What Makes a Hero - June 28

Here's something our friends over at Migrante Ontario are doing with the help of PATAC and CASJ.

Some of us KPC peeps will be representing on the mic, so hopefully you can come out and show some support for the cause and learn something along the way...

Here's the 411 right from the Migrante Blog:

Migrante Ontario Youth, with the support of the Community Alliance for Social Justice and Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture, is holding a cultural event on Saturday, June 28, 2008, 2-4pm at Wellesley Community Centre, Room B, 495 Sherbourne Street, Toronto (northeast corner of Wellesley and Sherbourne Sts.). The event, entitled “What Makes a Hero”, aims to commemorate Jeffrey Reodica and the Justice for Jeffrey campaign, and to update the community on the results of the campaign.


Jeffrey Reodica was 17 years old in 2004 when he was shot three times in the back by Det. Constable Dan Belanger of Toronto Police Services’ 41 Division in Scarborough. His death caused an uproar in the community, leading to the formation of the Justice for Jeffrey Coalition (J4J) which held protest actions and succeeded in getting a Coroner’s inquest conducted one year after Jeffrey’s death and generated responses from the Toronto Police Services Board and the Ombudsman of Ontario.

Migrante Youth Ontario’s organizers were part of J4J.

“It’s important not to forget what happened to Jeffrey and how the Filipino community came together to demand justice for his death,” says Debbie Celis. “Two important things can be learned from this – one, that challenges like racism and discrimination are very real in our community; two, that as a community we are capable of acting together and in solidarity with others to fight for our common interests.”

Divine Montesclaros explains: “We decided to have ‘What Makes a Hero’ now, because it was around this time in 2004 when the Justice for Jeffrey campaign was taking shape. June is also a significant month because it’s the month when we celebrate Philippine Independence Day, and the way that we fought back when Jeffrey was killed is a continuation of our ancestors’ struggle against oppression by colonial powers.”

“What Makes a Hero” will feature music and spoken word performances by young artists in the community, highlighting issues of Filipino youth. There will also be speakers, including members of the Justice for Jeffrey Coalition who will report on the results of the J4J campaign, as well as members of the Reodica family who will give updates on the current status of their legal battle.

The event is free and open to the public. Migrante Ontario Youth is also looking for more performers to contribute to the program.

For more information and to perform, contact Mithi Esguerra at (647) 239-6553 or Debbie Celis at (416) 556-6265, or e-mail migranteON.youth@gmail.com.