Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion in Oakville

Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion in Oakville
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Sarah McPherson

Sarah McPherson

Sarah is a veteran communications, fundraising and marketing professional with over 20 years’ experience working in the corporate and not-for-profit industry. Sarah has helped lead organizations through branding campaigns, fundraising events and annual campaigns, along with community-at-large special events. She is the Director of Communication and Development for the Oakville Community Foundation.

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The Oakville Community Foundation (The Foundation) is excited to be part of Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion. A National initiative of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation,  the Vancouver Foundation and the Silk Road Institute launched a Canada-wide digital art video contest which is aimed at combating hate, challenging prejudice and fostering greater inclusion of Muslim youth within Canadian society.

The Foundation is providing the award for one Muslim youth from Oakville, aged 15 to 30, for this project.  Proposals must be submitted by July 5, 2017, for a digital video production that will be part of a travelling video art exhibition project entitled: Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion.  Proposals can be for videos containing other art forms including dance, animation, spoken word, and visual art. Final artwork will be required at a later date .

Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion project comes in response to recent increases in intolerance and hate speech, especially online, today, and The Foundation supports all efforts to provide for an inclusive and respective community for all.

“The timing of this initiative is perfectly aligned with our own interests in understanding and building a community of inclusivity and belonging.  We are currently partnered with the Town of Oakville and YMCA of Oakville, on a Sense of Belonging survey, an opportunity to truly understand how we connect within our community.  Engaging Youth as a whole to voice their insights about connecting in the community,  is extremely important, and this digital art form initiative is just another way we want to help encourage and enable younger voices to be engaged in these important discussions. “ says Wendy Rinella, CEO, Oakville Community Foundation

“An analysis performed on behalf of CBC’s Marketplace has shown as much as a sixfold increase in online racist, Islamophobic, or otherwise intolerant speech over the last year,” said Peter Flegel, Director of Programming and Development, of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. “This, to us, constitutes an urgent call to action, one the ‘Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion’ project is determined to answer.”

Vi Nguyen, Director of Grants & Community Initiatives at the Vancouver Foundation agrees. “Locally, our ties must constantly be woven together to maintain the social fabric that sustains us politically, socially, and economically,” she says. “This video project by young people from Muslim communities across Canada provides just the right kind of opportunity, allowing us to see and hear the voices that hate is trying to silence, and for broader communities and organizations like us to stand in solidarity against intolerance and injustice.”

“The arts, especially those involving digital video in this day and age, offer a powerful means of understanding differences, of connecting hearts and minds across identities,” said Mohamed Shaheen, Executive Director of the Silk Road Institute. “We believe in the power of ideas and culture travelling across continents to create more resilient, youthful, and vibrant communities.”

Ten submissions will be selected by a jury to be part of the ground-breaking Combating Hate, Advancing Inclusion exhibition on Muslim youth. Each of the 10 winning submissions will receive a $1,000 award, along with unprecedented visibility at various museums, art galleries and other high-profile venues across Canada.

How To Apply:

Proposals should be submitted via this link 

Please refer to ‘Call for Submissions’ Guidelines which can be found at



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