Multiculturalism Week
Fri Mar 18 00:00:00 NDT 2016

It is not often I write two blogs in one month, but sometimes for timely and significant reasons I feel compelled to share some further thoughts.

The Newfoundland and Labrador of today is much different than our province was just a few decades ago. Our own culture has become enriched by many individuals and families from numerous countries throughout our world. In recent years we have seen this diversity increase and a blossoming multicultural community begin to take root, which is something I think we should celebrate and foster. It is for this reason my second blog for March focuses on Multiculturalism Week which runs from March 20-26.

Throughout our province there will be events held to celebrate the growing diversity of our communities and schools. Increasing diversity in our schools helps our students become exposed to a variety of cultures and experiences they may never have the opportunity to learn about or otherwise know so well. We have schools with over 60 different countries represented within them; they are diverse and fascinating places. There is no better way to learn about a culture than to hear its intricacies told by someone who lives it every day; this is occurring in many of our schools.

By opening our communities to people from around the world we open our eyes, our minds and our hearts. We have recently experienced this with the arrival of Syrian refugee families and students to our school communities. We have welcomed them and they have already taught us so much. They have been provided a place to feel safe and they are teaching us about their experiences and how we can help them. And while sometimes the truth can be painful, if told in an age appropriate way and in manner that shows how a good deed can go a long way, our students can help lead the way in changing the circumstances faced by so many across the world. Our students have always been leaders and this is one more way they can choose to do so.

During Multiculturalism Week, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is held on March 21 and provides a day for us to discuss how racial and ethnic discrimination still occur in our world on a daily basis. While for many of us this is difficult to comprehend as our core beliefs and values are so opposed to such behaviour, there are many people throughout our world who experience this each day. March 21 is a day dedicated to learning about and discussing these issues and ensuring we encourage our children and students to remain committed to accepting everyone and to never discriminate based upon race or ethnicity, or for any other reason. The United Nations provides some online suggestions for discussing these topics in our classrooms and I encourage everyone to embrace this conversation:

Discussion and experience are two ways we can help our students learn about our world and become truly global citizens. Students across the province can participate in a multicultural art project organized by the provincial government using the hashtag #MCWNL. Another great experience is to visit Sharing our Cultures this week at The Rooms, or online at And, if you would like to help the many new Canadian families arriving in our province you can visit the website of the Association for New Canadians here:

It is extremely important for us to learn about and embrace our diversity and multiculturalism. It will allow us all to grow as individuals and as a country, and helps our students discover their world. While it is imperfect, it is still a wonderful world and we have the opportunity to help make it better each and every day.

During Multiculturalism Week I encourage you to experience our world and I encourage members of our school communities with diverse backgrounds to share their culture with everyone. Knowledge, understanding, tolerance and acceptance will guide us along the way and ensure we travel the right path. As Gandhi said, “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.”

Until next time.


Tony Stack
CEO/Director of Education

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St. John's, NL · Canada · A1B 1R6
Tel: (709) 758-2372 · Fax: (709) 758-2706

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