He's a tall white guy and I'm a short brown girl, but our experience of diversity at Woburn Collegiate and Toronto as a whole is similar: in his words, “There's an idea of a multicultural paradise, but it's unenforced.” Or, as I'd put it, this city is home to a lot of people who look different and speak different languages, but don't intermingle in a meaningful way.
Geographic diversity is crucial in sprawling Toronto. More and more, the outer suburbs are increasingly marginalized, home to the newest Canadians. Whole groups of Torontonians never bump up against each other – and so have no understanding of each other's basic needs.
It's time for diversity to become a real goal, and that means talking about things that can make us feel icky.
My Toronto can include you, white guy – if yours can include Etobicoke, strip malls and events where you stand in an audience that looks nothing like you, cheering for a stranger with whom you have nothing in common.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Model of diversity?