As the sweltering heat of the summer gives way to the cool breeze of autumn, the schools and universities of Halifax fill back up to capacity. Schools are a powerful engine for growth and development and while everyone can remember complaining about a strict teacher or a far-too-long night finishing an assignment, most people can look back on it all and smile with the recognition that, through it all, they have grown and improved as a human being. While the stories in this edition of My Halifax Experience aren’t restricted to the classroom, they are all touched by that same spirit of growth and development.
Our cover story in this edition is about Mohammad Ali Raza’s journey, from being a new immigrant to becoming a law partner. Five years ago, he was a lawyer who couldn’t practise in Nova Scotia. Now, he’s a partner at Cox & Palmer law firm. Also, we talk about cultural sensitivity in the work place and we share how TD Canada Trust is promoting diversity and inclusion by providing employment opportunities for immigrants.
My Halifax Experience has seen a great deal of growth over the year, thanks to the support and participation of people like you. We are continuously grateful for the opportunity to offer others the chance to grow as well. With the expansion of our student bursary program, My Halifax Experience has offered bursaries to a student in Mount Saint Vincent University, NSCC, and EduNova. In addition to those, we also delegated funds for a bursary to The Nigerian Association of Nova Scotia, an international multicultural society, granted to a recipient of their choice based on a selected criterion.
Our annual Mosaic festival also experienced incredible growth as it entered its second year, holding onto the momentum and enthusiasm for our celebration of culture and diversity. The Mosaic Festival grew not only in the number of people who participated, but also in its offerings. The new Mosaic Film Festival which screened films from different parts of the world and visited by dignitaries from all over Nova Scotia, created a new avenue for My Halifax Experience to showcase the benefits multiculturalism brings to our city. Film is a powerful cultural tool for expressing new perspectives, and we intend for the film festival to continue to serve Halifax and the world as a platform to showcase the journeys and experiences that sometimes are unfortunately left unseen and unheard.
I believe a majority of Haligonians know that a diverse community is one that is stronger, and that a confluence of different cultures in one space ultimately leads to a more vibrant place to work, play, live, and learn. This knowledge, however, can sometimes become abstract, something understood but not experienced viscerally. Therefore, my intention for My Halifax Experience and all its offerings, now and in the future, is to create tangible first-hand experiences, ones which show that the principles of cultural diversity aren’t just able to be directly experienced, but they’re also incredibly fun!