The U N Refugee Agency Gift Store

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i-love-youGive a gift. Save a life.

If I were not scraping for food myself, this would be my choice because the smallest gift would be a treasure to a refugee, to those whom have very little, your Gratitude would be a gift of love and light to a kid in a displaced world……Terry.K

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Welcome to UNHCR’s gift shop—where giving gifts can save lives. When you choose an item from our catalogue, you’re ensuring that refugees have access to vital resources—including shelter, medical care, education, nutrition and clean water.

Your gift delivers the essentials of life, as well as hope for the future.

Let’s get started!

Making a gift through our online gift shop is easy. In less than 15 minutes you can complete the three steps listed below. You’re on your way to helping deliver the essentials of life to families who need your help.

How it Works

  1. Browse our catalogue: Choose from any of our six giving categories, each with their own life-saving resources.
  2. Send a personalized card: Dedicate one of our beautiful paper or e-cards and let someone know that you’ve made a gift in their honour.
  3. Deliver your life-saving gift: Your gift will be put to work immediately providing life-saving aid to refugees around the world.

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About UNHCR

Those whose lives have been uprooted and torn apart by conflict or natural disaster, UNHCR exists to help them. This is our story.

schoolUNHCR helps refugees and other displaced people around the world survive, recover and rebuild better futures. Last year, UNHCR delivered more than 15,000 tons of essential relief and survival items to displaced families.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provides life-saving aid to those who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of violence, conflict or persecution. We provide refugees with the essentials they need to survive—including clean water, food, shelter and medicine—as well as access to vital resources like education and counselling.

With 9,700 employees working in more than 126 countries, we assist more than 65 million 6581111d1ad676dd8aa128c26a2d1578people forced to flee their homes worldwide.

UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives since its foundation in 1950. For our work with some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, we have twice been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

While you shop learn more about The United Nations Refugee Agency


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Welcome to the Show ~ Adam Lambert

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Take your flaws in stride, nurture your talents, take pride in your Queerness, and share all the love you have. — Adam Lambert

After recording the song a few months ago, I felt very compelled to create a video to further communicate it’s meaning. adam-lambert-does-epic-kermit-the-frog-impersonation-socialI notice such diversity in my audiences when I’m on tour: Young, old, male, female, Trans, Gay, Straight, White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, and every beautiful in-between. The common bond is that they are all HUMAN BEINGS. No matter how we identify, the human heart has a universal set of emotions and needs.

Sure it’s idealistic, but couldn’t we be recognising our similarities, instead of our differences? It all comes down to Identity. We as a society are obsessed with how to classify and define each person. There are new labels invented monthly for how to describe new “types”. In some cases, these labels are needed to empower us and give us clarity, but it seems that at some point, all the categorising can become quite divisive.

Welcome To The Show is an anthem about facing exactly who you are and OWNING it. Its intended as a mantra to inspire strength and PRIDE.

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103006574I’ve seen so many people trapped by the identity they put so much effort into maintaining, or shunned by choosing not to. I have fallen into that trap myself True Individuality seems daunting in our age of social media popularity contests. Sometimes it’s terrifying to face your true, whole self, stripped of any pretence. The good, the bad, the cracks, and the scars. I am no stranger to the feeling of not liking myself.

Once I get past my own body image issues, I realise that I sometimes also neglect my own spirit. Living in a world filled with so much hatred sometimes makes cultivating self-love a adam-smilie2very difficult task. I have always struggled with this as I’m sure many of you have. My path is a kind of paradox in that I get to share my craft with the world, but also be willing to throw myself to the wolves. To dare to be different, but still wanting to be accepted. There is vast beauty to be found in life’s contradictions. This non-binary reality allows us to lead happy, expressive lives, and yet this very freedom comes with great risks. I’m not alone in this limbo.

This is the first time I’ve produced my own music video. With the help of my friend and long – time collaborator Lee Cherry, we set out to co-direct something notably honest. I spoke with Laleh (the brilliant songwriter who is featured on the song) and we agreed on the vulnerability we wanted captured on screen.

I think the more we as artists share 5bffa15e76893ea4c1a195f63963e6fc6dcdfc193992012ourselves openly, the more someone outchuckie-guitar there may feel inspired to do the same. I also felt a strong feeling of empowerment in creating this video independent of the label system. It was time to shoot this one on my own.

