HALIFAX, Tonight, I was honoured at the launch of the book, Making Waves: Stories of Second Generation Immigrants, produced by Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). I am one of 23 second generation Canadians to be featured in the book. Thanks ISANS!
The panel discussion was deeply poignant for me. Panelists, one of whom was dual-heritage as I am, captured so many of the feelings and experiences that I've had growing up in Canadian society to parents who are of different cultures. Thanks to Rena Kulczycki for her sagacious insights. Everything she expressed resonated deeply with me. She spoke of how it feels to be "othered' even within your own culture. Yet, she also spoke of the beauty and power in being able to navigate multiple cultural experiences. I have yet to fully articulate some of my innermost sentiments on my experience growing up as a person of dual-heritage, perhaps because I've never come across others with the same nuanced experience. There is also pressure sometimes to choose one culture over another, which of course, if you're of mixed-heritage is not possible. However, knowing that there are others who have felt as I felt, has given me some courage to do so. The event gave voice to my story and to that of my parents. I hope this dialogue continues.
Habiba Cooper Diallo
I am a Canadian fistula advocate and blogger, and the founder of the Women’s Health Organization International, WHOI. I have been doing fistula awareness-building in Canada for the past 10 years. My work on fistula has led me to Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone. I have been featured in Forbes, the HuffPost, and UNFPA