Discrimination Media Release
Updated: October 20, 2021
Video story features LGBTQ+ refugee advocate Danny Ramadan
Vancouver B.C. – BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (BCOHRC) is hosting a virtual screening of a new “I love my human rights” video story featuring Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ+ refugee advocate Danny Ramadan.
This video is the latest in a series BCOHRC is producing as part of our mandate to educate British Columbians about systemic discrimination and how to eliminate it. Our “I love my human rights” project uses video storytelling as a tool to help personalize complex human rights concepts and encourage empathy and action. The video will be released to the public following the screening, with more to follow.
“Our Office is excited to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month—and honour the experiences of LGBTQ2SAI+ people—by launching this powerful new video,” said Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender.
Commissioner Govender explains the series: “Our ‘I love my human rights’ storytelling project grew from the idea that it’s much harder to cling to stereotypes, biases or hateful views of others when we can understand and relate to their stories,” she said. “Empathy and emotional connection can be powerful corrosive agents against hate and discrimination.”
Ramadan is the organizer of An Evening in Damascus, an annual cultural gathering and fundraiser to facilitate the safe arrival of Syrian LGBTQ+ refugees to Canada. In the video, he shares his experience coming out and finding community, working as a journalist during the Arab Spring and Syrian civil war, being arrested and forced to leave Syria and starting over in Canada as a writer, public speaker and activist.
Following the screening, Ramadan will speak to his experiences and participate in a conversation about community, storytelling and how promoting human rights can unleash human potential.
“It’s a lot of fun to see what a person who has always been denied freedom is capable of doing when offered that freedom,” Ramadan said.
The “I love my human rights – Danny Ramadan” watch party will take place on BCOHRC’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/humanrights4BC) on Friday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m. PDT. Viewers do not need to have a Facebook account to watch the event.
For more information about this watch party or “I love my human rights” project please contact Charlotte Kingston, Director, Communications, at email@example.com 1-250-216-4534.
Download our media kit for images of Commissioner Kasari Govender.
About the “I love my human rights series”
BCOHRC’s “I love my human rights” project (bchumanrights.ca/love) is a multi-year series that uses video storytelling as a tool to help personalize complex human rights concepts and encourage empathy and action. The series title was inspired by one of our first video storytellers, B.C. artist and self-advocate Teresa Pocock, who in 2014 created the slogan for her successful public campaign to defend her right to choose where she lived. BCOHRC is producing the series as part of our mandate to educate British Columbians about systemic discrimination and how to eliminate it. Updates about the series, including new video releases and launch events, will be posted to the bchumanrights.ca website.
Definition: LGBTQ2SAI+ and LGBTQ+
LGBTQ2SAI+ is the preferred term used by the BCOHRC to describe a community of people comprising lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, Two-Spirit, asexual/aromantic and intersex people, plus people with other sexual orientations and gender identities. Definitions for this and other human rights terms can be found in our glossary at: bchumanrights.ca/glossary
Danny Ramadan identifies as an LGBTQ+ refugee advocate. Danny does not include the 2S, for Two Spirit, in the acronym he uses to talk about his work as an advocate for migrants and refugees. This is because Two Spirit people are indigenous to North American lands.
LGBTQ+ History Month is the official name for a month-long celebration of LGBTQ2SAI+ history, culture and people. The event was created by Rodney Wilson, a history teacher at a Missouri high school, in 1994. The following year, LGBTQ+ History Month was added to the list of commemorative months in a resolution forwarded by the General Assembly of the National Education Association. For more information on this event, see: https://nationaltoday.com/lgbtq-history-month/
BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner exists to address the root causes of inequality, discrimination and injustice in B.C. by shifting laws, policies, practices and cultures. We do this work through education, research, advocacy, inquiry and monitoring. Learn more at: bchumanrights.ca
About the Commissioner
B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, started her five-year term on Sept. 3, 2019. Since then, our Office has been working swiftly to build a strong team, to listen deeply to the concerns of British Columbians, to deliver education materials on our rights and responsibilities, to issue policy guidance to protect marginalized communities and to lay a human rights-based foundation for our work. As an independent officer of the Legislature, the Commissioner is uniquely positioned to ensure human rights in B.C. are protected, respected and advanced on a systemic level throughout our society.
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