Social involvement can take the form of ideas, as well as actions ; by taking part in existing projects or by creating initiatives from scratch. There is not a single model!

Discover inspiring people who pursue their civic engagement in their own way and at their own pace through the On met the table videos. They discuss the motivations and reflections that support their engagement actions. Environment, racism, mental health, immigration, culture, social inequalities, numerous issues will be discussed.

Young people share their advice and motivations for getting involved. Who knows, you might recognize yourself there!




Oswaldo and Jordy on racism and mental health

Does racism affect mental health? Do therapists have the right tools to understand the experiences of racialized people and help them? Can microaggressions cause long-term damage to physical health?

Social labeling, representation, microaggressions and anger. Oswaldo and Jordy discuss the links between racism and the mental health of ethnoculturally diverse youth. Topics that challenge them and motivate them to get involved!

Oswaldo Andrés
Oswaldo is currently completing his third year of high school in the Ouverture sur le monde program at the Érablière high school, in Lanaudière.

He is the instigator of several committees at his school, he is also active in initiatives that extend beyond his community, including ENvironnement JEUnesse, EauSecours and Oxfam-Québec. 

He is involved in environmental issues, Indigenous rights and gender equality.  

Oswaldo’s motivations
When we see something we don’t like, we face two choices : to get involved and contribute, or to let it go. I prefer to try and improve the situation.

Jordy Balance
Originally from Martinique, Jordy Belance lived in the Paris region for 8 years before moving to Montreal in 2019. 

He holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology, with a psychodynamic and humanistic orientation. His professional interest is to support young people in a process of introspection and emancipation.

He is mainly interested in the issues of interculturalism and social justice.

Jordy’s advice
Don’t be afraid to take your place. Never let someone waste you. No matter what your background is, you don’t have to have completed extraordinary school achievements. Anyone can get involved! What counts is our willingness to share, the desire to be in solidarity and to unite.

Their cultural recommendations :

  • The podcast Nous Autres, produced by INM in collaboration with Noor
  • The movie Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay
  • The book How to become anti-racist, written by Ibram X. Kendi published by Édition de l’Homme



Camila and Hiba on climatic urgency

How do we deal with the omnipresent threat of the climate crisis?

Is it possible to tap into our fears and turn a sense of helplessness into action?

Environment, polarization, social inequalities, consumption, political and economic power, Camila and Hiba discuss in a lucid and critical way the climate emergency and how to consider one’s civic life responsibly, without letting guilt take over.

Hiba Qchiqach
Hiba is a bachelor student in cellular and molecular biology at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

She believes that civic education encourages the responsibility of each individual to ensure the proper functioning of society.

She has a keen interest in research and reflects on togetherness in Quebec.

Hiba’s advice
Even on a busy day, we often have a little free time left over. What if this free time could be used to advance a cause that’s important to us? This is where my motivation comes from. I try to keep my involvement as regular as possible, but I’m not afraid to stop when I don’t have time for my other commitments.

Camila Cabarcas
Camila is a student at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. She’s completing a double DEC (Humanities and Natural Sciences).

She is a member of a Montreal borough youth council and is very interested in education and the environment. She has been involved in setting up projects that allow the youth of her borough to participate in municipal politics.

She is particularly interested in the environment, education, equity and the fight against racism.

Camila’s motivations
If getting involved is intimidating, why not try doing community service with your loved ones? It’s a great way to get started.

Their cultural recommendations :

  • The podcast En 5 minutes, by Véronique Morin and Charles Trahan
  • The play Trois, by Mani Soleymanlou



Baye and Emna on culture and second generation immigration

Should we fear that the second generation of immigrants will abandon their culture of origin? How to deal with the inevitable cultural losses? What is the place of the family in the education of children? How do we juggle multiple identities?

The importance of family, immigration, culture and multiple identities. Baye and Emna discuss the meaning of culture for second generation immigrants. Topics that touch them personally and motivate them to get involved!

Baye Mohamed Mbengue
Originally from Senegal and living in Montreal since 2008, Baye currently works for Environment and Climate Change Canada.

He studied economics and politics and aspires to become a leader for youth, immigrant communities and visible minorities.

He is committed to promoting togetherness and making the voices of youth and minorities heard in society.

Baye’s motivations
We must dare to express ourselves and say what we think, especially when things are not as we think they should be. If we want society to change and evolve, it starts with us, with commitment.

Emna Achour
Emna lives in Montreal and has studied communication, journalism. She also studied at l’École nationale de l’humour.

A former sports journalist, she is a comedian and content creator. She is committed to highlighting feminist and anti-racist issues.

She co-created the comedy collective Les Allumettières 100% femmes in order to give a platform to comedians who identify as women and who benefit from much less visibility.

Emna’s advice
We must always seek to evolve, to learn more, to be uncomfortable, to face our unconscious biases. There is no small commitment!

Their cultural recommendations :



Dardia and Marie-Pier on intersectionality

How does intersectionality fit into discussions of racial equity and equality? What is intersectionality? How do we position ourselves and develop empathy to transform power relations?

Systems of oppression, nuance, class struggles and emotions. Dardia and Marie-Pier look at putting intersectionality into practice and bringing about social transformation. A theoretical discussion on the issues that underlie their involvements.

Marie-Pier Kouassi
Marie-Pier, of Quebecer and Ivorian descent, grew up in Quebec and has always been fascinated and confronted by her multiple identities.

A graduate of the École nationale d’administration publique, she is passionate about issues of inclusion, diversity and good governance and is very interested in the major public policy issues in Quebec.

Her commitment aims at empowering young women and contributing to highlight the strength of the complex identities of the African Diaspora. 

Marie-Pier’s motivations
Engagement, in all its forms, is a great way of learning, a way to develop critical thinking skills, to be confronted with all kinds of ideas, to create, to co-construct and to contribute to creating a more egalitarian and inclusive world one step at a time. Why not give it a try?

Dardia Garcelle Joseph
Dardia is a law student at the University of Montreal.  

A committed citizen, she is involved by duty and writes by necessity.

Convinced that culture can create bridges between individuals, she questions the other and the particularities that sometimes distinguish us, sometimes unite us.

Dardia’s advice
My advice for someone who is less comfortable with civic engagement would be to not hesitate and go for it! There is no one way to get involved and each person, in their own way, can make a difference. We just need to find a cause that ignites us and go for it.

Their cultural recommendations :

These videos were produced within the project Young citizens of impact, made possible by Canadian Heritage.

Patrimoine canadien

This project is part of la Démarche jeunesse sur le vivre ensemble, which receives financial support from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration.