Friday morning was slightly off track, but I managed, along with my supervisors, to find some speakers, an extension cord and a projector. Mrs. Finnegan is well spoken and does not need resources to help her present – I still do.
Set up and ready to go, Mrs. Finnegan gave me the stage to talk to the youth. Now my intention as a student speaking to these youth (who are also around my age) is not to lecture them but to present. So, I decided to break the ice with some slides about Canada and myself followed by a 20min Ted Talk video called “The Danger of the Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie – a Nigerian author – presents that our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
A quarter of the youths lost interest while the other half were drawn to the talk. There was one male individual who wanted to test me. I countered his smart-alecky behavior by sitting him down in the middle of the room between other youths – eventually he went to the bathroom and never came back (at least I tried).
After the video, I stirred up a discussion between the youths. Many of the ladies had some very interesting opinions on the video and their understanding of the single story. One young lady in particular shared a comment about how a single story can be used not only towards people and countries, but towards businesses and the news. A few men were engaged, but not as many as I would like. Maybe for this Friday I can present a topic that will attract the male youths. Got some planning to do!