Flacks: NewsActivist Winter 2015- Complementary Course

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by louisp on May 9, 2015
On a letter of opinion published in the Montreal Gazette, written by Katharine Cukier, a Montreal teacher, entitled Opinion: the ‘Gated Communities’ of Education in Quebec, the author shows the problem that our current educational system has while providing a solution to fix them. She starts by showing that Quebeckers are lucky to live in a country that provides social programs, unlike the United States where schools have become a business. However, she points out that our way of seeing education is becoming like the 51st state of the USA by increasingly privatizing education.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Darby on May 6, 2015
When I tell people I am volunteering to help the environment, one of two reactions occur. Either they fully support me and encourage me or they tell me in despair that they don’t believe my actions will do much good in the grand scheme of things. The weird thing is, no one seems to be opposed to the idea of being environmentally conscious. This semester, I have had two main volunteer projects ongoing. The first was the collection of signatures for a petition that aims to preserve biodiversity. The second was to help the plight of the monarch butterfly which is facing extinction.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Francois Pan on May 3, 2015
The Women are Coming, and They Mean Peace: Historic March Across Korean DMZ Announced written by Andrea Germanos. The article was published the 11th March 2015 on Common Dreams news website.   Article summary

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Francois Pan on May 3, 2015
The original news article Ontario’s doctors say budget puts the health-care system at risk was written by an anonymous writer and published on the website of Canada Newswire on the 6th of February 2015.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Francois Pan on May 3, 2015
With every great story comes an ordinary beginning. And here is the story of Malala.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Francois Pan on May 3, 2015
Social integration of Chinese senior immigrants: How health-care symposium can help Chinese grandpas and grandmas lead a more fulfilled life   News summary: Some residential care seniors could be living independently, says B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie written by CBC News on April 8th 2015  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Francois Pan on May 3, 2015
The original news report Crisis in health-care deepens was written by Bob Hepburn and published on the website of Toronto Stars on 12th February 2015. Angles on Strike

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by jpd95 on April 29, 2015
April 25, 2015 is a date that will never be forgotten by the people living in Nepal.  A 7.9 magnitude earthquake shocked the Nepalese people.  According to the CBC article written by The Canadian Press titled “Nepal earthquake: Stranded Canadian says Ottawa not doing enough to bring citizens home” on the 27 of April, this is the biggest earthquake to hit Nepal in approximately 80 years.  The Canadian government has “pledged $5 million in initial aid” (The Canadian Press) and according to another CBC article written by CBC News also on April 27 at the time of the earthquake “there [were] 462