This video isn’t about selling a song, or product placement, or racking up viral views. This is intended simply as a creative expression. What resulted on set came from a very free and organic headspace that allowed me to connect with the camera as if it were each person who’s supported me over the last 7 years.

ithank youThis video is a thank you to all of you who have lined up to see the Original High World Tour. To everyone who has listened and shared my songs and given me the purpose to keep moving forward. It’s a thank you to all of you who choose to accept and Love who YOU are! We hold each other up! I want you to keep celebrating exactly who you are, even if you don’t fit into the worlds ideas of what they think you should be.

“Through my art, I pledge to bring empathy and courage to anyone who has been made to feel unworthy or ashamed while daring to be themselves. “

smilie_tanz_073Directed by Lee Cherry and Adam Lambert with Post Production and VFX by Studio Private. Listen and download Adam’s new single “Welcome to the Show” feat. Laleh at http://smarturl.it/adam.wtts.

Download Adam Lambert’s most recent album “The Original High” featuring “Another Lonely Night” and “Ghost Town” now at http://adamofficial.com.

Follow Adam:

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The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

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“If you want Peace, you don’t talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies” ~ Desmond Tutu

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Mission

The mission of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation is to use Desmond Tutu’s life and teachings to inspire young people to build a world of peace within themselves, peace between people, and peace among nations.

 

Vision

The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation envisions a world in which everyone values human dignity and our interconnectedness. Real peace will prevail when there is a culture of peace in red-rosethe USA and around the world.  That culture originates in the hearts and minds of our youth, the future leaders and peace-makers of the world. Our programs are based on the teachings of Desmond Tutu who has dedicated his life to reshaping conversations about peace, equality, and forgiveness.

The philosophy of Ubuntu guides us with its meaning of We are all connected. What affects one of us affects us all.

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The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation is the only nonprofit organisation in North America incorporated by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a South African Anglican cleric who became one of the central leaders of the global peace movement. An outspoken defender of human rights and campaigner for the oppressed, Desmond Tutu’s eloquent advocacy and brave leadership lead to the end of South African apartheid in 1993 and the installation of Nelson Mandela as the nation’s first black President. The Archbishop has dedicated his life to reshaping conversations about peace, equality and forgiveness. In 1984, Tutu earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts as a global peace maker and now devotes his time with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation to teaching youth the powerful role and voice they play in creating a more compassionate and peaceful world.

Since the demise of apartheid, Desmond Tutu has been active in the defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty,racism, sexism, the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, homophobia and transphobia.

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He received the Nobel Peace Prizein 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in the-book-of-joy2Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize the-best-of-forgivingin 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

He has also authored several books including the Book of Forgiving which he co-wrote with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, and the forthcoming Book of Joy which he is co-authoring with his friend the Dalai Lama.

 

They are our family – LGBT Community

 

Other Video’s from the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness

Archbishop and Friend Dalai Lama

We Are Human Only Through Relationships: UBUNTU

NegusWorld – Peace3 for the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

Michelle Obama, Archbishop Tutu Exercise with Children -South Africa

get-involved
There are so many ways to get involved in our Peace3 Conversations. Whether in person or online, Peace3 has been set up to include your voice!

Host a Peace3 event: If you would like to sponsor a Peace3 Conversation at your school, let us know! To find our more about hosting a Conversation on Peace, contact brian@tutufoundationusa.org.

Attend a Peace3 event:  All of our Peace3 events are open to every one of all ages. For a live event in your area, visit our LIVE EVENTS page to find out when we will be visiting a campus near you. Please note that events sometimes have limited seating so inquire about attendance as soon as possible.

Don’t see an event near you? Follow us on social media for up to date details on upcoming events and how to participate in the live discussions online.

 

Facebook              Twitter                   Instagram              YouTube

Peace3 Digital Conversations: Watch our video conversations with luminaries from all over the world, discussing peace, how they achieve inner peace and how they contribute to peace in the world.

Create your own Peace3 video: Share with us how you define “peace within” with your acts of 556724504_1201366the wonderful. Show us how your conversations, your activities, your friends, and your hobbies are creating your peace within and, in turn, creating peaceful relationships and communities. Illustrate practices in empathy, respect for others, forgiveness, conflict prevention, conflict resolution as tools for counteracting pressing social problems. Think of this a new opportunity to make brand new personal connections with a global community working on creating a better world.

