- Welcome Remarks by the chair.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Report of the President/Discussions
- Presentation by Filipinas Speak Out
- Presentation by Dr. Taj Hashmi
- New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
Dr. Tajdolati chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Rosemarie Sadlier a motion to approve the agenda. Mareck Goldyn seconded it. The motion was carried. .
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Rosemary Sadlier moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting Isa Melo seconded it. The motion was carried.
- Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2019. Another productive year and the organization is working on a number of important projects this year which will benefit all. He said this year is going to the Government will reward all legitimate ethnic media houses as it has a budget for it. All members that are in good standing with NEPMCC stands to get benefitted by its association with NEPMCC. The Government has allocated $10 million for the media industry and there are several programs where the members could apply for funding under this budget.
- President Thomas Saras encouraged all to renew their membership in 2019 to take advantage of the privileges of the membership. NEPMCC has been over the years fighting for the rights of the members to stand in shoulder to shoulder with the mainstream media.
- Educational conference/seminar will be held this year for 3 -4 days. A survey will be sent to the members to finalize the curriculum of the seminar. Daniela Spirlac from BeSoacial Event will send out a survey to the members. The seminar will most likely take place in Seneca College. Motion: Authorizing the office of the President of NEPMCC to organize an educational seminar and to build website for the members. Moved by Demitri Vohalatis and seconded by Mareck Goldyn. The motion was unanimously carried.
- Motion: Motion on the floor – NEPMCC to participate at CNE Ethic Press Exhibition. Motion was moved by Joe Volpe and seconded by Marek Goldyn. Motion was unanimously carried.
- Motion: Inga Cernei moved a motion that NEPMCC will organize the UN recognized World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd in solidarity of all the journalists worldwide. Cezar Bangaru seconded it and the motion was unanimously carried.
- NEPMCC would submit a proposal to build a free website for all members who do not have a website.
- President Thomas Saras, informed the members that he represented the ethnic media at the standing committee of the senate to educate the committee about the grievances of the ethnic media.
- The president also encouraged all the members to apply for an ID or Media Pass of the organization. There are so many benefits; the president said that it is to your advantage to have it.
- The City of Toronto will offer editorials in English which should be translated in 10 different languages. The Editorial will be published in the website and also in the main language of the publications.
- The President spoke about student internship program with the schools of journalism. Internship will be from 3 – 6 months. The program will cover $13 per hour per student and the rest has to be covered by the respective organizations .Maria Saras -Voutsinas is in touch with student intern coordinator from Seneca College. The program has started from January 2019. Any member interested in hiring students for their publications should contact Executive Director Maria Saras-Voutsinas as it is on first come first serve basis due to limited funds approved by the Government on this project. This is a win- win situation as it will benefit the students as they will gain from the valuable experience as well as the members as they will get additional help in a very subsidized rate to run their publications.
Presentation by Filipinas Speak Out
Rachele Cruz and others made a presentation on the abuse that Filipino women suffer silently when they migrate as a worker in Canada. Rachelle Cruz has teamed up with other women’s groups in an apparent effort to break silence and has launched #FilipinasSpeakout to start the conversation on the topic of women’s rights in the Filipino community.
“A lot of it is rooted in the patriarchal society. There are certain beliefs which are traditional and which no longer serve us today. Being outspoken is not really a thing and being assertive for a Filipina, there is sort of a reservation,” said Cruz.
Cruz said the alleged sexual assault happened in April 2017. She immediately sought the police and filed the case. But she said she waited until recently to speak out because the legal process was still going through the courts. A peace bond eliminated the sexual assault charges against her alleged attacker in April 2018. After having published her story in The Philippine Reporter, Cruz said the reception from her #MeToo story led her to take action. She said becoming a journalist made her cognizant of her responsibility to inform, and her role to transform lives. “There are a lot of vulnerable people in our community that it’s not being addressed. The goal now is to talk about what silences women — fear, intimidation and the lack of justice,” she said.
Mithi Esguerra and Judith Gonzales also joined the discussion to raise awareness. For women’s group Gabriela-Ontario, participating in the campaign will generate dialogue among community members. Despite an increased societal awareness about sexual assault, it continues to be a persistent issue in Canada, where it remains one of the most underreported crimes. “Should they need support regarding sexual assault or abuse of any kind, there are sources within the community and that they don’t have to be afraid to speak out,” said Mithi Esguerra of Gabriela-Ontario”. “We also want to inform women who are victims of sexual assault in our community that the struggle for them to be heard is part of a much larger struggle we as Filipinos, and society as a whole, need to participate in,” Esguerra added. “There must be a united outcry on this situation. This is just part of greater changes that we need to work towards.”
Michael Homsi, Isa Melo, Mila Garcia and other members participated in the discussions following the presentation on this extremely sensitive and pressing issue.
Presentation by Dr. Taj Hashmi
Dr Taj Hashmi teaches security studies at Austin Peay State University at Clarksville, Tennessee. Prior to this, he taught Islamic and Modern South Asian History and Cultural Anthropology at various universities in Bangladesh, Australia, Singapore, and Canada. Dr. Taj Hashmi made a presentation on the election in Bangladesh and called for a probe on the irregularities and violence. He made a very long and detailed presentation on the history of subcontinent and the emerging situation in South Asia and World Politics at large- .
Mareck Goldyn, Ricky Castellvi, Demitris Vohaitis, Joe Volpe, Muhammad Bukhari and other participated in the discussions following his presentation.
New Members/ New Business:
Marek Goldyn invited all members to the European Day in May in celebration of the European Heritage month in May 2019
Adjournment: Joe Volpe moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Michael Homzi seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair, Dr.Tajdolati adjourned the meeting at 9 pm. The next monthly meeting would take place on Monday, February 11, 2019 at committee room N# 2 at the Toronto City Hall.