A few weeks ago, I was very excited to attend the Annual Keith Davey Forum hosted by Victoria College. After running across campus from my math class to reach the plenary late, I was lucky to find a seat in a theatre animated by the voices and questions of a mass of U of T’s political science students, the Vic One community, and other guests. The focus for this discussion was chosen unanimously by our students: Is Canada Doing Enough to Promote Human Rights around the World? When placing a past Minister of Foreign Affairs for Canada (Lloyd Axworthy) against a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Charli Carpenter), the resulting debate was necessarily focused on interventions at the legislative level. While avoiding a direct answer, Axworthy and Carpenter’s answers revealed the delays that countries face when responding to horrific circumstances that demand immediate attention. Today’s most relevant example is the Syrian Refugee crisis. Although I left the plenary feeling proud of our intentions, I also felt powerless in a conflict that had been portrayed at the political level. As a very young, extremely busy, and virtually penniless U of T student, how could I support any call to action?
Nevertheless, what Axworthy and Carpenter did not describe was countless grassroots charities and student organizations at U of T that fight these injustices. I am writing this piece to introduce you to one such organization: EarthTones. Here is a description of their initiative straight from the EarthTones Co-Directors of 2015, Erica Pollieri and Robin Liu.
“Founded in the year 2000, EarthTones Benefit Concert is an annual tradition hosted by UTIHP and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto with the goal of supporting aid initiatives for children in need. The concert showcases the musical talents of students and faculty of all Faculties of Health Professionals (Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing). This year, EarthTones will be held in the Hart House Great Hall on November 13th at 7:00 PM. This being the 15th year of EarthTones, we are hoping to host the biggest show yet. Our beneficiaries will be SOS Children's Villages Canada and UNICEF, in the hopes of aiding the children affected by the crisis in Syria”.
This concert features an impressive team of entertaining musicians including Daniel Li and Josephine D’Abbondanza, the Semiotones, Jing Wang, Victoria Liao, Fatima Butt and Daniel Cuatico, Rageen Rajendram, the Hart House Jazz choir, Sean Ihn, Johnny-Wei Bai and Samik Doshi, and Orbital Groove. Please go to the EarthTones website at http://uoftearthtones.com/ to read their biographies. Bring your ID to purchase a student tickets for only $12. Adult tickets are $20 and may be also purchased on the EarthTones website, and all donations are welcome. There are limited tickets available so hurry to pick up your ticket as soon as possible.
Make the sound of music a sound of rebellion this Friday as UTIHP and the Faculty of Medicine prove that any student who attends will be more than just an ephemeral note in a composition, but a tone that will resonate in its impact on children’s healthcare and be echoed by all of those who listen.