From the Windsor Star. Read the full article here.

On April 30, 2013, I witnessed an amazing thing. In a day when youth are often described as apathetic, self-centred and disengaged, I saw over 300 local secondary school students stand up for democracy.

The Teachers for Global Awareness seventh Annual Social Justice Forum, in conjunction with the University of Windsor’s Centre for Studies in Social Justice, tackled the pressing topic of “Democratic Rights in the Age of Austerity.” Thirteen workshops involving wide-ranging issues such as Idle No More, Emergency Manager legislation facing Detroit, animal rights, food security, LGBT rights, disabilities, austerity and democracy were addressed.

I saw excitement, empathy and hope as well as determination in these future leaders.

Danielle McLaughlin of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association gave the keynote address and I have never seen a room filled with over 300 people — especially teenagers equipped with every electronic device to tweet, Facebook and text, so focused, sitting in rapt attention.

The presenters of the various workshops truly engaged the students with the visible passion they felt in regard to their social justice topic. It was thoroughly infectious, leading to meaningful, constructive dialogue.

My daughter, a Grade 12 Riverside Secondary School student returned home filled with endless possibility, brimming over with a new founded passion to affect change. I want to thank the Centre for Studies in Social Justice and Teachers for Global Awareness for providing a much needed education, not only for the student participants but also the adults.

We sometimes tend to forget. All I can say is, well done and I look forward to next year’s forum.

I am much more hopeful of what tomorrow may bring with these students, our future, leading the way.

MARGARET MAYER, Windsor