LUSH Cosmetics’ last ethical campaign was titled: “All are welcome. Always”. It highlighted immigration and the journey that, that word encompasses – the negative and positive. For starters, we as a community need to understand and come to terms with the fact that because we are on Aboriginal land, and that we all are in a sense, immigrants. We must pay respect to the land we are on and the Native communities that surround us.
Taking all of this into consideration, I was able to spearhead this campaign on behalf of LUSH Cosmetics on Queen West. I was incredibly proud of the turnout of this campaign project and I wanted to take some time to highlight the individuals that allowed me to share themselves and their stories on my own platform here. I want to thank the people that have joined us and shared their stories and thoughts. We are for immigration. Refugees and immigrants are welcome. Always. Toronto is for #AllAreWelcome.
I look forward to sharing more of what I do here and look forward to connecting with you all on a deeper level.
Much love & good vibes, always.
“Immigration to me is about a level of interconnectedness; at our base level, we’re all one and the same. We share emotions and struggles. What’s going to make us better as a civilization is our ability to celebrate and embrace the differences we share and let those experiences help us grow. As an immigrant to Canada, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the friends I’ve made on this journey, all of whom have different backgrounds and cultures. The exposure from a diverse city like Toronto has made me more empathetic, more open-minded, and not afraid to find my place in the world – and I will be eternally grateful for that.”
– Grier Munroe; http://bit.ly/2lj3bBv
“Both my parents immigrated to Canada from Cambodia during the genocide in 1975. They shared their experiences with me growing up, and taught me the true meaning of appreciation and hope. They left their home and built a home here, not only for themselves but for myself and my brothers. Immigration is a search for freedom, an escape from danger and trauma. It is a new start in a new place and an opportunity to rewrite our history.”
– Teekay; http://bit.ly/2lQVNz4
“As an immigrant from the Philippines, moving to Canada at a young age opened my horizons to the exchange of culture and tradition outside of my own. Having grown up in a city like Toronto, immigration to me symbolizes diversity. It is the acceptance of people from different walks of life, no matter your race or religion. We are all immigrants. We are all welcome to grow, live and love as we please, together… no bans, no walls.”
– Patrice Nuelie; http://bit.ly/2m6l3nH
“Though I was born and raised in Jamaica, I’ve spent now the majority of my life in Canada. I feel more than the blessing of having two places to call home, I’ve had the opportunity to learn the history of not only my own country but now I also share the understanding of Jamaica’s love affair with Canada. I am ever grateful that in my lifetime I have been able to see my culture be widely embraced and that since I left the shores of my home in the Caribbean I have never felt without. As both an immigrant and a Black woman there is not one day that I take these blessings for granted. My heart and prayers are with the immigrants/refugees and their families being turned away from the very opportunities I have had!”
– Jade Janelle; http://bit.ly/2lQC6aP
“Immigration is an essential part of the world’s progression. To stop such a beneficial movement in terms of race and/or religion would only rob the world of opportunities, knowledge, and cultural diversity – to name a few. I just can’t wrap my mind around the conscious choice to regress.”
“As a Latina living in Canada, the recent issues regarding immigration really hit home for me. Immigration is everything. It saves lives, provides new opportunities, gives hope, and betters the economy of the receiving country. My family and I ran from war, abuse and were given a chance at a better life. I would not be who I am or have the opportunities that I have if my family had been denied entry. This country would also not be the great country that it is without all of its immigrants.”
“Immigration to one may be seen as the mere act of people migrating from one place to another. To myself, it means so much more than that. My mother fled from home- the only thing she knew, to ensure that my sisters and I would be as blessed as we are now. The hardships that come with being in a completely foreign country, the racism she had to face, the tears she silently shed, the burden she had to carry on her shoulders, are the reason I’m thankful to her. Knowing that my mother’s story is one of a million people who immigrated like her, is extremely humbling. Immigration is the journey one takes from their home to a place they have to make a home. Their journey is one that should be celebrated.”
– Sakaana Ys; http://bit.ly/2l7ei5j
“We live in a culturally diverse country and we owe so much of who we are to the integration of cultures. As we welcome newcomers we become more aware of how others around the world live. By learning from other cultures and religions we eliminate fear with knowledge, making us a more open minded and accepting society. Welcoming immigrants is welcoming new ideas, opportunities, and growth. Why would you ever say no to that?”
“As a first generation Canadian, I am thankful that my parents, who immigrated from Laos and were given the opportunity to build their lives and, raise their children in this beautiful and diverse country. Although their journey wasn’t easy, I will always be inspired by their courage and I am grateful for the sacrifices that they’ve made over the years in order to provide for me and my sisters.”
