June 21, 2013
Toronto,ON—This summer’s upcoming youth conference “Making the Youth Count in Canada’s Future: The Struggle of Young Workers in the Age of Austerity and Neoliberal Globalization,” organized by the Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance of Ontario (UKPC/FCYA–ON), is set to bring dynamic discussions led by youth organizers from across various communities in Canada, and is scheduled to take place at Toronto’s Steel Workers Hall at 25 Cecil St. on August 3rd. Foregrounding experiences amassed from beyond mainstream media’s split-second exposure of today’s local and global social movements, the conference will bring up the crucial point that youth have the capacity to continue sustaining these movements as long-term commitments for social change. UKPC/FCYA–ON organizers John Nerier and Aila Comilang will be part of the day’s panel speakers along with the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC)’s current Executive Director, Cecilia Diocson.
Within the Filipino Canadian community, the Philippine Women Centre (PWC) has provided a strong voice in advocating for the community and specifically for women’s rights, and has been a guiding factor in the work of UKPC/FCYA. Diocson, as a co-founder of PWC-British Columbia, will share her experiences from over two decades of organizing within the Filipino Canadian community, and the role which youth have taken on over the years. “Without youth, our movements won’t move forward,” she asserts, adding, “It is important that youth recognize their roles in creating change. They must be conscious that organizing for the long run requires us to learn from the past and that, this must be passed on to the next generation.”
To continue on the path towards empowering the Filipino community in Canada, Aila Comilang and John “Kebz” Nerier of UKPC/FCYA–ON both express a recognition that resisting current neoliberal attacks against the youth and the marginalized communities of Canada must also mean expanding upon the work of youth from previous generations. They will share the work that UKPC/FCYA is undertaking in order to continue educating Filipino Canadian youth about their community’s issues, and the steps being taken to strengthen concrete actions towards making Filipino Canadian youth count in Canada’s future.
As the conference date nears, the possible outcomes from the exchanges that will take place between youth and all participants are significant. With the government continuing to implement policies that attack the most marginalized and oppressed communities in Canada, youth are seizing the opportunity to bridge concerns and build strong alliances towards advancing genuine participation, settlement and integration for all communities in Canada. As Kebz Nerier points out, “there’s so much we can learn from one another and take back to our own communities.” Nodding her head, Aila Comilang adds, “Under the current economic situation, I think we can really see youth leading the way and being vocal about the future of this country—it’s exciting!”
REGISTER NOW: http://bit.ly/maketheyouthcount
“Making the Youth Count in Canada’s Future: The Struggle of Young Workers in the Age of Austerity and Neoliberal Globalization”
August 3, 2013
United Steelworkers Hall
25 Cecil Street
Registration fee is $15 (includes meals and conference materials)