I am from Detroit, which is a very multicultural city. When I moved to Canada I noticed that laws and values are much more liberal than the United States. Such things like health care, social assistance and multicultural advocacy are certainly more progressive here.
However, my experiences as a young Arab Catholic woman living in a Canadian municipality has painted a different kind of picture to me. Although I see people in London as a largely expecting constituency, I feel that there is general lacking in understanding of the cultural matrix that forms our many communities here. I call this lack of understanding cultural incompetency. It is true, Canada has progressive laws on racial discrimination but through my eyes and experiences a disturbing climate of racism seems to permeate the social fabric of our broad community.
To me this is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed through initiatives that promote inter-communal and interracial dialogues. This is of timely importance, according to statics articulated by Rethink London, by the year 2025 one in three people living in London will be foreign born.