A Letter from our Founders, Tony and Elizabeth Comper
SPEAKING OUT AGAINST INTOLERANCE
We welcome you to Voices into Action – an educational program that helps students develop their social awareness. The urgency for this kind of discussion continues to be a priority, as in recent years we have witnessed shocking incidents of bigotry in Canada. The interactive site connects students to the past and present, and encourages them to create a more harmonious future.
We believe classrooms are powerful environments where positive change is possible. Let yours be one where the discussions are impassioned and the activities relevant as they are fueled by a closer look at humanity’s quest for inequitable power, as well as justice and culture. The harsh facts about the Holocaust, genocide, homophobia, racism, the Indigenous experience, and immigration will open your students’ eyes to the unspeakable atrocities of the past that continue to happen around the world.
New Canadian students enter our classrooms with fears and facing exclusion while yearning for opportunities to integrate. Cyberbullying is spreading hate at an astonishing rate. As educators we need to share this knowledge with students so that they can choose compassion over hate and positive behaviour over indifference.
In 2005, after a resurgence of antisemitic incidents in Canada, we founded FAST-Fighting Antisemitism Together. Our first program, Choose Your Voice, was designed for middle school students and won the Award of Excellence 2010 from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.
Voices into Action is our second initiative, and is developed in accordance with provincial curriculum standards for secondary schools. This program further demonstrates our commitment to empowering students to take action against discrimination. We strongly believe in our responsibility to make a better, safer world for all.
As Elizabeth was a former teacher, we have a first-hand appreciation of the challenging and vital role a teacher can play in helping young people learn and take the right actions against hatred. We hope these materials make your job a little easier and wish you every success!
Former CEO and Past President
BMO Financial Group
This project was developed by a team of educators: classroom teachers, graduate students in education, university lecturers and professors, and freelance consultants.
David Booth – Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto
Larry Swartz – Instructor, OISE/University of Toronto
John Myers – Instructor, OISE/University of Toronto
Bernard Rubinstein – Instructor, OISE/University of Toronto
Arif Anwar – PhD Candidate, OISE/University of Toronto
Carly Bardikoff – MA, OISE/University of Toronto
Merlin Charles – Instructor, University of Toronto, Scarborough
Richard Coles – Education Consultant
Craig Cowan – BEd, OISE/University of Toronto
Jodi Derkson – MEd, UBC
Eleanor Gower – former Principal, TDSB
Kathleen Gould Lundy – Instructor, York University
Debbie Nyman Drama – Consultant, Instructor, AQ Courses, OISE/University of Toronto
Joan O’Callaghan – Instructor, OISE/University of Toronto
Traci Scheepstra – PhD Candidate, Gender Studies, OISE/University of Toronto
Rob Simon – Professor, OISE/University of Toronto
Nancy Steele Lead – Teacher, Aboriginal Infusion, OISE/University of Toronto
Trina Tran – Teacher, TDSB
Stephanie Warr – BEd, OISE/University of Toronto
Belarie Zatzman – Professor, York University
Curriculum Connections: Bryan Wright
All the primary source videos were produced by Historical Film Studios