There’s Power in Your Voice

Dear Chaminade Brothers, 

This is your student council president, Emmanuel Adegboyega. 

I hope the summer is treating you well and I know that this has been an incredibly difficult time for all of us. We miss the school, our friends and our teachers. Although it has been challenging , we should all be inspired by the strength of our community. For you my peers, be inspired by your own voice. 

Last month I was featured as part of the front page story of the Toronto Star with my Chaminade brothers Jimmy Huynh and Vincent Pham.

This opportunity is still very surreal to me as I write this blog post. Before I was blessed to serve as your student council president, I was already yearning to be an effective leader in my community. When I became student council president, I knew my understanding of leadership had to evolve. I needed to be  someone my peers and entire school community was going to look up to. I knew I was going to need to make difficult decisions and take strong actions like I did in the Toronto Star article. I had to share my story and be a positive and real voice.  

I have a passion to be an effective leader. So, when the opportunity came, I had to have my voice heard. Collaborating with the journalist from the Toronto Star was a great opportunity for me to be a mature young voice for the black community and speak to topics that are difficult to be addressed by the media. I shared my personal experience so I can connect to the many individuals out there who have felt or experienced injustice. Actually, just this past Saturday another Chaminade brother, Jeffrey Okoromo had his opinion on what it means to be Black shared in the Toronto Star. We should all be so proud of our alumni brother Jeffrey and inspired by him.

More now than ever, I hope young people feel inspired to speak up,  share their stories, and empower others to make a change in the world. As you can see, this is a progressive process which requires not just me speaking up but others sharing their stories, respecting the voices of others and standing as a diverse and faith-filled community. 

As such, looking to the next school year, I am so proud to be the Student Editor of a new digital publication called Voices. Moderated by Mr. Perrotta and Ms. Lo Gatto along with the support of many other wonderful teachers, this publication will be an inclusive space where all Chaminade students are welcome to participate and share their voice. From perspectives on what’s happening politically to celebrating hobbies and personal passions, this monthly publication will harness digital technology as an enabler of student voice and perspective. Share who you are!  Share your skills and talents.

From the written word, to pod-casts, short films and more, Voices will be a space for Chaminade student voices to be heard and experienced as future Catholic graduates. 

More information on this will follow at the start of the new school year.  

I truly know how it feels to share your voice. I hope to hear your stories and urge you to be a positive influence in your community. 

Thank you all for your support and encouragement, it means so very much. Be proud of who you are and be the change agents that the world needs.

Sincerely,

Emmanuel Adegboyega

President of Student Council, Chaminade College School

The Power of a Word

A number of students at Chaminade College gathered weekly to discuss topics regarding African heritage. A recurring theme was the use of the N word. As a group, we discussed the way we saw how the N word was consistently being used on social media, in popular culture (especially in rap music), by the general, public, and by other students. We decided that we wanted to create a video to raise awareness about the use of the N word.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH VIDEO


The origins of the N word can be traced back to the African slave trade. The word was used as an insult and racial slur against black people, and continues to be used negatively today. In response, many people of African descent have fought to be treated respectfully and to promote the beauty of our race. So when we use this word today, the word that our ancestors fought tirelessly to conquer, it is as if we have disregarded the progress of those who have come before us.


The excuses for the use of the word vary. Some black people might say they are entitled to reclaim the N word — to take it back from our oppressors. Some black people believe they have earned the right to use this word simply because they are black. What is more baffling is that some non-black individuals claim they can use the N word because their black peers have given them the N word pass. The word has become normalized in our society and entrenched in
our culture today to the extent that people just absent-mindedly use the word
without knowing what it means.

Post by: Emmanuel Adegboyega,
President of Student Council