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by RimaAlha on April 29, 2015
In the article “As wars go, Syria is pretty safe for Harper — so far”, L. Ian MacDonald is doing an interesting analysis of the conflict between the Canadian political parties about whether or not to expand the mission in Iraq to Syria. Stephen Harper, who wants to extend Canada’s military campaign against the Islamic State, affronts well his test so far. He is courteous with his opponents (NPD and Liberals) and does not intend to send on-the-ground military advisers into Syria. Indeed, this would be too much for Canadians to accept, too dangerous.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by annelaurenceb on April 29, 2015
In her article "Fighting Homelessness, One Smartphone at a Time" published in the New York Times on April 15, 2015, the author Claire Cain Miller describes a situation that happened last month in California. A lady called Holly Leonard describes how she finally, after years of homelessness, was able to find an apartment using her new smartphone. But how can a homeless person even own a smartphone? This is the purpose of a San Jose non-profit called the Community Technology Alliance who got Google to give her that gift.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Raya on April 28, 2015
On Saturday, February 28th, Rania El-Alloul expressed her affection to people who helped her fundraise money against judge Eliana Marengo after she went on court to claim her case on the province’s auto insurance board. However, the judge refused to take her case unless she took her hijab off. El-Alloul sent her gratitude: “I am receiving support from everywhere, because I know I said the truth,”(Lowrie, p 1) she says. When two residents from Toronto and Vancouver heard the news, they decided to unite and try to fundraise money to this woman in order to buy her a new car.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by samp on April 28, 2015
The article talks about the recent ‘’state of emergency’’ raised in the city of Baltimore, in the United States of America. There were important protests and violence in a town shocked by the recent events. Many acts of vandalism were committed throughout the last days. A curfew has been created by the authorities in order to control the situation and limit the recent violence and protests. Protesters threw bricks and burned down some buildings. The situation is still not under control and protests are expected fir the following days.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by MoJo JoJo on April 28, 2015
Raising a child with special needs is not an easy task. Despite the complexity of the task, parents manage to raise their children with the help of government services. However, due to the recent budget cuts, the only special-needs preschool in  Windsor is forced to cease operations after nearly four decades of service. As reported in the Windsor Star by Craig Pearson on April 5th 2015, the care center was more than a babysitting service for daytime hours. It allowed children to interact with each other in a safe environment and develop creativity.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by S. de Champlain on April 27, 2015
            Canada may have a very high rate of enrolement for post-secondary education, but it does not erase it’s multiple flaws. The three major flaws that have been increasing noticed among the federal government has been: the accessibility, the quality of education, and financing education in general. An article that was written a while back “Education in Canada: Current Issues” by Helen McKenzie published in May 1994 brought the attention of Canadians to acknowledge that the educational system is better than before, but has a long way to go till it can be percieved as perfect.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Darby on April 27, 2015
I am currently working with Snap Quebec to try and push the government of Canada to create more protected areas. This work made me wonder what other nations were doing to protect the biodiversity and beauty of the world.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by audreylegault on April 27, 2015
Aaron Morrison wrote in the International Business Times on April 22nd that democratic lawmakers are trying to pass a legislation that would combat racial profiling in local police departments. Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Ben Carding announced their intention of presenting "the End Racial Profiling Act for the third time in the last three sessions of Congress". The previous bills were not able to obtain hearings.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by PHayes on April 27, 2015
Last Friday, on April 24th, Hollywood actress and special envoy for the United Nations on refugee issues Angelina Jolie briefed the Security Council on the 4-year long Syrian refugee crisis. It is said that around 4 million people have had to flee the country and many millions more are internally displaced. She stressed the importance for the Council to ‘‘work as one’’ to solve the many problems facing Syria and its people and called on member states to end the gridlock and find a political solution.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by laeti.y.felix on April 27, 2015
          There was a TED Talk called ‘What New Power Looks Like’ that had taken place in June of 2014 by a man named Jeremy Heimans (http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_heimans_what_new_power_looks_like?language=en).  He explained two concepts called New Power and Old Power, and the good and bad aspects of both types of powers.  In a blog titled ‘Some Thoughts on Old Power VS New Power’ published on Sunday November 30th, 2014 in a blog site entitled “De-mass’d”, the author Leora Kornfeld

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by JRajotte on April 27, 2015
The Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is one of Canada’s biggest spying agency. This agency operates in a 1 billion dollar building with a 500 million dollar annual budget. According to the article “Review body for Canada’s electronic spy agency warns it can’t keep up” published by Alex Boutilier on April 1, 2015 on TheStar news website.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Giroux on April 27, 2015
On March 29, 2015, the article ʺIs there such a thing as too much exercise?ʺ written by Jill Barker was published by The Montreal Gazette. The article explains the difference between the heart of an endurance athlete and the heart of a non-athlete. The heart of an endurance athlete ʺadapts to the demands of pumping greater volumes of blood to the working muscles by making itself bigger and strongerʺ which makes endurance athletes five times more exposed to arterial fibrillation compared with non-athlete.

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2 years 5 months ago

A very interesting topic and one that is very controversial at times but very present in today's society. There is a very fine line that exists between the government wanting to keep its citizen's safe and it crossing a privacy line. People are entitled to be able to live their life without always wondering who is watching them or how someone is watching them. However, it is true that the government's responsibility is to keep the entire population safe and sometimes in order to do so they need to keep an eye on certain people. I agree with you that the use of technology when it comes to investigating can sometimes be intimidating for people but its purpose is quite clear: looking out for a state's interest. Overall, a well developed topic and very nice piece of writing.

2 years 5 months ago

Hello Do234, I am really impressed by your Prezi show! ( I guess it’s kind of an emotion mixed with admiration and jealousy) ~ I am also really interested when you say you have chosen to change your way of contribution from serving the greater number to serving the greater need. Because in the concept of effective altruism brought up by Peter Singer, it’s often the quantitative aspect of altruism that is encouraged. However, I am of your opinion that sometimes to develop a deep connection and mutual trust with a person is more of a life changing experience than simply providing a solid material support. The spiritual growth descended from a relationship based on a profound trust and affection can’t be simple valued by the number of people involved in the relationship. In the contrary, this connection is all the more valuable because it can’t be quantified nor reproduced using simply an effective economic model. Another very important thing that you have taught me in your post is that sometimes the more positive and more effective way to help somebody is often give them opportunities to contribute to the betterment of the others and the society. During their contribution, not only can they gain confidence, self-esteem and social skills but it is also a process of achieving their self-worth. If there is any recommendation or ideas that I can share with you I’d say provide your goddaughter with more opportunities to contribute and to discover her own values such as helping hiding the eggs on Easter. I believe your goddaughter will benefit greatly from her time spent with you. Wish you good luck

2 years 5 months ago

Giving friendship and affection to people which rarely receive these things because of their disorders, you must almost feel like a super hero. By giving happiness to others, not only do you help these people feel more confident and positive about themselves, you also give happiness towards yourself too. You even get new friends by volunteering with Parrainage Champlain! I find it very respectable that you've decided to give your time to help people like Amélie to feel happy and less alone in our society. The fact that one of your family members has down syndrome must've been quite a source of your determination to be able to give other people with disabilities the love they rarely or never received. The already strong experience that you've had with people with disorders is clearly shown in this post because not many people would offer to help these people in need, which is obviously a problem that should've been solved yesterday. I truly think that what you've done, even if it was for one person and it may have seemed small, was maybe one of the biggest things you could've done to help a person!

2 years 5 months ago

Reading your post is a good reminder to the reality of islamophobia and gender inequality that is present in our society. By participating as a volunteer in Justice Femme, you were able to face this reality by meeting a real victim of islamophobia, Hanane Mehdi. By listening to her voice and by sharing your experience with this non-profit organization on various social media and on this website, people will surely take the issue at hand more seriously, especially yourself as you were present at the conference and you have more knowledge on the situation than most people now. Also, it is really good that you have shared a video. Now, other people will be able to have the opportunity to understand a bit more how women that are affected by this kind of racism and inequality feel. Simply viewing the video is a sign of participation made by the community. Your post caught my interest because it reminded me about another issue that involves racism and gender inequality that i have written about recently. It may not relate directly with the issue of islamophobia that you've written in this post, but it does show how this kind of racism and sexism can affect a women in terms of education: http://newsactivist.com/en/articles/flacks-newsactivist-winter-2015-comp...
This link in relevant because it introduces another issue that can come along with the problem you've written about in your post as a volunteer.

2 years 5 months ago

I found your post very interesting. I wasn’t aware that the Defi Sportif organised something that would encourage teenagers with disabilities or handicaps to practice sports. I read your post because my little sister has severe autism. This kind of activities gives me hope that when she grows up, she will have the chance to experience as much things as “normal” teenagers. I’m also happy that you got the opportunity to share your experience and erase the stigma around people that have handicaps or diseases. You wrote an important and thorough piece on equality and the importance of treating everyone with the respect they deserve. Here is an article about the impact of stigmas on people that have disabilities: http://www.su.rmit.edu.au/assets/Downloads/Journal-Article-Living-Stigma.... I believe you could find this article interesting as it would show you how important your post can help resolve the issue surrounding prejudices. Indeed, by describing your volunteering experience, you have demonstrated that teens with handicaps are really the same as any other teenagers. In a way, you are stopping the perpetuation of stereotypes surrounding this subject. I really hope you had as much fun volunteering as I had reading your post.

