From Space

Reconceptualizing Healing

When I am asked to recognize the Indigenous land that we currently occupy in Canada, it is often a gentle but powerful reminder. As a newcomer in 2011, I was almost oblivious to the nation’s historical and persisting colonial relationship with Indigenous communities. This fact may be a testament to the ways that oppression simultaneously…

Reflections on Community

Yesterday, a strange man in asked me where I live. I told him that I’d rather not share my address with him—nothing personal, I said, but I’m from a big city where we don’t disclose our exact location to strangers. “My bad. The first thing everyone here asks me is where I’m staying.” I’ve been…

An Attempt at Checking My Post-Brexit White Privilege

-Disclaimer- Considering that Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were recently murdered by police, it seems that an attempt at checking my own post-Brexit white privilege is superfluous. But racism is everywhere — it is borderless and the white privilege, which connects it all, continues to go unchecked, allowing this racism to flourish. Sometimes it is…

Living White Supremacy

Over the past few years, much of the United States—and in particular black activists—have taken to the streets and the Internet en masse to protest the police killings of unarmed civilians like Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland, as well as the justice system’s refusal to hold their murderers responsible. Last summer,…

On Race, Inheritance, and Struggle at Yale: An Open Letter to Erika Christakis

Associate Master Erika Christakis, My mother was one of many thuyền nhân Việt Nam. English-speaking historians might call her a “boat person,” which is as good a translation from the original as any. Among the Vietnamese, stories like hers wield great power, communicate great pain, and symbolize the great burdens of my ethnic heritage. After the…

Mobility as Power, Mobility as Privilege

I know a few people who never flew on a plane until their late teen or early adult years—not because they didn’t want to, but because their families never had the income to buy airfare for a family vacation. I’ve been mulling over this fact a lot ever since I was awarded my first research…

A Saga of Sorts

To travel while one is young is one of life’s greatest privileges. Once I entered my final semester of my undergraduate degree, I started planning a series of adventures, varying in length, purpose, and destination to cap off what had been one of my most challenging years. From sigh-inducing walks in Italy to a childhood…

My Home, in Pieces

I was born and raised in Toronto, but I depend on home to define myself. Kenya, Tanzania. Faza, Mombasa, Malindi, Moshi, Nairobi. My understanding of myself depends on a filter that fragments my history. I use my fingers to selectively keep track of regions that have shaped my identities, leaving Toronto to rest in the…

Komagata Maru: Disrupting Canada’s Multicultural Identity

Raminder S There was an interesting conversation in my office the other day regarding “Canadian identity,” more specifically what it means and whom can ascribe to said identity. Not surprisingly, race played a significant role in the discussion. As the typical narrative goes, the Canadian “mosaic”—the celebration of the distinct and varied nationalities, ethnicities, races,…