2013.11.10 – This week in Diversity

After being derailed by Montreal’s municipal elections, This week in Diversity is back!

Whenever we talk about race, disability, first peoples, women’s issues, and queer people, more often than not, we hear stories of discrimination, inequity, and heartbreak.  However, there is also good news out there, and it is important to celebrate the small victories along the road to a better world.

Every week, we will try to share links to five stories that celebrate diversity.  The news isn’t always bad.  Every day, there are strong people who are overcoming adversity, excelling despite the odds, and fighting the good fight.  One day, maybe there will be more encouraging stories than discouraging ones, and these articles won’t be quite so difficult to find.

First Peoples

Yukon First Nations

The Nations of the Yukon territory have a good thing going.  Thanks to a document authored in 1973, the First Nations of that northern territory and the government share more equitably in the resources while working to preserve traditional values in a global economy.  Fast forward 40 years, and Dempster Energy Services is born.  This company, formed by three Yukon First Nations is exploring the possibility of the Yukon supporting its own liquefied natural gas plant.  Getting involved in a major infrastructure project would be a huge win for the new company and would demonstrate that the accord signed in 1973 is truly “a better way to work with First Nations”.

Power position: Yukon First Nations benefit from equity in power projects

Yukon First Nations studying liquefied natural gas

Persons with Disabilities


Aaron Broverman is a Toronto journalist who has been published in countless magazines, journals, websites and blogs.  He is the brains behind ThisAbility, a weekly disability issues column published on This Magazine’s website.  He also has cerebral palsy. Aaron has always been candid about his life, and the trials and tribulations of living in an able-bodied world.  He recently published a challenging piece in Vice magazine on the complexities of dating for the disabled.  The article may be a little shocking, and it will likely be unexpected to some, but it certainly demonstrates how some people can truly find a way to make lemonade no matter how many lemons life throws at them!

 I have cerebral palsy and I’m looking for love

Queer People

JJ Levine

Most of us are raised with the notion that there are two fixed genders, and that we are either one or the other.  Many people struggle with the idea that gender is changeable, fluid.  Canadian photographer JJ Levine challenges this idea with a wonderful series of photos that illustrate how gender may not be as fixed as some believe, and the spectrum of gender expression includes more than simply cis male and cis female.  Explore more of his wonderful work by following the link below.

 Beautiful Photo Series Explores How One Person Can Take On Two Genders



 Montreal women rock!  Earlier today, Mylène Paquette became the first North American rower to successfully cross the North Atlantic alone.  Not the first North American woman, the first North American period.  5000 kilometres over 129 days, alone in a fancy canoe, battling loneliness, fatigue, and storms.  She did it.  Her boat capsized 10 times, and she is terrified of being under water, but she pushed on to accomplish what nobody from this continent ever has before.  Congratulations, Mylène!

Canadian rower says she’s first North American to cross North Atlantic alone

Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Sometimes, it’s these unexpected stories that remind us that we don’t need to take giant leaps to make a difference in the diversity landscape.  Sometimes, a small act can remind us that the similarities far outweigh the differences, and that there is no “them”; there is only “us”.

When Isaac Theil felt the stranger’s head suddenly resting on his shoulder as he rode home on New York City’s Q train, he didn’t see a black man; he saw himself.  “I simply remembered the times my own head would bop on someone’s shoulder because I was so tired after a long day,” Theil said.  The story was soon making waves across the internet.

Sleeping Stanger Subway Picture On Q Train Defines Empathy And Is A Lesson In Being Good

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