What wisdom do I want to pass on?

I’ll pull out the tropes now.

Representation matters. I was responsible for marketing the University of Toronto’s Continuing Studies program in the 1980’s. I produced 300,000+ program calendars and distributed them through the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto. It had pretty wide reach. This was a time before the internet. I would make sure that the cover of our program calendars always featured a person of colour. U of T was a pretty white-washed institution in terms of administration. I don’t think that other administrators would consider this type of representation as important. For me, this really small gesture was my attempt to show BIPOC (not a term used back then) folks had a place at the university and in our community. See us. Hear us. Include us.

For young people of colour today, seeing themselves reflected in advertising, media, and entertainment is not unusual. But we need to keep pushing to carve out our space in the public eye and in discourse. Continue to claim your space.

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