What does it mean to belong? And how do we belong? Who do we belong to?
Never before has the world experienced greater movement of peoples between countries and continents. These seismic shifts in populations have created immense challenges for all societies. They also offer new possibilities for different social models. Can belonging encompass differences, dependence, and dislikes, while upholding fundamental human rights? What's the significance of the Canadian model, which emphasizes values, immigration, parliamentary democracy, and the rule of law?
These timely and controversial subjects are at the heart of former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson's 2014 CBC Massey Lectures, Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship. Clarkson masterfully chronicles the evolution of citizenship throughout the ages from Aristotle and the Greeks to the present day. In her provocative essays, she explains why we can be both part of Canada as a country, and part of every other person who shares our land, our values and our history.
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The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson stands alone when it comes to providing compelling insights into Canadian culture. The former governor general of Canada, Ms. Clarkson has travelled the breadth and depth of the country, articulating the importance of involved citizenship, and engaging Canadians in a spirited dialogue about our shared history. Ms. Clarkson began her distinguished career in journalism at the CBC in 1965. She has had challenging roles as a host, writer, producer and director. She served as the first Agent-General for Ontario in Paris from 1982 to 1987, when she became President and Publisher of McClelland and Stewart. In 1988, she returned to the CBC as executive producer, host and writer for the programs Adrienne Clarkson's Summer Festival and Adrienne Clarkson Presents.
She is the author of Heart Matters, her bestselling autobiography, as well as a biography of Norman Bethune. Ms. Clarkson is a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1999, she was appointed Governor General of Canada. Born in Hong Kong, Ms. Clarkson came to Canada as a refugee in 1942 and settled with her family in Ottawa. She earned an Honours B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto's Trinity College before undertaking post-graduate studies at the Sorbonne in France. Upon leaving the office of Governor General, Ms. Clarkson and John Ralston Saul founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), a national, non-profit charity that helps accelerate new citizens' integration into Canadian life through original programs, collaborations and unique volunteer opportunities. Both currently serve as the organization's Co-Chairs.The ICC will be our Community Partner for all five cities of the 2014 CBC Massey Lectures tour. photo credit: Michael Chambers