family all at once simply because someone didn’t understand her way of life. She told stories of abuse and injustice.
As a young adult she rebelled. Getting into things that she shouldn’t. “who hasn’t made mistakes” she said of the life that she had now left behind. She caused a lot of damage then, but one day she was reborn into her own way of life.
As the night continued I felt anger towards the doctor and I decided to tell him, and everyone, Anita’s story, so they knew what damage could be caused by this prejudice that is so often overlooked. I remembered then, why I had wanted to be a nurse; I wanted to help people, and learn things that I didn’t know before.
The sun was just beginning to push itself over the horizon as she concluded her story. Birdsong sounded from outside the window as a group of sparrows flew past. Her lips pulled into a smile as she closed her eyes for the last time.
Runner up: The colour of my skin
Name something that is brown.
Now, name me; I am brown.
Now, out of the five things you have named, which one, do you think, is most hated for it?
Do not answer. Not yet.
I am brown, but I am also smart.
I also possess five senses, like most humans.
Do you know what this means?
It means that I can hear you; I can see you.
I know what you are doing, and I do not like it.
You see, it is because I have feelings too.
It breaks my heart, because I do have a heart.
I also have 206 bones within my body, roughly 600 eyelashes, and supposedly 1000000000 brain cells.
You probably do too.
Do you know where I am getting at?
We are not different, not entirely.
We may posses the same interests.
We may even like the same music.
But the colour of my skin is all it takes for you to reject me; you label me:
FOB. Stupid. Alien.
And I am not.
How I speak is none of your business. I am literate. I am here.
And maybe this is because I am not the only one who is brown.
There are millions of people who look like me, and that is all, so you choose to compare me to them.
And your comparison quickens your conclusion. It covers any compassion you could have had towards me. It exercises caution.
So you stay away from me.
Because I am brown, I am not only different, I am wrong.
“Well, if you put it that way. But…”
Do not blame this on your upbringing. Do not blame this on the media. Do not blame this on anyone.
Sooner or later, you will have to think for yourself, and by that time my skin will still be brown.
And by that time, I still will not get to choose how you interpret me.
I do not, and will not, have a say on how you look at me.
I am not sure if I will ever get the chance to look you in the eye and feel equality.
But I know who I am, and I know I am better than your words.
And I know that words have no meaning unless they are heard, and my ears are closed.
I know. I am.
You can now answer the question.
Thank you to everyone who entered!
Nous remercions tous les participants!
|Kerby||No to Racism|
|Miguel||We are all equals!|
|Clarice Ann||Racism is Everywhere|
|Joemar||Will You React or Ignore?|
|Philip||Racism is Bad|
|Fabrice||We are all equal|
|Cody||Educate Yourself About Racism|
|Sarah||Know Me Before You
Judge Me-Let’s End Racism.
|Asmani||See the Whole World and
Connect to Others
|Danielle||Hate to Love|
|Josh||We Stand Together|
|Nicholas||Why can’t we come together as one!|
|Bessie||We Are All Equal|
|Jonathan||LET US UNIITE AS FRIENDS|
|Calida||Looking At Simularities,
|Emily||React to Racism|
|Abdoul, Omar, Florent, Edwin||One People|
|Amrita, Fabrice, Andy,
|Jodi, Jennifer, and Kyle||Stand Up Against Racism|
|Hamrin, Luam, Selam,
Vete, Hassan, Mina, Joseph
|One Race: HUMAN!|
|Krys, Taylor, Jenessa,
Zachary, Jessica, Sadie-Jo
|Take a Stand|
|Behnam||How can we fight Racism?|
|Ian, Autumn, Taryn, Justin, Leon, Kainen, Halley, Jacob, Archie, Alyssia, Chris, Jocelyn||The Seven Words|
|Blair||Culture-React to Racism|
|Ainsley, Tasha, Alex, Brenda,
Bronson, Tabitha, Josh, Michael
|Restoring the Sacred @
Maples Reacts to Racism 2013
|Courtnay||Put it in Reverse!|
|Matthew||Let’s be together|
|Nicholas||There’s No Master Race|
|Nana||message to the racist|
|Jan Nicko||Fighting Racism|
|Martin & Raj||We are all equal|
|Samantha||For the better|
|Garrett||React To Racism|
|Emilee||React To racism|
|joelyne||Racist? If so, why?|
|Juzlynn||The Colour of my Skin|
|Hannah||This Is Enough.|
|Caleb||Racism (Acrostic Poem)|
|Telisa||Hand in Hand|
|Kadie||React To Racism:
We Can All Make a Change
|Marianne||Lets Stop That Thing…
|Rita||Words Of Racism|
|Michael||How to stop racism|
|Megan||Taking a stand…|
|Teal||How to respond to racism.|
|Sarah||Stop The Racism Before It Happens|
|Kyle||Just Like A Rainbow|
|Brianna||My Poem for Racism|
|Cheyenne||How racism has affected me.|
|Catherine||The Road to Ending Racism|
|Mahesh||The truth on Racism|
|Edrian||What Racism Has Done and
How to Try to Fix It
|Élise||Stop racism’s for the future|
|Emily||We are all equal people|
|Adam||Killing the Indian Child|
|Amber||Break On Through|
|besta||it is a story about my friend|