A heartfelt video appeal for justice and tolerance, which began as a high school project, has been watched by thousands in the wake of last weekend’s anti-racism rally that was marred by counter-protests.
Notre Dame High School Grade 12 student Jose Jordan said he was not at Sunday’s rally, but was affected by the hate he saw posted online.
“It made me really sad,” said Jordan, 17. “I just really wanted to put that video out there, so I can bring some joy, some hope, and inspire people.
“I wanted to give people a voice.”
View this post on Instagram
The voice of teens against inequality. 4 Different Schools one Voice, As one we unite! We are showing Society that Red Deers Future is against Inequality. #reddeer #TeensHaveAVoice #equality @notredamerd1 @lindsaythurberhs @hhhsrdpsd @stjosephrd @reddeeradvocate @cityofreddeer @rdnewsnow @rdcrs
RCMP are investigating after video of the event shows at least one man being assaulted by another. The alleged attack took place before they arrived, said police. RCMP continues to investigate.
Jordan’s teachers were the first to tell him about what happened at the rally and the impact it was having on the city.
“I was doing some reflecting, and I wanted to kind of show that Red Deer is not all violent. Although there is stuff happening, I wanted to bring that joy and that voice and symbol of hope to show that we’re greater than that.”
Jordan said what he has seen online is not the Canada he knows and the country in which he is now a proud citizen.
“I’m an immigrant and I know what Red Deer is like. I know what people are like and what society is like.
“Canada opens the doors to immigrants. Canada stands for equality,” said Jordan, who came to Canada from Mexico with his older brother and parents five years ago.
Jordan’s video project begins with clips of Black Lives Matter events and other protests calling for social justice from the U.S. and Canada.
It then cuts to high school students holding up their own handmade signs bearing slogans such as “Racism is a pandemic too,” “My humanity should not be up for debate” and “We are all in this together.”
The students from Notre Dame, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, St. Joseph’s High School and Hunting Hills High School gaze silently at the camera as songs such as the Black-Eyed Peas’ Where is the Love provide the soundtrack, with lyrics such as: “But if you only got love for your own race/Then you’re gonna leave space for others to discriminate/And to discriminate only generates hate.”
Jordan has posted his video on Instagram at ndprojectchange and it had been viewed more than 2,500 times by Wednesday afternoon.
The Scorpions’ Wind of Change, with its lyrics: “The world is closing in/Did you ever think/That we could be so close/Like brothers?” is also included.
Jordan found inspiration in the song because it became almost an anthem around the time the Berlin Wall came down in 1989.
“It kind of symbolizes how we’re the future, we’re the change … because we’re fighting for equality. We’re really the winds of change.”
It is not by accident that he enlisted students from all four high schools.
“I wanted to connect all four schools in one (video). It doesn’t matter which school you go to, we’re all standing up for the same cause.”