Building Roads Together for 100in1Day

BRT 100in1Day

 

We hope to engage you in growing your social networks, and walking, to promote your mental health, during 100in1Day and beyond. We aim to inspire you to join or start a walking group to promote your mental and physical health. Hope to see you there!

Learn more about our intervention, and our program, join in and invite your friends, and tweet @BuildingRoadsTO #100in1DayTO.

Advertisements

Dear imprisoned journalists, “We are with you” on World Press Freedom Day

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. I think of journalists, writers,…all those wrongfully imprisoned around the world. I think of their trauma, and their loved ones’ trauma. And I think of their courage. This year, Mohamed Fahmy, a Canadian award-winning journalist, released on bail after 412 days of wrongful imprisonment in Egypt, is leading a rally in Vancouver. He is not fully free himself – on prolonged retrial as court sessions are postponed time and again, and having to check in at a police station daily – but he is fighting to free others still imprisoned.

“This day last year, I was a desperate prisoner clinging on any ray of hope in my dingy cell. Knowing supporters were fighting for me on the outside was another reason to continue and not give up.” ~ Mohamed Fahmy

FF Rally Posters on wall

When you’ve experienced wrongful imprisonment, or the wrongful imprisonment of a loved one, you’re compelled to do whatever you can for others sharing that experience. Because you know how all consuming, haunting, and traumatizing it is. Because you know that every supportive action cuts through the trauma fog, making freedom possible.

My friend Josh Fattal was held hostage in Iran for two years and two months. I could not communicate with him during that time – his prison guards withheld my letters to him, and he often didn’t even have a pen to write with – but I could feel his captivity in my bones. And now we carry the captivity of others with us wherever we go.

“In prison, the world conspires to convince you that you are forgotten. The walls stare in silence. The guards look at you as if they’ve never seen you before—appalled that you’d ask for more toothpaste or another cup of tea. The place pretends to have no memory. When word from outside slipped through the cracks or when a hunger strike caused the authorities to hand me letters from home, the prison temporarily dissipated, wind was a message from mom, the sun a salutation from my brother. A guard’s face even reminded me of a childhood friend. The support from the outside kept the struggle going—the struggle to stay human, to be true to myself, to try to love even though my world was full of hate. Evin prison is tough. But Jason, we are with you. As protesters chanted outside of San Quentin Prison, we chant to you: “Inside, outside, we are all on the same side!” Iran’s foreign minister Zarif gave a speech at my university last week. Jason, there were people outside and inside talking about you.” ~ Josh Fattal

The Fahmy Foundation campaigns for Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, at its first Free Press Rally. Jason has been held in Evin Prison for 284 days, much of it in solitary confinement, without access to a lawyer. His family tried to retain Masoud Shafii, the Iranian lawyer who represented Josh, but Iran’s Revolutionary Court continues to block him from doing his job. They’re punishing him for bravely fighting to free Josh, and his friends Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd, and punishing Jason and his family and friends in the process.

I ask you to support Jason and his family and friends on May 3. I ask you to support the other Fahmy Foundation campaigns featured in the Free Press Rally: Shawkan Zeid, photojournalist detained without charge in Egypt for almost two years; and Mohammed al-Ajami, a poet held in solitary confinement in Doha, Qatar’s Central Prison for almost two and a half years. I ask you to do whatever you can to shine a light on press freedom.

“As I continue to battle for my own exoneration, I am proud to work with notable Canadian friends, lawyers, and volunteers to remind world leaders that a free press is a fundamental core of the true democracy they promote.” ~ Mohamed Fahmy

Mohamed Fahmy, Josh Fattal, and I, along with other political prisoners and their family and friends, know what a difference your support can make.

“I guarantee that the journalists fighting to survive in solitary confinement will hear the noise we make for them, just like I did during my imprisonment. Support their cause and mine—the right to report freely and safely.” ~ Mohamed Fahmy

Join us on May 3, 11am outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, and online around the world.

FPposter1

Building Roads Together: Leading Walking Groups for Wellness

Building Roads Together: Leading Walking Groups for Wellness

Do you live and/or work in Regent Park? Do you want to improve your mental and physical health at the same time? And lead your peers in doing the same? Please join us for this workshop series at Daniels Centre of Learning.

“These words will be windows, not walls!”

Josh looks at one of the first copies of 'A Sliver of Light' in awe.

Josh looks at one of the first copies of ‘A Sliver of Light’ in awe.

These words will be windows, not walls!” Josh pronounced as he started writing A Sliver of Light with Shane and Sarah.

