first_imgNorth Americans were still dealing with the aftermath of theSept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States when officials atthe Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission decided to hold theprovince’s first Day of Reflection two years ago. “As a province, as a people, we needed a time to regroup, tothink quietly about the values of inclusion, of harmony and of asense of community,” said Mayann Francis, the chief executiveofficer of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Two years later, the province has proclaimed today, Nov. 5, itsthird annual Day of Reflection. The Human Rights Commission isencouraging Nova Scotians to continue the process begun in thewake of Sept. 11 by considering this year’s theme: reflecting,healing and community. Lieutenant-Governor Myra Freeman pointed to the importance ofthat theme while opening the day’s celebrations at an interfaithbreakfast at Province House. “This year’s theme encourages eachof us to think about the ways in which we can strengthen ourfamilies, schools, workplaces and places of worship by practisingvalues that promote healthy and supportive communities,” shesaid. Michael Baker, Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act,said the event contributes to the commission’s mission to promoteharmony and inclusion. “This will ensure that Nova Scotiawelcomes both the diversity already present in our communitiesand new people who choose to make our province their home,” hesaid. Members of various faith communities spoke briefly at thebreakfast about what reflecting, healing and community mean –and what they could mean. The inspiration continued with aperformance by Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Terry Kelly. Human Rights Commission officials said the event should encouragepeople to become agents of change. “I encourage you to share what you have experienced here thismorning with each individual you meet outside of this room,”Commission chair James Dewar told the assembled faith leaders. “Leave here this morning,” said Ms. Francis, “with the goal ofmaking a positive difference in someone’s life and in ourcountry, Canada, and our province by the sea, Nova Scotia,” shesaid. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission’s mandate includes publiceducation and outreach to increase awareness of human rights inthe province. This was the fourth interfaith breakfast that Ms.Francis has held since becoming CEO in 1999.last_img