Collège Béliveau Celebrates Asian Heritage Month
On Thursday, May 18, Collège Béliveau (CB) gathered as a school community. Students and staff from CB's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Committee planned an assembly to celebrate Asian Heritage Month.
During the assembly, the Committee highlighted that Asian Heritage Month was officially recognized in May by the Senate of Canada in 2002. Senator Vivienne Poy of British Columbia wanted to recognize the immense contributions Canadians of Asian Heritage have made to the fabric of Canadian society.
Significant events in the history of Asian Communities in Canada were also highlighted, such as the internment of Japanese Canadians and the treatment of Sikh Immigrants on the Komogatu Maru. There is still so much to do to eliminate racism from our society.
The highlight of the assembly was a panel of community members. Panelists included Tyler Magz from Virgin Radio 103.1, Joseph Chaeban of Chaeban Ice Cream & Chaeban Artisan, Barbara Mah, an architect, as well as a Collège Béliveau parent, Reena Gill, a Grade 7/8 teacher at Collège Béliveau, and Rose Pagtakhan who is a Divisional Teacher with LRSD.
They shared many personal stories; families leaving their home countries under dangerous circumstances, overcoming feelings of not belonging as they grew up, challenges of balancing two cultures (languages and identities at home and school), and bullying because they were different.
Overall the hardship made them all stronger and understand we all have a responsibility to support one another, regardless of our differences.
The panelists inspired students to be proud of who they are, where they are from, and the rich languages that they speak. They helped students understand it is through education we can embrace the beauty in diversity.