Spending every day for more than two years engaging the world in their plight,
I was acutely aware of the physical and political walls that prevented them from sharing their words with the world. I felt them every time I posted on Facebook and Twitter, every time I sent a message, every time I told someone about them, every time I asked for help to free them. Without being able to communicate with them at all, I felt grossly inadequate at guessing what words they would want to share with the world. I found words grossly inadequate at capturing our collective horror. But I had to give every bit of energy I had to trying my best. The stakes were high. The stakes were their lives. Their freedom. Our lives. Our freedom.

I hold their words in my hand.

I hold their words in my hand.

Even now, after more than 2 years of freedom, I find their freedom to communicate overwhelming. And powerful beyond words. Their book is a manifestation of that power. In words. Every word I read, I feel everyone who fought for their freedom alongside me, with me. Free the Hikers core campaign team members who were with me every day, in person, via phone, Skype, gchat, email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Organizing, creating, collaborating, sharing, engaging, supporting. I remember those of you who followed their story so closely you asked me for updates if there was a gap of less than an hour in our social media posting. I will never forget.

Now you can all finally read their story in their own words. Better yet, you can attend one of their author events, and hear their stories in their own voices. We will be posting news about the events and media coverage on the Free the Hikers Facebook and Twitter accounts. Join us there! And we would love to see and hear your responses. Tag them #SliverofLight on Facebook, Twitter, G+, tumblr, Instagram, etc.

NOTE: A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran will be released on March 18, 2014. Preorder it here:

Bullets to Butterflies – An Interactive Art Exhibit

*UPDATE: The show has been such a success, Artscape has extended it to June 10, 2013!*

We are excited to announce that Farahway Global will be hosting Bullets to Butterflies, a collaborative exhibition and interactive art installation by Canadian artists Unaiza Karim, Saba Syed and Huma Durrani, focused on 15 year old education activist Malala Yousafzai. Like so many around the world, we are greatly inspired by Malala’s remarkable resilience in surviving an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen, and her fearlessness in fighting for girls’ right to education. She has now become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee in history.


We need events such as Bullets to Butterflies to mark such horrific tragedies around the world and in our backyards, and transform them into hope and action for change for our communities, and especially for our children, and youth.  At the very least, they deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams. I hope you will join us in supporting, promoting, and participating in Bullets to Butterflies. RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook. Follow Bullets to Butterflies and Farahway Global on Twitter for updates and live tweeting. Tweet along with us using #B2Butterflies.


poster - daniel spectrum extended

FORUM: Canada’s Recent Immigration Policy Changes: Implications for Mental Health

Credit: Rights of Non-Status Women's Network

Credit: Rights of Non-Status Women’s Network

Our Founder, Farah N. Mawani, will be speaking on ‘Systemic Discrimination and Mental Health’ at this forum hosted by the Rights of Non-Status Women’s Network.

This open forum is a place for VAW workers, shelter workers, community health workers, students, activists, academics, and community members to discuss recent changes to Canada’s immigration system, including Bill C-31 and cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFH), and the implications of this for service providers working in the areas of immigration, gender, and non-status rights.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
12:30 p.m. Registration & Refreshments
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Open Forum

**Location: Galbraith Building, University of Toronto, 35 St. George Street, Toronto**

Please RSVP by sending an email confirmation to Rights of Non-Status Women Network by Mon Jan 28.

Please also RSVP and invite your friends and colleagues on our Facebook event listing.

FEATURED SPEAKERS
Julie Lassonde ~ Implications of Bill C-31
Vanessa Wright ~ Implications of cuts to IFH program
Manavi Handa, RM ~ Impact of changes for pregnant refugee women
Farah N. Mawani ~ Systemic Discrimination and Mental Health
Raelene Prieto ~ Gender and Mental Health
Tanisha Sri Bhaggiyadatta ~ Community Needs Assessment & Next Steps

Registration Fee (for operational costs) to be paid in cash at the door. A receipt can be provided.
· All people: $5.00
· Students are free. Please bring your student I.D.

~
Space is fully wheelchair accessible.
Please let us know of any accessibility needs so that we can do our best to accommodate them.
Light lunch and snacks will be served.

Please bring materials from your agency to display on our resource table!
~
The Rights of Non-Status Women Network would like to thank our event sponsors for their generous donations:
The South Asian Community Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO)
Forced Marriage Project – Agincourt Community Services Association
The Sweet Potato Natural Foods Grocery Store
Agora Cafe

SPARKS TALKS WEBINAR: Inspire Action for Change: Social Media for Social Good

SPARKS TALKS WEBINAR

Please join our webinar hosted by the Girls Action Foundation, part of their Sparks Talks Webinar Series.

Register here and RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.

Follow @_GirlsAction, @FarahwayGlobal, and @farah_way on Twitter for the latest webinar buzz.