“My parents migrated from Iran nearly twenty years ago. That exposed me to a culture far more diverse than I had ever imagined. Being bicultural has allowed me to see the world from multiple perspectives. It has helped my career, my sense of imagination and insight. Most art forms are heavily censored in Iran so immigration means freedom to me. I have the freedom to speak, to create, and to live without self-censoring. ”
– Tabban Soleimani; http://bit.ly/2m1FEch
“The reason why I find it so important to be an ally in today’s world, especially with my immigrant friends, is because I am a child & grandchild of immigrants. I grew up with friends who are from Muslim-majority countries and there was tolerance for each other and common respect that was nurtured and cultivated in my Scarborough neighbourhood growing up. Being that I have friends who are affected by the discrimination that the 45th President of the USA has made very public and proud, it’s important as ever to emphasize and strategize the mutual respect and unity that we, the citizens of Toronto, like to pride ourselves in having – separating the negative apples in the bunch that want to disrupt that. We all belong. We are all welcome.”
– Jordan Hayles; http://bit.ly/2mFvprp
“I don’t believe there should be boundaries, to begin with. I understand the concept of creating a sense of belonging aka ethnicity, but in my opinion, this planet was built for all humans, animals and living creatures to share. We’ve implemented so many physical, mental and social boundaries and borders that we are destroying this planet when it was meant to be OURS, collectively. Immigration is necessary as we need to unite again to create a better future for generations to come. We have so much to learn from each other, there is so much richness in our differences. Allowing people to discover different cultures and opening their horizon is crucial. Immigration is the key to finding freedom again.”
– Sandy Duperval; http://bit.ly/2ltUYeD
“I am a visual artist and fashion enthusiast who tells his stories through the medium of photography, I am originally from Nigeria and currently based in Toronto. I was lucky enough to migrate to Canada 8 years ago and I must say it has been some of the best years of my life. As for the term immigration, it is not a new thing. Historically, people have had migratory lifestyles moving from one country to another. Most of which were caused by historical events or search for a better lifestyle and opportunities.To me, immigration, especially moving to Canada means better opportunity, better health care, education and better life in general. Being an immigrant is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it opens doors for you to learn about other cultures, lifestyles and meet new people, as well as teach others about your rich culture. Show the world where you come from.”
– Deji Kalakuta; http://bit.ly/2mz7KJL
“As a child of refugees, I often imagine what would have life been like if my parents weren’t successful in fleeing their once called home? My mother was 3 months pregnant with me as she set her feet on Canadian soil. Growing up in Toronto helped me recognize my privilege at a young age, and has always motivated me to pursue social justice and create change. It inspired me to pursue and complete a bachelor’s degree in social work (B.S.W), and become a registered social worker. My work experience along with my education has given me the opportunity to understand what it means for a social worker to practice anti-oppressively. As I sit in my bedroom cozy, drinking a cup a tea, living in a primarily white suburbia on the east end of the GTA, I reflect on how much my parents have sacrificed to come to Canada to create a better life for my brother and I, starting from absolute zero. With the civil war, life in Sri Lanka became unsafe for Tamils. The Canadian government accepted Tamils into the country under a compassionate and humanitarian consideration, which is why most Tamils in Toronto are former refugees, just like my parents. Toronto will always be home to me and my family.”
– Nivetha Sivaranjan; http://bit.ly/2m1bPIZ
“I came to Canada as a refugee from Bosnia in 1994- a few weeks before my 8th birthday, that I would have to celebrate in a foreign land with only my mom and dad with me. No friends. No language. No money. No sense of home, a constant state of purgatory. All of those things, those are parts of MY immigration. You want to get to a place where you are safe, your family is with you, where you can learn and adapt to the language, the space and also make some money to help your family. Immigration means a whole lot of work that you will have to do to catch up to the natives of where you arrive to, but while dealing with being tormented by those same natives because you are different. Immigration means having to work harder than everyone just to be an equal, which, even with success, you will never be considered. So you work hard, harder than everyone else because your parents did not bring you here to fail and disappoint them or disappoint all those who weren’t fortunate enough to come to a safe(r) space like you were. Immigration means you are one step behind forever, although you take bigger steps than everyone else.”
– Mirna Eljazovic; http://bit.ly/2lOKoBJ
“To me, immigration means new life and opportunity. It means we get a fair share at living under higher living standards. It means we can unite with those similar to us and be accepted by those reside in the land we are migrating to. Immigration should also mean that we are all immigrants because we live on a planet where we are all travelers. We all will have a limited time to live on Earth, so we should all understand that all land that exists do not belong to no one – rather, we are all guests.”
– Isaaq Ahmed; http://bit.ly/2myWMUS