2017 HARMONY SOCIAL CHANGEMAKERS AWARD
By Lynn Schulze
Crossing Borders is a group of students that comprises newcomers to Canada, Canadian-born youth and alumni of Waterloo Collegiate Institute. They raise awareness about newcomer issues by breaking down barriers and stereotypes with one powerful story at a time.
The team gives more than 100 multi-media performances a year where youth share their stories using compelling visual presentations, spoken word, film, drama, documentary, dance and music. It has been generously sponsored by Speak-Up, the Laidlaw Foundation, and the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation.
Many of the students in Crossing Borders are not who you would typically see on a stage. Some are newcomers who have joined only weeks after arriving to Canada. Getting involved and being valued helps the Crossing Borders student team gain confidence and take leadership in community building.
In addition to the Harmony Social Changemakers Award, Crossing Borders has been a recipient of the World Refugee Day Award of Distinction by the Community Coalition on Refugee and Immigrant Concerns and the Ken Spencer National Education Award for Innovation.
Lynn Schulze is the educator-lead with the Crossing Borders Team, Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Waterloo Region District School Board