Spring has arrived, bringing new hope and renewed energy to our lives. As a Japanese Canadian community, we have much to celebrate, not the least of which is the number of volunteers whose dedication and hard work bring so much life and spirit to our communities. Many thanks to all the volunteers across Canada.
The NAJC office is in transition. After a year at our temporary office, we are considering different options. The current building where we rent space has come under new ownership which has resulted in changes that the NAJC believes will impact on our operations. With the assistance of resource people in Winnipeg, as well as the NEB, I will be pursuing various scenarios that will be presented to the membership at the AGM. There are short term and long term issues that need to be pursued. Stay tuned!
Recently, I attended an event sponsored by the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute, which is piloting a program to train young persons in their community for leadership roles. Part of this program, involves dialogue with other ethnic communities. This dialogue is created in conversational cafes where the trainees and participants in other ethnic communities share their stories, with the objective of greater understanding and acceptance of each other. The ultimate goal is to build a stronger and more unified Canada. There are 5 other ethnic communities in Winnipeg and Ottawa that will participate in this endeavour. I will be asked to invite about 12 individuals in the Japanese Canadian community in Winnipeg to participate in these conversational cafes. It was a most inspiring occasion to be in attendance with such committed and capable young persons in the Muslim community.
The NAJC Human Rights Committee has been working on various projects, including the Human Rights booklet that was started several years ago but not completed. One of the intentions of this booklet is to assist newcomers to our community that may not be aware of some of their rights and responsibilities. The HRC is in the process of creating a design that would be available on the website, and would be presented in a concise manner to be meaningful to users.
The NEB is meeting in Toronto on March 27-28, 2010, for its regular quarterly meeting. We will be meeting with the NAJC membership in Toronto, as well as touring the Cultural Centre and learning about their programs, including SEDAI. This will be an opportunity to hear from the community about their needs and activities.
The NAJC welcomes comments, suggestions, questions, etc. from all. Please contact us at www.najc.ca