JESSE WENTE: NEW UNDERSTANDINGS: DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND COVID

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Opinion - Diversity hands raised up gesture

Thunder Bay – On Wednesday, March 24, 2021 from 12-1:30 pm, Diversity Thunder Bay, in partnership with the City of Thunder Bay and their Anti-Racism & Respect Advisory Committee, present Jesse Wente as the keynote speaker in the 15th Annual Celebration of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This free, virtual event is live now, with tickets available for reservation on the Diversity Thunder Bay website: https://www.diversitythunderbay.ca/get-involved/event/

Born and raised in Toronto, Jesse Wente is Ojibwe and is a member of the Serpent River First Nation. He is best known for his 24 years as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning and is an advocate for Aboriginal Arts, most notably on screen. He draws attention to the imagery used by Hollywood in portrayals of Indigenous peoples and stresses the need for a culture to have influence on their own depiction. His pieces on The Revenant, Beyonce and sports mascots were among the most shared on CBC.ca. As Wente has said, “You can’t expect society to change if you have the same storytellers.” Wente was recently appointed Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, the only First Nations person to ever hold the position. Playback Magazine named him the trailblazer of the year for 2020, and he was also included on Maclean’s Magazine’s Power List for 2020 and Toronto Life’s listof the most influential Torontonians of 2020.

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In this exclusive talk, Jesse Wente will look at the ongoing movements for racial and social justice and what the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed about where we are now, as well as what it has taught us about how we need to move forward. Jesse will look at both the impacts of Covid on how we understand inequalities, as well as how this should inform our solutions and pathways. Wente will discuss the strength of solidarity movements and how they can help on the pathway to reconciliation.