During this webinar, Farah will share advice for inspiring action for social change based on her intensive experience with global human rights and mental health campaigns. Farah has applied her commitment to community engagement and social justice to a wide range of issues, from political prisoner campaigns, to mental health equity, to promoting and building capacity among peer support groups

Whether you are taking action in your local community or want to create change in the wider world, this webinar will inspire you to set your goals high and take practical steps to make them happen. Farah will share strategies for building the scope and level of engagement of supporters, within complex and sensitive sociopolitical contexts. She will highlight the importance of peaceful communication, and demonstrate the potential for amplifying impact by integrating social media with media, and community-based events.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Farah N. Mawani is a Visiting Scholar, Massey College. She has global teaching, research, and policy experience in social determinants of health, mental health, inequalities in health, and community-based research. She has national experience in roles including Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Mental Health Strategy, Mental Health Commission of Canada; Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre Steering Committee member; Mental Health Reform and Policy research team, Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities, and Mental Health; and National Coordinator for numerous national health research projects.

Farah recently founded Farahway Global, a non-profit organization, based at the Centre for Social Innovation, that engages the global public in action for human rights and mental health via social media integrated with community-based events. It builds on Farah’s experience co-founding and directing the social media and global public engagement components of Free the Hikers, which freed Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd, held hostage in Iran for 2 years and 2 months.

ABOUT THE GIRLS ACTION FOUNDATION SPARKS TALKS WEBINAR SERIES

The SPARK TALKS webinar series features inspirational stories, advice and tools from ground-breaking women. Presentations are always followed by an interactive Question & Answer session. Direct from your computer, participate in FREE webinars on topics such as safe cosmetics; women in the arts; social, environmental and political activism; building communities and organizations; the law; and arts as a medium for social change.

ABOUT THE GIRLS ACTION FOUNDATION

Girls Action Foundation is a national charitable organization. We lead and seed girls’ programs across Canada. We build girls’ and young women’s skills and confidence and inspire action to change the world.

Through our innovative programs, research, and support to a network of over 300 partnering organizations and projects, Girls Action reaches over 60,000 girls and young women. We reach remote, marginalized and urban communities, including those in the North.

Register here

RSVP on Facebook

Tuned in 2012: Benefit Concert for the Self-Help Resource Centre

Tuned In 2012 - 21.11.2012

Please join us TOMORROW (Sat Dec 1) at a benefit concert for the Self Help Resource Centre (SHRC), and help us spread the word.

We have been working with SHRC to strengthen communities across Toronto, Ontario, and Canada, by promoting and building capacity among peer support groups. Peer support groups facilitate positive outcomes for people facing diverse life transitions and challenges, that affect their physical, mental, and/or social health. SHRC serves a very wide range of organizations, including Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services, CAMH, The 519, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Sjogren’s Society of Canada, and many more.

We would greatly appreciate any support you can provide, and hope to see you there. If you’re unable to attend, please consider donating.

RSVP and invite your friends here: http://www.facebook.com/events/192466827556221/

Tickets available online until midnight Fri Nov 30, and at the door on Sat Dec 1

Join SHRC on Facebook and Twitter for the latest event buzz!

Really Really FREE Market – TO

Mark ONE YEAR of FREEDOM for Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and the global community who fought to FREE them from 2 years and 2 months held hostage in Evin Prison, Iran.

Celebrate by joining the Toronto sister event to one initiated and hosted by Josh in New York City.

In Josh’s words:

“Stuff — Free

Haircuts — Free
Bike Maintenance — Free
Food — Free
You name it — Free
You bring it — Free


We celebrate freedom by sharing what we have to offer. It could be an extra this or an extra that. Bring stuff. Take stuff. No exchange, just gifts. It could be a potted plant, an new T-shirt, old suitcases, a massage, a drawing, or a story in the storytelling booth, a song on your guitar, a book or two, gleaned apples, reiki, .mp3s , quirky refrigerator magnets, sewing severed seams, poems or palm reading, there is no period at the end of this sentence”

Ask and ye shall receive” my Christian friends say.
“The Universe Responds” my New Age friends say.
“Undermine Capitalism!” the 99% says.
“If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution” a long-dead revolutionary supposedly said.
Don’t read Marcel Mauss, just give!

Come Celebrate Freedom! It’ll be precisely one year since Shane, Sarah, and I are out of Iranian prison. Free from being hostages and hikers. Let’s walk together! A step closer to the concept every day.”

***TORONTO peeps, PLEASE also bring your response to “FREEDOM is…” in words, quotes, photos, poetry or art, to create a collaborative mixed-media collage.***

RSVP and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter!