Is it the start of a new era for Nike?

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Montreal – What I will write in the next few sentences won’t be pleasing, but I’m always up for starting a controversial conversation that may shed light on a different perspective on a particular subject.
Recently, Nike has been back in the PR game with a bang. We saw the ad with Serena Williams and her father. It was so beautiful.

Serena Nike
Strength, courage, determination, and humility were showcased in this ad. For me, the ad was a success!
Serena Just Do It

This weekend, Colin Kaepernick was chosen to be part of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ Anniversary campaign. I must admit, I like the ad. The black and white picture is marvelous! I do respect Colin for his beliefs and what he is standing for, but I would respect him more if he truly wanted to play some football-to at least have a season in the Canadian league, even if his salary wouldn’t be comparable to the NFL.

But, that’s another story.

I have a little problem with Nike. And damn, I love their apparel and shoes. I’m happy that this company is standing behind a social cause,but this is the same company that contributes to poor quality of life by making young boys or girls work in a sweatshop when they should be in school getting the best education they can or playing outside with friends, wearing their own decent pair of Nikes. Even Patrick J. Adams (a fellow Canuck) tweeted about the fact that Nike shouldn’t really be seen as an activist company when they still use non-unionized sweatshop labor.

I know I will get a shit load of comments, but I thinkifNike truly wanted to make a change, maybe they should put the same amount of money on a campaign to end the horrific conditions of sweatshop labor for any human being. This is not a place for a child to work. A child needs to be in school. Maybe, make a better work environment for the parents, with the possibilities of a scholarship for the children of those workers can go to school abroad or in their country. One thing for sure, Nike can Do It!

As for Colin, with all the money and the sponsorship he gets, I hope he will continue to stand up for what he believes in, just play some football elsewhere (Canada is a beautiful country and the CFL is not THAT bad). He can still fight the good fight and play some fine football in the CFL. Is it more appealing to be a glitzy activist?

Is it truly about activism, or is it about the money after all?

Nike, Just Do It.
colin-kaepernick-nike

P.S. Some people are damn stupid to burn their Nike’s items. Seriously… Damn fools.

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I got Toronto on my mind

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

I’ve still got Toronto on my mind, even after a few days back to the city of a thousand church bells, Montreal.

It wasn’t my first time in the Tdot, but it was my first time alone as an adult in the city. A few days disconnecting with my usual non-orthodox routine, that is – my crazy life, and without speaking the Molière language was interesting.

Montreal does have a special European charm and a certain je ne sais quoi, but Toronto is more a cosmopolitan city, with hidden treasures to be found every few streets.

I was in Toronto especially to listen to a nice conversation.

This conversation was insightful, funny, charming and so authentic. I’m really happy to have been part of it as a listener. Especially since part of this dynamic duo is my ultimate favorite journalist and person I try to emulate the most in this kind of journalism.

He is one of the most respected men in this field.

Nick Clooney is the journalist I am talking about. I won’t deny, listening to him gave me chills. Listening to him talk about Hazim “Haz’ Avdal, a young Yazidi Iraki refugee who is like a second son to him, I saw the pride of a father whose son gave him hope to believe in goodness in people again.

Both Amal and Nick were proud family members when they spoke about Az, as well as with Nadia Murad. Nadia is a young Yazidi woman that was captured by Isis. She escaped with some scars, but that hasn’t stopped her from being the sister, the mother and the ultimate superwoman to all the Yazidis.

She is proudly fighting the good fight with her secret weapon, Amal Clooney.

Amal is more than the woman who married one of the biggest movie stars in the world and one heck of a director (come on, Good Night and Good Luck was a masterpiece).

Yes, the media talks about her latest look. I do have to admit, she mixes fun and sassiness in her look like the majority of us women in this world aim to do.

There is even a blog dedicated to her fashion sense, but my point is that even the blog dedicated to her fashion sense talks about the cause that she cherishes. I definitely have more respect for a blog like the one I’m talking about over the TMZs of the world.

Why she is more than a celebrity?

It’s because, like Audrey Hepburn, her main focus is to shine light on causes that may not been known or talked about much. It’s not be easy to have this growth in attention when only 6 years ago, she could go to eat at her favorite Italian restaurant in Notting Hill without being mobbed by a hundred photographers.

But she has a good co-pilot in George and a good family unit that will continue to be her fortress.

I came back to Montreal with a refreshing perspective on life and the act of compassion.

I didn’t think that the city of Toronto would be the type to remind me to continue being compassionate and to keep up the good fight.

Speaking of keeping up the good fight, the best boxing trainer is in Toronto! Go check him out, Jorge Blanco. If you are in Montreal, you are not forgotten. You can train here in Montreal as well.

I’m so overdue that I will give my coach a call.

In the end, Toronto and Montreal are the perfect couple (except in the NHL). They are complementary to each other.

Can we take this as an example and be more complementary to each other as human beings, especially with regard to compassion and human decency?

I did see it last weekend in the Tdot!

http://spaniard.ca

Clooney Foundation For Justice official website

A prayer for Darfur

I’m asking myself this question:

Why am I complaining about winter and worrying about other superficial things when I am living in a war-free country, while there could be a woman, just like me, wondering if she will breathe her last breath within the next five minutes, in somewhere like Darfur.

By asking myself this question, I am ashamed that I sometimes worry about the stupidest little things; but at the same time, I’m asking myself what can I do about it?

First of all, when I turn on my television scroll through my Facebook feed or some news outlet app, why aren’t the atrocities that are happening all over the world the first things I see?

In Montreal, I don’t hear much about the fact that hundreds of people are losing their homes, not in a hurricane, but because of their government and its greediness.

But instead of focusing on why, I said I have a platform to talk about it. Not as an expert, because I’m not, but as a human being who hopes to one day live in a peaceful world where everyone is equal. (I hear you guys saying keep dreaming girl!)

Sudanese Children

When two journalists have been assaulted a few weeks ago, they did mention it on the news, for what? 10 seconds? There weren’t any follow ups or more questions asked by the news reporter. I wasn’t mad, but I was disappointed.

Are we so obsessed with this man, representing America and his rallies, that we are oblivious to the suffering of human beings in a vulnerable place?

I guess we must ask ourselves this question and be honest with ourselves.

When you are not an expert on a subject, the right thing to do is to reach out to an organization that wants to point out the atrocity and clears it up.

The Enough Project is my go-to resource.

Enough

I am reading more about what is going on through John Prendergast’s essay, I am still not an expert on the subject, but I feel better informed.

It is a foundation whose main focus is to end genocide and crimes against humanity in conflicted areas of Africa.

John Prendergast is the driving force behind this beautiful project he co-founded with Gayle Smith in 2007.

John Prendergast

Enough Project has several active campaigns to raise awareness of the violence and injustice going on in the countries that the News outlets here do not spend much time on.

https://enoughproject.org/op-eds/u-s-news-world-report-op-ed-dont-remove-sudan-terrorism-list

I still won’t be the most politics-savvy person on this planet, but I do think if we talk about it, point out the bad guys and what they are doing, and continue hoping that kindness may one day conquer the world, maybe we can start something.

Maybe we don’t need the big news outlets such as CNN, BBC, RDI, CNBC, Fox News (oh lord, don’t get me started about Fox News!) and others to get the word out.

Maybe we will be the ones that will get the word out that Enough is enough!

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/central-african-republic/2018-03-14/key-making-peace-africa

John Prendergast Africa

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

https://enoughproject.org

Haiti is not a shit holes

It’s not that often that I talk about politics but with what that person, the one representing the United States of America, said about (sorry about my language) shit holes such as Haiti is a total disgrace.

Why should we all be surprised by his remarks? It’s been one year of unintelligent comments, first class stupidity and embarrassment from this human being.

Haiti is such a beautiful country, which unfortunately has been unlucky lately.

Sometimes, the media only puts the spotlight on the misery and the poverty, but that’s not all Haiti is.

Like every country, we have some neighbourhoods that are struggling and others that are prospering.

The Haitians are a very resilient population.

My parents came to Canada in the 70s to have better opportunities during the Duvalier didacticism. Similar to many others that instead went to the United States, they had hoped for a better future for their future children in terms of the freedom to be educated and in some way, living the Canadian and American dream.

I was raised to love everyone and that we are all citizens of the same world. Yes, our world is not perfect but, come on, saying this type of comment and afterwards, denying it like an entitled child is unthinkable.

The saddest part is that he may not be the only one thinking like this. With that in mind, the future seems a little less optimistic.

Today marks the anniversary of the earthquake. It was such a devastating event. My thoughts go to the victims and their families.

I remember when George Clooney, in a very short time, organized the Hope for Haiti telethon. I was so moved by this initiative and I saw through my parents eyes the gratitude and a feeling of we (the Haitian population all around the world) were not forgotten.

I want to take this moment to reflect on this positivity even through this very dark cloud.

Let’s be grateful that the majority of people all around the world thought the comment of that person, the one representing the United States of America, was mean, cold-hearted, stupid, dumb and full of shit holes.

We are all better than that!

Right?

Kanpe Website

The Clooney Foundation Website

Not on our Watch Website

Written by Sab Demosthenes

Angelina is walking the walk!

I’m in front of my computer screen to write what’s going on right now in my head. I close my eyes and say to myself again in 2017, women, young children and even men are victims of sexual violence around the world and especially in developing countries.

I have finished watching Angelina Jolie’s speech at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference and I feel a range of emotions such as grief, empathy for the victims and especially frustration when, in 2017, these atrocities still exist. .

Angelina UN

I believe very strongly in the day that we will have a world without wars and without violence. Until when will violence against women continue to go? During Angelina’s speech, she cites a fact that an 18-month-old child has been the victim of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But what the fuck 18 months… This is just so awful.

At that moment, I started to cry. She asked audience members to imagine that on their streets, trucks with armed men are invading their homes and they are attacking all women and girls in their homes in front of their family members and that As a result, the government of this country asks them to act as if nothing had happened.

It emphasizes that these acts destroy a life and a family. It was not a speech with words in the air. On the contrary, it was a speech of the most touching, most difficult to listen in the sense that it is not a fictional story but the reality. All of this, coming from a brave woman and determined to contribute to bring some peace in this world.

Angelina UN

There were no fanfares, no trumpets, but powerful words that drew her sheets of paper. A messenger ready to continue fighting the good fight. She is one of the voices of optimism in this world so gray. She does not waste her time talking about cosmetics, diets and the next party she will be attending. Rather, sometimes with her children, she puts on her backpack and goes to meet these victims to better understand, to cry with them and to bring them a small ray of sunshine while working very hard with different organizations to they find a better quality of life.

UN CONFERENCE

Actress Angelina Jolie, special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks during the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Over 500 delegates from more than 70 countries and international organizations will gather at the upcoming Defence Ministerial to discuss improvements to UN peacekeeping operations and focus on securing new pledges from Member States. Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In recent weeks with all the scandals happening in the artistic and political world regarding sexual violence sexual harassment against women and even towards men, people are paying more attention.

But it should not take a scandal in the art world to talk about it. Women and girls, for example Nadia Murad, there are thousands. I hope we will pay more attention to those victims who do not have the social media to talk or make noise.

I hope we will support them and make noise for them. The abuse of power is a monster and even I would write that it’s a devil. But the power to do good to one’s neighbor with love and tolerance is angelic. Angelina is an angel on this earth and I’m sure she is not the only one.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie meets displaced Iraqis who are members of the minority Christian community, living in an abandoned school in Al Qosh

Let’s follow her!

Angie charityAngelina Jolie at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference