What does it mean to be a “Global Citizen?”

I encourage you to think about that… what are examples that display global citizenship?

Every once and a while, the world comes together to celebrate a large event. In the past two weeks, the Olympics shed light on the opportunities that exist for this to happen.  While controversy always exists, I find that it is the small stories that hit home.  Did you hear about the women with Nigerian heritage forming the first sledding team?  They may have come last, but they stood up to be examples for girls to see what is possible. Did you hear about Chloe Kim?  The Daughter of a Korean Immigrant, who is the youngest woman to land back-to-back 1080s (that is 3 full rotations!) in international competition. How about Korean Athletes inspiring youth?  While the Olympics may not always be an example of how to reduce poverty in your neighbourhood, they are an example of what can inspire young people to greater things! For two weeks, every 2 years, the world comes together to celebrate hard work.

Global citizen… do the Olympics reflect that?  The Global Citizen initiatives says that a “global citizen” is someone who identifies with being part of an emerging world community, and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and actions. Does that resonate with you? 

For me, being a global citizen is about social change: opening your eye to your community to see how people move, how social situations impact well-being, and taking action on the small things that matter most.  For me, it’s about looking at your own context as well as looking internationally, to figure out how to impact change.  For me, it’s about shared capacity building, and learning:  what do people of other cultures, other social groups, or other experiences have to teach me?  What can I do to partner with them?

As such, we are excited to announce our first annual Story and Book Night!  On March 10th, join us at the Ledge Coffee Shop in Squamish to hear 4 Squamish residents tell a short personal story about how they have been empowered, equipped or encouraged to be global citizens.  Tickets are 10$ for an adult, and 5$ for a youth.   If you have any questions, please contact Amelia at 778-628-1909

Let me present our first three story tellers:

Amelia Birch is a board member and co-founder of Warm Heart Initiatives. After travelling to Sub-Saharan Africa 3 times in her late teens and early 20’s, she studied Global Health in Nursing during her time at McGill University. Amelia will share an story that has empowered her to recognize the power of being present & being a witness to global health partner’s lives.

Miguel Chiau is a Quest University student, and Mastercard Foundation Scholar in the Program at African Leadership Academy (ALA). He spoke at the Walrus Talks in Ottawa in September 2017, and will also sharing an personal story at our evening!

Ian MacKay is a nurse from Squamish who has spent time in both South America and Iraq, doing clinical work with an organization called Samaritan’s Purse. Ian will share about equipping for clinical services in crises areas.


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