Global Citizens Forum

February 27 - 28, 2024

What does it mean to be a global citizen at VIU and in our community? 

The Global Citizens Forum is a two-day event that engages students, faculty, and staff with this question through dialogue, workshops, and art. 

All events are open to students, staff, faculty, and the general public.  

“I am often asked what can people do to become a good global citizen? I reply that it begins in your own community.”  - Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General 

Global Citizens Forum Logo

Community Dialogue on Racism and Prejudice (Students Only) 

11:30 am - 1 pm

B255 / R170

A “World Café” event where participants will share their experiences and perspectives on racism and prejudice at VIU and in our community in a safe and confidential environment.

Small groups will be facilitated by Master’s of Community Planning (MCP) students, with overall facilitation from faculty members. The dialogue will conclude with a large group sharing circle. 

This event is in partnership with the CVI Multicultural Society (CVIMS), who hosted the first dialogue in November last year in Nanaimo, and the MCP program. 

Hosts: Anthropology/ MCP/ Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society  

Lunchtime Concert 

12 pm - 1 pm

B300 / Upper Cafeteria 

Global music performed by students and community members. 

Hosts: VIU International – Cultural Connections 

Empathy Listening Circles – Impact of Global Events

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm 

B300 / Royal Arbutus Room 

Global events may take place a long way away, but they can have a lot of personal impact on us as individuals and as a VIU Community. Many of us have families and friends abroad who feel the direct impact of disasters, conflicts, and oppressive situations. Even if we don’t, world events can create a strong emotional response in all of us. 

This is a safe, facilitated, and confidential space to speak about your personal experience and feelings, and to be heard with empathy and compassion by others.  

Participants will be in small groups of four, and will be coached on empathic listening. Each speaker will have a short, uninterrupted time to speak.  

Hosts: VIU International – Global Engagement 

Culture Couch: What does it mean to be a Global Citizen at VIU? 

5 pm - 6 pm

B255 R170 

“Global Citizen” is a big, broad term. What does it really mean? Come to the “couch” to join an informal, enlivening discussion with other students. Refreshments served! 

Hosts: VIU International – Cultural Connections/ Peer Helpers 

Playback Theatre Workshop: Home and Migration

9 am - 11 am 

B310 / Malaspina Theatre Lobby 

Playback Theatre is spontaneous – it is theatre created through a unique collaboration between performers and audience. Someone tells a story or moment from their life, then watches actors and musicians immediately recreate their story through theatre, dance and music. The storyteller gets to experience their own story through an artistic and metaphorical lens. 

Hour one of this will be a short introduction to Playback, where participants will be gently led into body and voice improvisations. In the second hour, participants will have a chance to try playback forms to reflect each others stories all around the theme of “Home and Migration”.  

Facilitator Myriam Verzat has been part of a professional Playback Theatre troupe and is eager to share this practice with the community. She is also trained in Action Theatre, physical theatre, dance improvisation, mime and clown, which all inform her improvisation practice and teachings. Her practice in Nonviolent Communication drew her to delve into relationship dynamics through theatre and she approaches Playback Theatre as a form of empathy through movement, words and metaphors. Listen to an interview from Myriam about the connection between her NVC work and Playback Theatre:

Hosts: GEOG330/ Global Studies


A Sorry State: Film Screening and Artist Talk 

11:30 am - 12:45 pm

B320 R105 

A Sorry State (2013, 42min.) is the story of “the most apologized-to family in Canada – maybe the world”. Filmmaker Mitch Miyagawa’s family received three Canadian government apologies for different historical racist/colonial injustices. The film is both a deeply personal look at these injustices, and an examination of apologies as political acts.

A Sorry State was commissioned by TVO / Knowledge Network, and won the Writers Guild of Canada award for Documentary. It has screened on campuses across the country, and at the Truth and Reconciliation’s National Event in Vancouver.   

Mitch Miyagawa is currently Global Engagement Coordinator with VIU International. He is also a multi-disciplinary artist, who has worked in film, theatre, essay, and performing arts. He will introduce his film and give a short talk, followed by a Q&A, after the film. 

Read the feature essay in Walrus Magazine that inspired the film: Honorable Mention for 2010 National Magazine Awards. 

Hosts: Geography / VIU International


International Bazaar and Concert

11:30 am - 1:30 pm 

B300 / Upper Cafeteria 

A Culture Bazaar plus student talent showcase! Come and support students of different cultures and countries as they showcase their talents, as well as stop by different hosted tables to meet students of different backgrounds, ask questions, view items on display, try a treat, or sample tea or coffee.

Hosts: VIU International / Peer Helpers


Guardians of Life, Land, Seeds, and Love: Conversation with the Artist 

1 pm - 1:30 pm

B330 / View Gallery 

In 2023, Queen Elizabeth Scholar and photographer Kashmir Lesnick-Petrovicz spent three months in South Africa documenting the work of the non-profit Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) for her internship in the Global Studies program. This exhibition follows her journey through a series of photographs, videography, and writing about her experience. 

Kashmir will talk about her work in the Gallery, in conversation with VIU International hosts. 

VIEW Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 10am - 4pm 

Host: Visual Arts


Cultivating Young Sustainable Farmers in Indonesia: Talk and Interview

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm 

B330 / View Gallery 

Karno Batiran heads PAYOPAYO, a Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada partner organization based in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Karno will speak about his work in Indonesia, and his perspectives on sustainable international development, in conversation with VIU International hosts and our audience.  

Karno is currently visiting Canada to support Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada’s Reaping our Rights campaign. He is spearheading PAYOPAYO’s youth farming field schools project. The project trains young people, especially women, in sustainable agriculture, community resource management and rural entrepreneurship techniques to make farming a viable local livelihood option and to stem economic migration to Indonesia’s cities. 

In the course of his involvement in over 20 community-based development or research projects, Batiran has also authored or co-authored a half dozen articles in academic journals and other publications. 

Host: VIU International/ Development and Peace - Caritas Canada

VIEW Gallery

Photography Show: Guardians of Life, Land, Seeds, and Love 

Artist Talk: Wednesday, February 28th | 1:30pm 

B330 / View Gallery

In 2023, Queen Elizabeth Scholar and photographer Kashmir Lesnick-Petrovicz spent three months in South Africa documenting the work of the non-profit Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) for her internship in the Global Studies program. This exhibition follows her journey through a series of photographs, videography, and writing about her experience.   

View Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 10 am - 4 pm


Cultural Connections

Turntablism: Music, Culture & Technology

Thursday, February 29th | 9:30 am - 11  am

B300 / Royal Arbutus Room

A free interactive workshop with DJ All Good.

VIUSU Black History Month Events 


Mozambique Rhythms: The Beginnings of Marrabenta with Chris Couto 

Thursday, February 29th | 12 pm - 1 pm 

B300 / Main Cafeteria 


Hip Hop & Afrobeats Black History Celebration ft. Ndidi Cascade and DJ Green-Eyed Lion (Okey Osman) 

Thursday, February 29 | 8:00pm – 11:00pm 

B193 / Students’ Union Pub 

For more information, please contact:

Global Engagement
International Education
Building 255

Mitch Miyagawa
Coordinator, Global Engagement

Attended a Global Citizens Forum event? Tell us what you think! 

"This is such a terrific and unique event that truly makes VIU stand out. I've received very positive feedback from all three of my classes about the events, and I look forward to getting involved next year." - Jocelyne Praud, Professor, Political Studies


"It was nice to come together across study areas as a VIU community, and to learn about an issue that affects our worldwide community." - Participant