CBC “Ideas” Program on Diversity, Citizenship and Reconciliation

CBC “Ideas” Program on Diversity, Citizenship and Reconciliation


CBC Radio is broadcasting a timely set of lectures on diversity, citizenship and reconciliation during the last week of June on their “Ideas” program.  Recorded through April and May in South Africa, Israel, India, Germany and Canada, the series of talks were produced by CBC in partnership with The Laurier Institution of Vancouver. 

Farid Rohani of the Laurier Institution worked closely with Paul Kennedy and CBC producers in developing the idea for the broadcasts. Rohani credits the Baha’i Faith as a source of inspiration for the themes of the lecture series: “Every country is trying to figure out how we can live together, peacefully, in diversity. As a Baha’i, I believe that unity and diversity have to go together, and I wanted to help promote a conversation about these important themes.”

Rohani is pleased that the lecture series corresponds with the bicentenary year of the birth of Baha’u’llah. “I have always been inspired by Baha’u’llah’s vision that “the earth is one country and mankind its citizens.” This lecture series is one way I could contribute to promoting that vision."

A CBC release notes that the South African talk by Sisonke Msimang, June 26, calls for South Africa to move beyond the familiar stories of race to a more equitable sense of multicultural belonging for all, while Israeli anthropologist Galia Sabar speaks June 27 about the importance of Israel’s recognition of greater religious and ethnic pluralism.  June 28, Neera Chandhoke talks about religious toleration and coexistence in India, and June 29 Aladin El-Mfalaani looks at migration to Germany and how conflicts between long-established citizens and newcomers can actually be a sign of successful integration.

The final talk, airing on Friday evening, June 30, by Roberta Jamieson, former Chief of Six Nations and Ombudsman of Ontario, is a powerful invitation to all Canadians, on the eve Canada Day, to more effectively engage with reconciliation.  Her summary of actions that institutions, communities and individuals can take speaks to everyone of whatever background living in the land we call Canada.  She breaks through some of the defensiveness that can exist in conversations about reconciliation by striking such a note of unity and good feeling that her serious challenge to Canadians in advancing reconciliation -that all must participate with courage and concrete action- seems possible for all.