CUSJ President’s end-of-year message: June 2017

CUSJ’s AGM has come and gone, but our theme of looking back and moving forward with love and justice carries on. From an organizational perspective, I am grateful to have a mix of long-serving and dedicated Board members as well as four newly elected members, (three of whom were instrumental in forming brand new regional chapters), on our team.

We are fortunate to have so many talented and justice-minded members in our national network, going forward. Civil society organizations are vital in a democracy, and never more so than in the uncertain political climate, not to mention the climate crisis, we are facing at this critical moment in history. Civic engagement is not for the faint of heart. Democracy and climate action both require a bottom-up, co-operative approach from the local to the international level.

Reverend Lynn Harrison asked CUSJ’s keynote speaker, Tim McSorley, the National Coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, what keeps him, as a human rights and Charter rights defender, hopeful in the face of so much injustice in the world. He replied that it was the existence of non-governmental organizations such as CUSJ and the work we do together that keeps him optimistic.

We elders owe it to Tim and his generation, and to our ancestors before us as well as ourselves, to leave the world a better place. In turbulent times such as these, I am reminded of the last words of the late Jack Layton – “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

May it be so and may the force be with us all!

Standing on the Side of Love and Justice!!

Your appreciative President,

Margaret Rao


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