Winter 2016 Philosopher's Cafe in Surrey: Inclusive City
Monday, January 11, 2016

Surrey is a very culturally diverse city with 40% of the population foreign born, and receives more Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) than any other BC municipality. This rich diversity brings vibrancy and innovation to the City, however both newcomer and "receiving" communities in Surrey are experiencing challenges in adapting to new ways of being and living such a diverse city. 

The Inclusive City Cafes will provide a safe and welcoming space for community members to discuss the challenges and opportunities of living in a diverse community and to start to explore how we can become a healthier and more inclusive City. The Café was initiated in the fall of 2015.

This series is a partnership between the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership, the City of Surrey, SFU Philosophers' Cafe, and the SFU Surrey - TD Community Engagement Centre.


Inclusive City Café
SFU Surrey - TD CEC, City Centre Library (room 402).
7 p.m., third Wednesday of the month
January 27th
Honouring Diverse Beliefs

Moderator: Scott Reynolds
Religious belief can be a source of both good and evil actions. In Canadian society, religious beliefs continue to have an enormous influence on the behavior of individuals and communities, yet we seem reluctant to talk about religion in public. How might we instead have conversations that acknowledge our differences in belief, while at the same time encouraging us to work together for a better community?

Moderator's Bio: Scott Reynolds is currently working as a Minister with youth and young adults in the United Church of Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Theology and is pursuing a master’s degree in public and pastoral leadership at Vancouver School of Theology. Scott is involved in the Surrey Interfaith Council, which works to be part of building a city where all faiths live in harmony and contribute to a better community.

February 17th
Accented beings: Narratives of the 1.5 generation
Moderator: Carolina Rojas
Relocating to a new country is one of the most significant experiences in a person’s life. Relocating during their teenage years in the midst of their process of becoming their own person brings its own challenges. The 1.5 generation and their process of identify formation is a journey worth exploring. 

Moderator's Bio: Carolina is originally from Colombia and has been in Canada for 12 years. Over the years she has been involved with the refugee community in Vancouver. She has experience working with diverse populations in educational settings and community based organizations.  She is currently completing a MA in Counselling Psychology at SFU.


March 16th
Canadian Citizenship: What does it mean, and why is it valuable?
Moderator: Citizenship Judge Dane Minor

Every year over 200,000 Permanent Residents become Canadian Citizens. This session will ask participants to explore the value of Canadian Citizenship, why it’s important, what it means to be a “good” citizen, and what citizenship means to them. Last year the Citizenship Act was updated; differences in the old act and the new act will be explored. Information on requirements to becoming a Canadian Citizen and what help is available for Permanent Residents to become Citizens will be available. 

Moderator's Bio: Appointed Citizenship Judge for Surrey, British Columbia, in February 2011, Judge Minor is a retired sales and marketing executive in the office technology field. He has extensive community experience in issues related to youth crime, gang violence and victims of crime. Prior to his appointment, he was active as a victim’s rights advocate. Judge Minor served as Vice Chair of the Victims Advisory Council to the Parole Board of Canada and Correctional Services Canada. In 1993, he co-founded Crime, Responsibility and Youth, and worked with the organization until 2003. He has spent a number of years actively involved in community initiatives and is recognized for his work in ethnic outreach. Judge Minor holds a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Economics and recently was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community.

April 20th
Five Hundred Years & No Change: Aboriginal Rights in Canada

Moderator: Yansie Ardon​
When we speak about aboriginals in Canada all we can think about is their strength and resilience as they were faced with a Government that did not listen to their needs but shunned them and forced them out of their own homes, family, language and culture. The Indian Act allowed the federal government to have control of their lands but despite the fact that they were willing to negotiate they were denied their right to vote. Even though there has been some changes there is still a lot to be done.  

Moderator's Bio: Born March 30, 1993 in San Marcos, El Salvador Yansie Ardon left home with her family to pursue a better and safer future. Currently studying at Invergarry Adult Education Centre to pursue her goal and go to University. Yansie is currently looking forward to bring an overdue dilemma that is much need for change in the Philosopher's Café.


May 18th
What is the "Barbaric Cultural Practice"?

Moderator: Somayeh Bahrami

Conservatives recently made an attempt to create an RCMP tip line for Canadians to call if they believe a child or woman is a victim of “barbaric cultural practices" like honor killing. But such heinous crimes are already illegal in Canada; and we have the 9-1-1 line to make a report. The question here is: How do we define “barbaric”?  Does getting drunk and beating wife/ children fall under the same category?  Do you think such a policy is targeted towards specific ethno- religious group?

Moderator's Bio: Somayeh is a PhD student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She received her BA in Psychology and Women's studies and her Masters in GSWS from Simon Fraser University.  Her research is focused on the history of colonization, settlement, immigration, & citizenship in Canada; transnational migration and globalization; and Canada’s political economy and the labor market.


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