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BLOG: Living In Colour is a safe space for POCs to discuss daily experiences and ethnic identities

Religious inclusion in the workplace | Living In Colour

Living In Colour returns on May 15.

The series, hosted by Global News anchor Farah Nasser, takes a look at what it’s like to be a person of colour (POC) and how our daily experiences differ because of the colour of our skin and our intersecting identities. For example, past episodes have included how racism affects mental health, the experiences of POCs on dating apps, the LGBTQ2 community and employment.

For the next several months, a new episode will be available every Wednesday on Global News’ YouTube channel.

Religious inclusion in the workplace

What rights do employees and employers have when it comes to religion in the workplace? On this episode of Living In Colour, host Farah Nasser speaks with lawyer Omar Ha-redeye and CivicAction’s diversity fellow Safiah Chowdhury about dress codes, time off work to celebrate non-Christian religious holidays and (facial) hair.

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Immigration and refugee

Are immigrants and refugees treated differently depending on where they come from? Host Farah Nasser chats with Sara Asalya, founder and president of the Newcomer Students’ Association of Ryerson, as well as Wennie Lee, instructor of Immigration and Refugee Law at Humber College to discuss the difference between an immigrant and refugee, how newcomers of colour are treated, the obstacles they face and more.

Writers’ room: TV and film

Why is there a lack of POC show writers, show runners, directors and producers? During this week’s episode of Living In Colour, host Farah Nasser chats with producer and director Amar Wala, as well as film and culture journalist Tina Hassannia about the writers’ room and the lack of POCs behind the scenes in the media industry.

Hate Crimes

Are hate crimes on the rise? And if so, who are they targeting and why? Farah Nasser finds the answers to these important questions from this week’s Living In Colour guests Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, PhD candidate and researcher, and Kathy Hogarth, professor of social work at the University of Waterloo.

What is toxic masculinity and how does it affect racialized men?

Farah Nasser sat down with educator and community worker Neil Price, as well as SKETCH Toronto program coordinator Julian Diego to discuss what toxic masculinity is, how it differs for men of colour, how masculinity intertwines with education, racism and more.

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Why diversity, discretion in policing is important

What is the current relationship between police and racialized communities? Host Farah Nasser discusses this topic with Const. Edward Parks of the Toronto Police Service and Louis March, who is the founder of the Zero Gun Violence Movement.

Diversity in Journalism

There’s a lack of diversity in journalism — more specifically, there’s a lack of journalists of colour (JOCs) in newsrooms. There have been countless articles written, including ones published by NPR, J-Source and the Columbia Journalism Review, about the lack of racialized reporters in newsrooms. During this episode, host Farah Nasser sits with three JOCs — Kyle Edwards of Maclean’s, Fatima Syed of National Observer and Nicholas Keung of the Toronto Star — to discuss what it’s like to be a JOC in today’s industry.

Ethnic names and identity 

For this episode of Living In Colour, host Farah Nasser speaks with YTV host Mark Suki and freelancer writer and anti-rape activist Roslyn Talusan about the importance of a person’s name, the double standards of an ethnic name compared to an Anglophone-sounding name, how a name is a part of a person’s identity and more.

What is colourism?

What is colourism? Host Farah Nasser chats with culture expert Meera Solanki Estrada and University of Toronto Prof. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah about colourism. They explore how it’s socially constructed in society, how it can affect one’s own community and how those with lighter complexions are afforded more privileges when it comes to their careers, education, dating and more.

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Representation in rock music:

Sum 41’s Dave Baksh and Q107 announcer Dan Chen chat with host Farah Nasser about diversity in rock music. The guests speak about the first time they fell in love with the genre and the importance of representation as well as some difficult moments they experienced growing up as people of colour listening to rock ’n’ roll.

Race and politics:

Even though these members of provincial parliament (MPPs) are from different political parties and have different political beliefs, they all share one thing in common: they are visible minorities in a career that impacts a very diverse city. Host Farah Nasser sat down with MPPs Stan Cho, Mitzie Hunter and Gurratan Singh to discuss what it’s like to be a POC in politics, any racial barriers they’ve faced, and the positive message they want to share when it comes to diversity.

Black hair culture:

For black women, their natural hair is rooted deeply in their identity. From wash day — which for some women can take hours — to LCO (liquid, cream and oil) methods, weaves, braids, twists, wigs and more, black hair is something that should be celebrated. Farah Nasser sits with natural hair advocate Natasha Bruno, The Hair Appointment’s Josef Adamu and Urban Curl Studio owner Keina Morgan to discuss the evolution of black hair.

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Fashion and advertising:

Host Farah Nasser speaks with models Beritu Ahmed and Syed Sohail about racism in the advertising and fashion industries. Ahmed and Sohail get candid about their own experiences with racism, why they think companies such as Gucci and Burberry are being accused of blackfacing their clothing and more.

Racism in sports:

During this episode, video producer Jerome Cheng and OneSoccer anchor Asa Rehman talk about their love of basketball and soccer and how sports bring people together. The pair also discusses their experience with racism while playing their respective sports recreationally and how racism is displayed passively and aggressively in professional leagues.

The “n-word” (Part 2):

In the second instalment of Living in Colour, rapper Sean Leon and author Dalton Higgins dive deeper into the n-word discussion, explaining why it’s used, how it compares to other swear words and the way it’s used outside the West.

Warning: this two-part episode contains explicit language. Discretion is advised.  

The “n-word” (Part 1):

The first episode, which you can watch here, features Canadian rapper, producer and director Sean Leon alongside author and publicist Dalton Higgins. Both men speak with Farah about the “n-word,” why it’s a popular racial slur inside and outside of the black community, the crossover of the word into popular culture and the history behind it.

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For the first time ever, Living In Colour will feature an episode in two parts so tune in next week to see the second half of this dynamic discussion.

Warning: this two-part episode contains explicit language. Discretion is advised.  

Send us any comments or questions you have about Living In Colour below!

Alley Wilson is an original content and multimedia producer. 

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