I have spent several years as an educator working with students from kindergarten to university and as a former columnist for a weekly community newspaper. As a volunteer with non-profit organizations servicing children and youth, parents and the marginalized, I have held different positions as community worker and as board member. I have had the opportunity to speak to adolescent and young adult male prison inmates in their institution on a personal level, and learned a great deal from them, as I did from my students and from the many different individuals and groups that I have met along the way. From my graduate studies, I learned about research, anti-racist education, and community relations.
As a person of colour, I have firsthand experience on the many micro-aggressions that are part of daily living of non-white peoples in our society. Fortunately, I have been able to rise above these and share with students and colleagues, white and non-white alike, how these micro-aggressions, which are so embedded in our society, can cause severe harm to all of us. What I have discovered is that greater respect for ourselves and for each other and deliberate efforts to eradicate implicit bias and disrespect are necessary tools for more harmonious and equitable living and for the realization of social justice.