Send your video to Peace3vids@tutufoundationusa.org. Please keep submissions to more than two and a half minutes. Be sure to include your name, age, and contact information in your email to us, learn more about the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation»»»»»»

Thanx to a friend here’s an EXTRA: Found: The First Television Interview Nelson Mandela Ever Gave

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The LOVE Foundation

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Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it. ~  Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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harldIt may be easy to look around our world today and see the appearance of chaos, difficulty and strife. Yet, when we come from an open heart, we can also see our opportunity to love all 40bf5e4b21b3a2f75edc33f163d2b649things into balance, joy, harmony and peace. This planet does not need more visions of desperation, separation, fear, doubt, and hate – it requires an abundance of love, especially unconditional love, to heal and restore the beauty contained in every moment. This becomes the easier path once we take the first step and begin to share our love.

When we bring unconditional love back into our personal, professional, community and family lives, we begin the journey of restoring wholeness and happiness to our planetary adventure. Of course it takes determined effort on our part as the old, outmoded and limited ways of being are quick to return in our mind. However, this effort to love is rewarded with a new perspective on everything and all life benefits as a result.

81969144Here at The Love Foundation, whether through Global Love Day each May 1st, our annual Art, Essay and Poetry Invitational, Love Ambassador designations, or our newer programs, Love Begins With Me film project and All Nations Love/America Loves, each of these opportunities are simply ways to keep the understanding of love fresh in our collective hearts and minds.

We started this nonprofit organization in 2000 as a way to inspire and remind people of the simple, practical power of loving unconditionally. In just these few years, we have witnessed a growing worldwide momentum embracing this opportunity to bring the awareness of unconditional love back into our daily lives. We look forward to expanding this dialogue and encourage you to walk this journey of unconditional love in your part of the world.

On behalf of our global family of volunteers – welcome!

Love, light and peace,
Harold W. Becker
Founder, The Love Foundation

Visit our Vision and Mission page to find out more about who we are and how we “inspire people to love unconditionally”

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Untitled-1the vision

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We honour each May 1st as a symbolic day of unconditional love and call upon all people and all nations to gather together in the wisdom of peace and love.

Global Love Day is the universal recognition of our innate oneness through love. It is our vision to unite one and all in a celebration of love and compassion. Join people around the world in celebrating and expanding LOVE.

We are one humanity on this planet.
All life is interconnected and interdependent.
All share in the Universal bond of love.
Love begins with self acceptance and forgiveness.
With respect and compassion we embrace diversity.
Together we make a difference through love.

When we come from this limitless love we naturally and easily embrace ourselves and our fellow humanity. Opening our heart, we allow unconditional love to be our guide and compassion to be our gift to life.

th_vn-emo-0022We invite you to celebrate with us by consciously focusing on love and what it means to you throughout this day. We hope that by practicing love in all areas of your life, you will find it easy to love unconditionally all year long. Our main theme explains it best…”Love Begins With Me

Be a part of it. Spread the word. Share your love.

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we celebrate

As we continue to connect with people and organizations around the world, we are amazed at how much is being done in efforts to positively assist humanity. There are so many wonderful people and associations that are actively working on behalf of a community, nation and even in global proportions.

smilie-love2As we often remind ourselves, what is presented by mainstream information sources is frequently a narrow and negative perspective of what is happening upon this planet right now. To the contrary, we see and know that good and right is occurring everywhere. Look for love and you will see it all around you.

This simple reminder changes the very nature of our experience. We are what we place our attention upon. When we allow love to be our focus of life, we expand this in our everyday activities. It is as simple as changing each perspective and allowing the negative and limiting views to be released and replaced by a higher, more loving understanding.

We appreciate and are grateful for the courage each of you express. In a world that has historically revered the negative and fear-based aspects, it takes strength to be and share love. It is time for love to become our common vision.

Please join us. Be a part of this global day by choosing love, compassion, peace, and unity. Share this information with your friends, relatives and coworkers. Love locally and spread it globally, continue reading more about Global Love Day»»»»»»

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TLF TV presents the Love Begins With Me film project interview series with Philip Snow interviewing Christopher Gilmore. In these videos, Philip and his guests explore the windy4nature of love and how it has been a natural part of their lives along with how unconditional love is a transformative element for positive change both individually and collectively.

Christopher Gilmore has long been at the forefront of the holistic and complementary education movements. Utilizing his skills gained as an actor, teacher and playwright and author of books and musicals, he helps students explore the multiple layers they have within themselves to nourish and uplift their spirits. He resides in the UK and can be contacted at Christopher Gilmore.com.

Philip Snow is a board member for The Love Foundation and is the producer of the Love Begins With Me film project. He hosts these inspired interviews with special guests from around the world. For more information, please visit love Begins With Me.org

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Newton Abbot College Awarded Anti-Bullying Accolade

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“Teamwork allows common people to obtain uncommon results”. ~ Pat Summit

NEWTON Abbot College has won another award for their anti-bullying work at the school. imagesFollowing their selection as one of only three national showcase schools for their anti-bullying work, fourteen Anti-Bullying ambassador students and two members of staff travelled to London for the invitation-only Diana Award Anti-Bullying event.

The students were greeted upon arrival by some of the Diana Award staff members and VIP guests for the event, including internet vlogging sensation, Marcus Butler, former Doctor Who, Christopher Ecclestone, and Union J member, JJ Hamblett, before participating in the main showcase event.

Untitled-2The school video of Newton Abbot College was shown for the first time and the College’s anti-bullying team was invited on stage to receive their Diana Award Anti-Bullying Champion accolade.

Year 10 anti-bullying prefect Zoe McAuliffe said: “The event was absolutely fantastic and I feel extremely proud to be part of both Newton Abbot College and its anti-bullying work, as we are the only school in the area to have been recognised in such an amazing way.

“Anti-bullying work in schools is so important and I am looking forward to becoming more involved next year and helping other students to stay safe and happy in their college environment.”

Head of House and Head of Anti-Bullying, Anne Farnham, added: “The Facebook event was an amazing opportunity for the College to celebrate the many years of anti-bullying work we have put in.

god_said_no_12The showcase accolade and subsequent Champion Award is the recognition of all the hard work, initiative and enthusiasm shown by our students over the last few years. I could not be more proud of the team, the work they do and the College as a whole.”

Article by HEDanielClark for Herald Express  Posted: July 15, 2016

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🇨🇦 Anti-Bullying Speech Moves Foothills Composite Students

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“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.”  ~ Henry Ford

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Tad Milmine and FHS counselor Kilbreath with Grade 10 students

Grade 10 students at Foothills Composite High School were boy-hatbrought to tears Tuesday after an emotional speech from the campaign Bullying Ends Here“.

The presentation focused on a teenager named Jamie Hubley that sadly, ended his life five years ago due to bullying, as well as founder Tad Milmine’s story of his life.

Milmine says his goal is to get students to reflect on their actions, and how they affect people.

“My goal is that everyone as an individual is going to look in the mirror

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and recognize that they have room for improvement and then challenge themselves that tomorrow they’re going to be better,” he says.

“As long as we keep waiting for other people to change, well that change isn’t going to happen as it starts with ourselves.”

Many of the students approached Milmine after his presentation to thank him for his powerful words, as well as share their stories.

“Just from standing here after this presentation in particular I helped more than one person,” he says. “Or at least I inspired and gave them a different perspective, or I gave them some positive outlook. I let them know and proved to them that no matter how dark your times may be today, you can still get through it and make all your dreams come true.”

at-school-smiley-emoticonStudents can also email Milmine after his presentation if they feel they need help, or for some encouraging words.

“For me that’s a test. They’re checking to see ‘Do I really respond? Am I really going to be there?’ And I am. So the emails just keep on coming. If I’m by them just one more day, you never know it could be the day that the light is there at the end of the tunnel for them.”

Click here for more information on Bullying Ends Here.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at news@okotoksonline.com

Article by Laura Bates ~ Published Wednesday, 09 March 2016

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Gay Calgary police officer promotes anti-bullying program of hope

Rick Mercer headlining fundraiser for anti-bullying group

In Memory of Jamie Hubley

Remembering Jamie Hubley

Theatre production explores impacts of teen bullying 

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Workplace bullying focus of court case

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Mitchell addressed the issue of costs with criticism directed at lawyers and what he said has become a disturbing trend in the profession that leaves the courts accessible only to people who can AFFORD IT!  “This is a concern not just for the profession but for society as well,” he wrote.

(currently leads to corruption, didn’t I hear the above statement somewhere before) 

5459a4424897349b8adab05da9a1d428A family’s claim that workplace bullying led to Eric Donovan‘s fatal heart attack will proceed through the courts after a successful appeal of the case’s dismissal.

Donovan worked at Queen’s County Residential Services, which is an organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities.

In 2013 he suffered a work-related back injury and about a month later he had a heart attack, Donovan died fewer than two weeks later.

peiHis widow and two children allege workplace bullying caused Donovan stress, anxiety and fear, which led to his fatal heart attack.

