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Kelvin's human rights collective, HASTA (Hopeful, Aware Students Taking Action) hosted a Forum on Freedom of Expression in Kelvin's Library. Over one hundred students from grades 9 through 12 took part in the event, which was inspired by the events arising out of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, France late last year. Guest speakers at the Forum included Nadia Kidwai, journalist, community activist and founder of the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute, and Dr. Neil McArthur, Associate Director of the Centre for Applied Ethics and Social Justice at the University of Manitoba.
The forum exposed students to ideas such as John Stuart Mill's notion of the Marketplace of Ideas, in which propositions, both good and bad, will succeed or fail based on their own merits and veracity. Students were invited to consider the notion that satire is at its best when it critiques individuals or groups who occupy a position of power and authority and is misused when it results in further marginalizing the marginalized in society. Many questions were posed and opposing points of view were respectfully aired.
Many thanks to organizers Vida E and Darnell W., as well as to HASTA members Miranda M., Moira S., Juliana X, Dulcemiel M-C and Xavier Y.