What is UNA-Canada?
UNA-Canada is a national charitable organization providing the leading policy voice on multilateralism in Canada. Our mandate is to educate and engage Canadians, especially youth, in the work of the United Nations (UN), the critical global issues that affect us in Canada and internationally, and to seek solutions to shared issues and challenges. The Association ‘grows global citizens’ who are aware, engaged and equipped with critical thinking skills to impact positive social change in their communities.
What is Canada’s Diversity Advantage (CDA)?
Canada’s Diversity Advantage is a youth-engagement initiative that uses interactive knowledge sharing of multigenerational, multicultural lived experiences with elementary students in five Canadian cities, to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of Canada’s diverse peoples, and the 150-year historic journey of migration and ideas that built and shaped one nation with remarkable diversity and shared heritage.
What are the objectives of CDA?
The main objectives of CDA are to:
- Raise awareness on the migration patterns of Canadians over the 150 years of Canada’s Confederation;
- Enhance youth appreciation of the country’s diverse population and the contribution of this diversity to the country’s shared heritage;
- Heighten youth pride in the values that have distinctively shaped our identity as Canadians and defined our society; and
- Increase readiness and resilience among youth to take local action, give back to their communities in a positive way, and continue to build a stronger and more compassionate Canada than the one they inherited.
What’s the purpose of CDA?
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, the Government of Canada through its Department of Canadian Heritage – Youth Take Charge program has funded UNA-Canada to implement a youth-engagement initiative that investigates the 150-year historic journey travelled by generations of Canada’s people from a cross-section of cultures, linguistic backgrounds economic status and diverse ideas to build and shape one nation. By supporting youth to take charge, CDA convenes youth from diverse backgrounds to learn, share and celebrate their unique differences and envision their contribution to a shared heritage which is today’s multicultural Canada.
Where is the programme taking place?
Canada’s Diversity Advantage is implemented in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.
Who is responsible for planning CDA?
This programme is implemented by UNA-Canada’s staff team in Ottawa. To assist with ground work, UNA-Canada has recruited Regional Coordinators and High School youth mentors in each city, working in partnership with school and community leadership.
When will this programme take place?
The programme is designed to run from May 2016 and wrap up the March 31st, 2017.
What are the Programme Activities?
Below are the activities that CDA will engage youth participants in:
- Research on the country’s long history of migration and diversity, through community mapping exercises, and sharing of human experiences of those who have migrated to and shaped Canada. Class presentations will be encouraged as a means to transfer knowledge between youth.
- Constructive and thought-provoking activities on Canada’s shared heritage, including self-assessment on Canadian identity and creative writing exercises.
- Artistic expression of Canada’s diversity advantage. The research findings from activities will be illustrated and translated on youth painted murals under the mentorship of professional local artists.
- Shared Heritage Festival marking Canada’s 150th in each city to display the culmination of work and research.
- Pledge to Canadian Harmonious Diversity that will commit youth to the Canadian value of diversity, inclusion and respect of individual differences and allow them to take charge and ownership of their Canadian heritage.
What will my child get out of it?
CDA is a unique opportunity for youth to take charge and become engaged, concerned, and empowered global citizens who are able to conceptualize national identity by shaping their understanding of the world around them. This innovative youth-engagement programme uses empathy-based learning and thought-provoking activities to build resilience and capacity of youth and the communities in which they live and learn. Canadian youth will join the dialogue on ‘harmonious diversity and inclusion’ by transferring knowledge acquired through their research and mural painting to those who join them at the Shared Heritage Festival to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. It is through dialogue and sharing of experiences, that Canadian youth will be able to build an empathetic and understanding world for generations of our children.
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