On October 19, 2012, over 300 Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) students, faculty, and representatives from local high schools gathered to listen to Dr. Craig Kielburger, founder of Free The Children and Me to We,present during the Philosopher’s Teahouse: Waken the Activist Within event.
The successful symposium was an opportunity for those in attendance to become engaged, empowered, and inspired not only by Dr. Kielburger, but also by one another through interactive discussion. With an important call to action, Dr. Kielburger encouraged students to become passionate activists within their communities and to create sustainable change in their lives now and for the future.
“Craig Kielburger was amazing and inspirational,” said Dr. Wendy Royal, English language studies, KPU, and founder of thePhilosopher's Teahouse initiative. “I am also very gratified that many of the objectives of the Teahouse seem to have been met, in terms of building bridges between ESL, international and local students; encouraging students to be more active and engaged in campus life and creating a forum for dialogue amongst students of different cultures and cultural perspectives.”
Dr. Kielburger’s engaging presentation prompted discussions about the importance of being a catalyst of change, and the relevance of volunteering and social activism in today’s world. The event also practiced many of KPU’s commitments to the development of critical awareness, and cultural sensitivity.
Craig Kielburger and his brother Marc are no strangers to KPU. Both received honorary doctor of laws at KPU’s spring 2012 convocation ceremony. The Kielburger brothers became world-renowned through the founding of Free The Children, an international charity and the largest network of children helping children through education, in 1995. We Day is Free The Children’s signature event reaching more than 90,000 students from 3,000 schools in person and more than 5.4 million viewers through televised broadcasts, and inspiring a journey of lifelong social action. Also co-founded by the brothers is Me to We, a social enterprise that provides people with better choices for a better world, including socially conscious and environmentally friendly clothes and books, as well as inspirational trip experiences and motivational speakers.
KPU’s Philosopher’s Teahouse is a student-focused initiative that provides an interdisciplinary forum for international, ESL and local students to dialogue on topical issues, learn from each other's cultural perspectives and participate in effecting positive change on their campus. Volunteers from the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) facilitated the discussion groups, thereby promoting student leadership and personal development. This is the fifth Philosopher’s Teahouse and was sponsored by the Academic & Career Advancement Scholarly Activity Award, KSA, and the office of new student programs.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,500 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.
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