African community and environmental activists forming alliances

KITCHENER — There was a man onstage performing tricks for kids, but the real magic will come from the newly-formed links and connections among the adults.

The eighth annual Bring on the Sunshine Family Day Festival, a celebration of African culture, attracted hundreds of people to the Rotunda inside Kitchener City Hall Monday, much to the delight of Allen Magama., one of the organizers.

“We want to bridge the gap that exists sometimes between understanding what African people are like, and how we have assimilated here,” said Magama.

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That’s why Arlene Slocombe was at the festival. She is the executive director of Wellington Water Watchers, and readily acknowledges the green movement was maybe too white. Drinking water protection affects everyone, and building links among different communities can only strengthen environmental organizations, she said.

“Water does not care about race or gender or colour or creed or age or ability, and we realize that our messaging has been going in a particular way to a particular audience,” said Slocombe. “We are really invested in being more inclusive.”

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