2 years 5 months ago

I believe that you have effectively linked the issues discussed during the reunion of Justice Femme with other issues linked to islamophobia and racism. Also, I must congratulate you on your work with the organisation. By filming and photographing the event, not only were you able to share your experience with the members of newsactivist.com, but you were also able to share this reunion with everyone on the internet. I found your volunteering work interesting because I also discussed the experience of a woman who experienced discrimination because of her hijab (http://newsactivist.com/en/news-summary/flacks-newsactivist-winter-2015
complementary-course/rania-el-alloul-declines-50k). Furthermore, I wrote about the Chapel Hill shooting and islamophobia in another post. This is a link to my article on islamophobia in the United States and Quebec: http://newsactivist.com/en/articles/flacks-newsactivist-winter-2015-comp.... I think you’ll find some interesting points in both posts that will encourage people to take action against racism or gender inequality. It is exactly organisations like Justice Femme that will give a voice to those who are living injustice. Again, I just want to point out how filming a meeting like you did can bring awareness and have a real impact on the issue.

2 years 5 months ago

First of all, amazing work! The amount of research and time you put into this assignment really demonstrates how you feel passionate about the issue. Global warming, as you said, is an issue that is undeniably impacting the way we live and dramatically influences what our future will hold for us and the futures the countless other species living on our planet. In our democratic political system, I believe it is very important that the people understand the impact that their opinions can have on politics and legislation. For some people, making significant improvements regarding issues such as global warming may seem like a long shot to some people because they sometimes do not consider how their voice can make a difference. However, when you described President Obama’s consideration for public opinion regarding the negative effects of the Keystone Pipeline, you clearly demonstrated how the people’s voice does in fact play a major role in the measures enacted to improve pressing issues. By continuing to express their opinions regarding this issue, the chances that our species and the countless others overcome global warming increase significantly. In addition, I found an article which discusses how the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) has released many documents regarding the measures that are being put in place to help sustain our species’ occupancy of this planet in the long run (links provided below).

Article: http://www.un.org/climatechange/blog/2014/03/ipcc-report-severe-and-perv...

IPCC: http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/final-drafts/

2 years 5 months ago

First of all, I would like to thank you for taking so much of your time to try and instill change for the better of our country and of our planet. I think that you have done your fair share, be it big or small, for the world. Your volunteering explanation post was very well written and very inspirational and it is great to see someone taking real action to fight for the environment. I do go out and volunteer to get some petition signatures sometimes and I can say that I completely agree with what you say about it making a difference regardless. I also especially liked the part about the monarch butterflies. I have done a little research of my own in the past months and I found this on the David Suzuki Foundation website that could give you some more ideas: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/monarch-butterflies-need-your... . I would like to finish by saying that I was able to order my own packet of milkweed seeds thanks to you. Keep up the awesome work!

2 years 5 months ago

I’ll start off by saying that your text is very good and that I totally agree that volunteering is very important, as it can widen one’s horizons and contribute to further community building. I do a lot of volunteering myself and I really enjoy it and the fact that I know that I am making a small difference. It’s very good that you are trying to help other students get to know their community better and be able to survive living alone for the first time and I am sure that many people will appreciate your work. It is very important to get students engaged and aware of what is around them so that they can have a clear path to help make change for themselves and their community. I am currently working on something that could relate to your project. I want to complete an information document for the upcoming federal election that will contain everything people need to know during the campaign and during Election Day. I want to make it easier for students to participate in our democracy, just like you want to make it easier for students to manage their budget and live comfortably and I applaud you for that.

2 years 5 months ago

We all know the issue of obesity and its extent in Occidental societies, but we never really saw the problems it causes to the ones in need. I always thought that dealing with obesity is simple: physical activity is the key and being lazy or poor prevent us from doing some. However, I never ever thought about the ones who need help to avoid or overcome obesity. Not only you helped them, but you also took it to another level with the blog, Facebook page and Tumblr, when it was not even asked of you. Encouraging others to act is the best way to change things. I personally participate in volunteering activities when I see them on Facebook (events), because the number of people ''going'' can be seen. This way, I know the event is important to some extent, and my participation will not be useless. I encourage you to continue.
In the future, we can change as a society by making healthy product cheaper for example. It is simply ridiculous that a burger costs 2$ while a salad costs 5$, or that vending machines are filled with chocolate and chips. Schools can encourage this type of change in the cafeteria also.

There no collaborative classes

About the author

I'm a Humanities Teacher at Champlain College, Saint-Lambert and the designer and founder of Newsactivist. Between 2007 and the present, I've developed a course, Newsactivist, which asked students to blog about the news that they felt showed parts of the world in need of improvement.