Stronger Together: Ten Ways To Make Your Voice Heard
YWCA Toronto condemns Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism. We offer our support and solidarity to the Muslim community, in Toronto and across Canada, during this challenging time. Never has there been such an important moment for us all to speak out and take action to counter Islamophobia and racism. We must also call on our elected representatives to do the same, and to ensure that Canada extends its generosity and compassion to assist refugees.
Towards this goal, we are pleased to share this list of suggested actions to make your voice heard. It has been adapted from a document compiled by the Feminist Killjoy Collective, a collective of feminists from across Canada who believe in standing up for equality (email@example.com).
1. GET INFORMED – The House of Commons has scheduled an emergency debate on Canada’s role in response to the U.S. travel ban.
- Watch it tonight – Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 7:30 PM on CPAC. Full details here.
2. READ UP on what groups that do legal and advocacy work on immigration and refugee issues are saying. Find links to recent statements here:
- The Canadian Council for Refugees
- The Canadian Civil Liberties Association
- Amnesty International Canada
- Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
3. CALL on our government for immediate action to assist refugees endangered by the actions of the United States, including to lift the current cap on private sponsorship of refugees and immediately suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.
- Find contact information for your MP here.
4. ASK those who represent you to stand up against all forms of discrimination. Appeal to the professional, trade union or community organizations in your life to take a vocal position against all forms of discrimination, including the recent actions of the United States.
5. BE an ally and not a bystander. Recognizing that refugee rights and Islamophobia are human rights issues, call out and respond to misinformation and alarmism when you see it. Stand up for the rights of all humans in your life by refusing to stay silent in the face of hatred and discrimination.
- Check out this tip sheet developed by Rania El Mugammar and the Centre for Social Innovation: How to be an ally: Islamophobia at the Intersections.
6. TALK to your friends and family and ask them to do the same! Keep the conversation going about these issues as they unfold.
7. JOIN or organize a protest! Show your friends, family and the rest of the country that you care by peaceful demonstration and solidarity.
8. START a talking circle in order to discuss issues of injustice. These circles can be a source of strength, hope and information. Talking circles can encourage those who are hesitant to act to take action and speak up.
9. SHARE your actions publicly using social media. You can use the hashtag #WelcomeToCanada to connect to the growing interest in this subject. Share photos or videos of yourself sending a letter to your MP, the Prime Minister and/or the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or attending protests/taking action on social media.
10. APPROACH your local newspaper/radio station.Tell them about the actions you are taking and offer to invite them to your letter writing session, protest, phone calls. Small and large communities have media who would be interested in covering your story, so give them a call, or tag them on social media.