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We are all part of the same human family!

Submitted by jreid on

“Skin colours are many; skin colours are beautiful; skin colours are kin colours!”

This was just one of many messages Aubrey Noronha shared with our students this week during his presentations in the Junior School. Aubrey Noronha is the face behind the organization Hello Hope, which (as the name suggests) shares messages of hope for safer communities through presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions on mental health and anti-racism. Aubrey is no stranger to TCS; he has presented before to our Junior School students virtually during the pandemic, and has been on campus this year in person speaking to faculty, Senior School students and Junior School students again. This week, our Grade 5 and 6 students took part in the presentations “Stick with the Truth: Parts 1 and 2”; our Grade 7 and 8 students took part in “Colour Blind? Parts 1 and 2.”

Aubrey’s message should be simple – we are all part of the same human family, so everyone should be treated with the same level of respect, dignity and care. However, as we know, this is not always the case. Aubrey defines racism as hurtful, harmful and hateful words and actions because someone, somewhere, at some point believed a lie about skin colour. His messages are powerful; his words are spoken with conviction; his passion for creating a better world for all is evident in everything he shares. He acknowledged past examples of racism in Canada and the U.S.A., using language and visuals appropriate to age and stage. He highlighted current issues as well. In doing so, he continued to come back to his definition that racism stems from the belief in a lie.

Aubrey: “Is there such a thing as a mean skin colour?”
Students: “No.”
Aubrey: “Can people be mean?”
Students: “Yes.”
Aubrey: “Who?”
Students: “Any of us!”

Aubrey then replaced mean with other words – smelly, strong, weak, dangerous – to highlight the idea that skin colour does not define a behaviour, group or idea.

He spoke of the beauty and uniqueness of skin with its many colours and tones. Aubrey also reminded us that skin colour is only a small part of our DNA and that we are 99.9% the same as all those around us and around the world, making us all part of the same human family.

In Aubrey’s words, “the best way for racism to grow, spread, harm and even kill, is if we do nothing. We must be committed to fighting racism by being aware, building relationships and doing something [in service of these goals] every day. Let’s keep talking about the truth, remembering the truth and sticking with it whenever lies come our way!”

TCS is committed. Thank you, Aubrey.