World Pride 2014-Opening Reception,Human Rights Conference+”I Do”-June 20th-29th 2014@Various Locations
On Thursday June 26, 2014, IGM & Human Rights Reception was held at Innis College. This reception was held to create a meet and greet of influential Human Rights Activists such as Bill Schiller (Sweden), Roseanna Flamer-Caldera (Sri Lanka), Gareth Henry (Jamaica), Angie Umbac (Philippines), Marcela Romeo (Argentina), Anna Rekhviashvili, and many others.
My thoughts to the reception may be slightly different than the purpose of the agenda. Let me explain my personal experience. This actually started as I decided to walk from King and Bay area up to Innis College, part of the University of Toronto Campus. This walk was about 4km or around 40 min in time. I figured with the sun shining, people out and about, what a better way to observe people in their daily activities in a free society before attending a human rights reception, whereby many others do not have this privilege.
As I had a chance to walk my first km and watch the daily commuters scatter home, I was stopped by a young lady who trying to create awareness regarding human rights. She happened to be part of the Amnesty Canada Team. Their concerns were more localized, but still with the same type of awareness. Transparency against areas of human rights violation and ways to assist those who have been violated. I’ve always been curious to the true tactical nature of what this group of individuals can accomplish. The young lady was 19 years of age and full of passion for the cause. We chatted about volunteers with different skill sets, (i.e. lawyers to assistants), United Nations assistance to create awareness in overseas countries, etc. My point is, it was very refreshing to see young individuals, not only passionate about a cause, but more importantly, knowledgeable about the global infrastructure, and what steps are needed to create a difference. With this positive influence, I was ready to meet people at the reception.
As I arrived at Innis College, I was greeted by one of the coordinators. The reception seemed to be going at full force. I noticed the Pride Team handing out passes. I noticed Chris, one of the Pride Coordinators that I had met at Pride Kick-off, steadily working away on some project, but took a moment to take a photo op. I noticed the food sponsors, the drinks, and staff helping out. As I was looking at all the people and trying to figure out where to start taking some pics, I was greeted by Ennis Blentic, which I believe was one of the main organizers at Innis College for this event. We had a moment to chat and more photo ops with his team. As I took a look around the area, I did have a chance to meet many other individuals. We all chatted about similar things. What can we do to make this a better place? Yes, human rights was the reason for this reception, but the bigger theme was, what can we as individuals do to make this a better planet. I noticed open discussions on the grass. Friends that haven’t met in a while greeting each other. Everyone had smiles, laughter, and a positive outlook on life.
So I thought, maybe it’s really that simple….Positive outlook…we are doing it here. If we, regardless of beliefs, just have a positive outlook on each other…maybe this will be contagious….and then be the easy cure. I know I’m taking a simple look at this…but as an individual, I do need to start somewhere. Just One World.