Exactly one month ago, we launched our new website. Actually, it was, as we said then, about a week earlier than we had planned. But, when we put it up on the Internet to see how it performed, we were surprised at the number of people who were logging on. Since it was not ready, we took it down. However, when we received a few calls from folks asking what had happened and why they could no longer access it, we decided to leave it up and finish working on it live, which is what we did.
The last month has been amazing. This website should have been up a long time ago. But, nothing happens before its time and, as our faithful, long-time readers and supporters would agree, we like to take our time and do things well. That’s why you continue to support Share and to make sure it not only survives but thrives. After all, 31 years of publishing is nothing to sneeze at.
What is also amazing to us is the fact that, while the majority of visitors to our website are, naturally, from the Toronto area, we have seen visitors from, as of midnight Wednesday, 695 cities around the world.
But this website is mostly for and about us, the Black and Caribbean community in the Greater Toronto Area and our brothers and sisters across this great land.
Over the years, we have tried to represent our community and speak to the issues which concern us as Canadians, most of whom are immigrants and most of whom are from the Caribbean and most of whom are people of colour.
We have had to speak out forcefully on issues which affected us and against those who supported positions that we felt were not in our best interest. And, we have done so without hesitation. We have also been loud in our praise for those whose successes have been a source of pride to all of us as a community, both to laud their achievements and to show them off as examples, especially our achieving young people, to those who would follow.
Our new website (we continue to call it new since it is a far cry from our old website, which had been inactive for about three years) is meant to continue the work we have done over the past 31 years in Share. It is meant to support and to show off the wealth of talent and ability in our community; to speak our truth and to stand up to those who would denigrate us.
But, more than this, we hope that it would be a place where we can speak to and with each other; where we can share our thoughts and ideas; where we can let the wider community know where we stand on the many issues which affect all of us as Canadians or those issues which affect us as people of colour in this city, province and country.
We do have opinions, oh, do we have opinions. Just visit any barber shop or beauty salon on a Saturday and listen in. We can speak, quite knowledgeably – most of the time – on just about any subject imaginable. Yet, once we leave those establishments, our voices fall silent.
Let’s speak out. Let’s share our thoughts. Let’s join the many conversations happening around us and add our perspective.
Whether the subject is the education of our children, the economy, the political state of the country or the direction of the government; the war in Afghanistan, which has just taken the life of another soldier, a young Canadian woman just two weeks into her tour of duty; or the controversy raging over whether or not the provincial government should help to top up the pension fund of retired auto workers. It is your money, too. Shouldn’t you have a say?
Each week there is a poll on the website on an issue which we feel is of importance. Log on to www.sharenews.com and cast your vote. Let your voice be heard. Respond to the articles, especially the editorials and opinion pieces and let us know if you agree or, more importantly, disagree and why.
Or, send us your own thoughts on a subject on which you are knowledgeable.
We don’t need to wait on someone else to speak for us. As President Barack Obama has so famously said, we are the ones we have been waiting for.