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The (Un)Kindness of Strangers — A Personal Perspective

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has experienced the kindness and unkindness of strangers first hand. A refugee from Somalia who arrived as a teenager with nothing but a change of clothes, Ahmed Hussen is the very epitome of a Canadian success story. He has gone from refugee to university graduate to law school, from community activist to political staffer to Member of Parliament, and today he is a federal cabinet minister in the Trudeau government.  

But even with these accomplishments, Min. Hussen worries that once he steps outside the Parliamentary precinct, he will be stopped and questioned by police, just because he is black.

Our Canada, he says, is not perfect. While Min. Hussen knows firsthand the generosity of Canadians, he also knows there are many who see a system stacked against them, doors closed to them, daily reminders in ways large and small that they are different.

On May 30 at the National Arts Centre, Minister Hussen will be one of five dynamic speakers bringing his story to the National Arts Centre for The Kindness of Strangers, a fundraiser for Refugee 613’s Podcasting Project, a pilot initiative to bring information and practical advice on the Canadian financial system to refugee newcomers via their smartphones. He will talk about his personal journey from refugee to a seat at the Cabinet table. He will challenge you to reflect and engage in the difficult discussions we need to have about race, identity and inclusion.

Join us! For tickets and more information: The Kindness of Strangers

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