Those allegations include that hostile and demeaning statements were made about his work performance, he was forced to work extra hours and he was forced to do unsafe workunif

Queens County Residential Services and Donovan’s supervisor, Nadine Hendriken, are named in the lawsuit that claims damages for losses the family suffered after Donovan‘s death.

The P.E.I. Court of Appeal heard the case after a lower court dismissed the claim saying it didn’t have jurisdiction over the matter.

In a unanimous decision, Justice John Mitchell disagreed judge-smiley-emoticonwith the lower court and overturned the dismissal along with an order for costs against the Donovan family.

Mitchell said lawyers should zero in on the issues on which a case will turn and not over prepare.

“One does not need to build a battleship to do the job of a dingy,” he wrote.

Mitchell also targeted the provincial government, saying it was making the problem worse by taxing legal services, adding fees for court services and increasing old fees.

12549judge_001The tax on legal services is not a tax on lawyers, Mitchell said, and noted $11,731 was paid in HST by one side in this case.

“Access to justice should be the right of every citizen and not turned into a profit centre by the government.”

Mitchell awarded more than $5,000 in costs. SMILEY20DELIVERY

Article by Ryan Ross ~ Published on February 02, 2016

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Man imprisoned for being gay to get posthumous pardon from Trudeau

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‘It’s great that the young Trudeau is finishing the work that his father started,’ lawyer says.

images (31)Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to posthumously pardon Everett George Klippert who, because he admitted to police in the 1960s that he was gay, was deemed a dangerous sexual offender and sent to prison.

“The prime minister intends to recommend that a pardon under the authority of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy be granted posthumously to Mr. Klippert,” Trudeau’s office said in a media release.

The move was cheered Sunday by gay-rights advocates.

“It’s fantastic that he’ll get a posthumous pardon,” lawyer Doug Elliott told CBC News.

As well, the statement said the Liberal schalesgovernment will also look to see whether pardons are “warranted” after reviewing the cases of other individuals who in the past were convicted on charges such as gross indecency and buggery.

“As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike, and this includes gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” the weekend statement said.

Trudeau’s office credited Klippert’s case for being “instrumental” in Canada’s decision to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.

images (9)Gay-rights activist applauds government commitment to review other cases of men convicted when homosexuality was a crime, you can also check out the video from CBC News here.

Indefinite prison sentence

6i3zxbkmKlippert was questioned by the RCMP in 1965 during an arson investigation in Pine Point, N.W.T. He wasn’t involved in the fire, but voluntarily said he’d had sexual relations with four men. He was charged with four counts of gross indecency, all for consensual, private, non-violent acts.

In 1966, Klippert was visited in prison by a Crown-appointed psychiatrist who concluded that Klippert’s homosexuality was “incurable,” and that he therefore met the criteria regarding dangerous sexual offenders.

A judge agreed and sentenced Klippert to preventive detention, meaning an indefinite term in prison.

The sentence was backed up by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1967, although Chief Justice John Cartwright suggested the laws regarding homosexuality be clarified, and that incarceration of harmless homosexuals was not their intention.

judge-smiley-emoticon-1The Klippert case stoked considerable media and political interest. Just six weeks later, Pierre Trudeau, the Liberal government’s justice minister (who would later become prime minister) introduced a bill that, among other things, called for the decriminalization of private, consensual homosexual acts between people over the age of 21.

“It’s great that the young Trudeau is finishing the work that his father started,” Elliott said.

Before homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, people were routinely charged with gross indecency — a charge almost always applied to homosexuals — but rarely for private, consensual acts.

Klippert was released from prison on July 21, 1971. He was 69 when he died in in 1996.

images (4)“I never understood: Why didn’t Pierre Trudeau let him out in 1969 when they decriminalized gay sex?” Elliott said. “They kept the poor guy who was responsible for shining a light on this issue in jail for another couple of years.”

Last week, the prime minister confirmed he will march in Toronto’s Pride parade on July 3, a move that would make history with Trudeau being the first sitting PM in Canada to take part in the event.

Article for CBC News  ~ Posted: Feb 28, 2016


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Booklet, “Born Free and Equal”

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”- Nelson Mandela

booklet f&e2images (4)“Born Free and Equalsets out the source and scope of some of the core legal obligations that States have to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The 60-page booklet is designed as a tool for States, to help them better understand the nature of their obligations and the steps required to meet them, as well as for civil society activists, human rights defenders and others.

You can grab your copy free at this link or select your language:

English | French | Spanish | Russian | Arabic | Chinese (PDF)
Unofficial translations: Farsi | Khmer | Portuguese | Tetum | Turkish | Vietnamese

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Nashville Dreams Become Reality for Selkirk College Alumnus

tom2Growing up in tiny Fruitvale, Tom Samulak first picked up a guitar and not long after had dreams of playing on country music’s biggest stages. The Selkirk College alumnus realized one of those dreams last year and is poised for more great achievements as his career continues to blossom.

GuitarPlayingSmileyAniWhat path takes you from a small town in the Kootenays to performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville? For one professional musician, the first steps on that journey led through the doors of tom3Selkirk College’s Contemporary Music & Technology Program. Guitarist Tom Samulak was a student of the program from 2007 to 2009, majoring in music performance on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus. In the last few years, he has quickly established himself as a gifted live performer and recording session-man in the U.S., working with some of country music’s biggest established and rising stars.

Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program alumnus Tom Samulak realized one of his dreams this past October when he performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

It’s all pretty heady stuff for a kid from Fruitvale, a small town outside of Trail. His first connection to Selkirk was taking after-school guitar 5727d9935fdfadfb7e5cbc15cb6bc9e0lessons from college instructors who helped him become familiar with the Nelson campus and prepare for his audition for the school. Attending the College made a lot of sense for a local youth, who was able to learn and practice close to home.

“I gained necessary expertise in my field through top-notch training and experience,” he recalls. “Meeting like-minded musicians and getting the chance to play with them in a wide variety of venues and musical situations gave me a boost.”

Lessons Delivered by Music Masters

The Selkirk College music program has been preparing students for commercial success in the industry for a quarter-century. Students study rock, jazz, classical, world music and other genres—including Samulak’s beloved country music. The small class sizes and individual attention a student gets at Selkirk made a real difference.

14361780301“Each instructor and course gave me a boost in their own ways,” he says. “That’s what meant the most to me, getting first-hand expertise from each instructor, who are all masters of their respective talents.”

Samulak was an “absolute pleasure” to have in the program says Darren Mahe, who taught him music theory and guitar.

“Besides being quite talented as a guitar player, he was a really great student, driven to succeed, a hard worker, with an open mind about everything he was learning. He always wanted to learn something new,” Mahe recalls. “He had a really great personality, positive, and always had a vision in mind and very clear goals of what he wanted to attain.”

In the subsequent years, Mahe says his former student has become a colleague and good friend. They keep in touch to this day.

After his time at Selkirk College—where he graduated with distinction—Samulak went to the University of Calgary for a year, then traveled to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Selkirk’s transfer agreement and related curriculum made the transition much easier, he says.

Samulak graduated Cum Laude from the prestigious international school in 2012 with a degree in Music Performance, and headed for Nashville to start work. But even there, he says, lessons learned at the intimate campus in Nelson stay with him and have helped advance his career.

“Besides the fundamentals of music, more rhetorically, I learned the importance of making friends of lifetime quality,” he says. “I’m still personal friends with many of my Selkirk colleagues.”

Among those friends is international recording star and fellow Selkirk College alum from 2009 Kiesza. She also attended Berklee and graduated a year before Samulak. They are still close friends, having kept in touch and even performed together on occasion.

Making it Happen in Music City

guitar-cartoon-24930539Since moving to Nashville, Samulak has found himself in ever greater demand. He’s been picked up by bands such as Derryl Perry and Haley & Michaels, performing 200 or more times a year.  He’s played before millions of people on television and live satellite radio concerts, recorded in studios across the U.S., created theme music for TV series, and won awards for his performance skills.

The highlight of his still-emerging career? Playing the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running radio show, on October 24 last year. It’s the dream gig for any aspiring country star.

Samulak’s guitar style is based on some of country music’s greats both past and present.

“You could put it on my gravestone and I’d be happy,” he says. “It was a defining moment for me and I’m very thankful.”

So how do you keep your head level when your dreams have come true so quickly? Samulak has some advice for students hoping to follow his path. 

guitarSamulak’s style might remind an old-time country music fan of Roy Clark, the guitar and banjo player who became a television and recording star in the 1970s. Samulak’s YouTube videos show a performer much like Clark—relaxed, smiling, comfortable with his performance and astonishing with his command of his instrument.

Samulak says that happy look on his face when he’s playing is no accident: he’s learned to cope with all the performing pressure with a simple concept.

“Just do it, and always have fun playing music and studying it,” he says. “It is meant to be fun, so enjoy it.”

Learn more about the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program and join us on Facebook.

selkirk.ca


Article bysignFEB 23 2016


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