Breaking Silos | Building Communities

The Other People

Over 8,500+ students, faculty and business people in British Columbia and around the world, have been impacted through this pioneering initiative. 

Making A World Of Difference

Have You Ever Felt Like The Other Person?

Initiated by Rabbi Emeritus Philip Bregman, of Temple Sholom Vancouver, “The Other People” are individuals who are committed to breaking down the stereotypes that form the foundation of personal and societal bias.

Their aim is to expose teenagers and young adults to people who have experienced discrimination based on their religious, ethnic or cultural background. By enabling students to meet them first hand, hear their stories and ask questions, “the OTHER People” are helping to dismantle the “us vs. them” divide that leads to
prejudice, exclusion and marginalization.

According to the famous Harvard University Implicit Bias research study, negative assumptions about people who are different from us influence our thoughts and actions from an early age.
On a small scale, this implicit bias forms the basis of cliques and exclusive clubs. At a global level, however, “othering” is often used by political entities to justify the dehumanization of
unwanted members of society.

The program developed by “the OTHER People” is specifically designed to enable individuals to recognize and acknowledge their biases, whether implicit or obvious. Their hope is “to make a world of difference” by encouraging the next generation to break through the barriers that prevent us all from accepting and understanding one another.

addressing Stereotypes and individual biases

Engaging Students And Teachers

The interactive program helps students develop cultural competence in engaging with the challenging issue of hate and racism in Canada. We help break down the silos of community interaction by facilitating meaningful engagement with leading members of the Indigenous, Black, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, and Asian/Buddhist communities. Students are able to ask tough and open questions as they learn more about personal and media bias and how to critically think of the representation of others. 

Part of the intention behind this project is to address individual biases by creating meaningful interactions between students and “Other People”. Research from the Institute for Policy Understanding has shown that those who know a person from an identifiable group are twice as likely to hold favorable views towards that group. We are working together to help break down those barriers that prevent us from getting to know the different communities in Canada that form our cultural mosaic. 

Meet The Team

We Solve Real Problems

The Other People Impact


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Social Engagements


School Engagements


Individuals Impacted
Training Hours

The Other People Events

The Other People was formed through the coming together of community leaders and anti-racism organizations across the racial, religious, and cultural mosaic.  The …

On May 27 2022 the Other People was on the road! We journeyed to Salmon Arm B.C and presented at the Salmon …

On May 26 2022 the Other People hit the road! We journeyed to Salmon Arm B.C and presented at the Salmon Arm …

The Other People was formed through the coming together of community leaders and anti-racism organizations across the racial, religious, and cultural mosaic.  The …

The Other People was formed through the coming together of community leaders and anti-racism organizations across the racial, religious, and cultural mosaic.  The …

The Other People was formed through the coming together of community leaders and anti-racism organizations across the racial, religious, and cultural mosaic.  The …

The Other People was formed through the coming together of community leaders and anti-racism organizations across the racial, religious, and cultural mosaic.  The …

Promo Video


It was a pleasure to listen to this group of IBPOC and Faith community and anti-racism leaders share their stories at VCC Day – Building Connections.

Listening to their stories helps dismantle the “us vs. them” divide that leads to prejudice, exclusion and marginalization. Their advice on how to deal with being “uncomfortable” was eye opening.

On behalf of Vancouver Community College (VCC), I want extend to my deepest gratitude for sharing your knowledge, wisdom and lived experiences.


Ajay Patel (he/him)
President & CEO

Vancouver Community College

I was deeply fortunate to attend the panel discussion by “The Other People” on Thursday, November 2 at the Vancouver Playhouse.  I wish to express how grateful I am to have experienced the event and how moved I am that this organization exists and is doing such important work.

Every year, the public discourse seems to get more brittle and combative.  Every year, a part of me aches for some road that could help our society be more empathetic and open-hearted with people who have different perspectives and experiences.

The opportunity to see and recognize what your organization is about; to watch people who have very different lived experiences and life contexts meet together in a way that is caring, careful, respectful and constructive filled my heart.  It was important for me to experience this.  I believe it’s important for so many of us to experience this.

My deep gratitude to each of you and all of you for the event last Thursday, and for investing in such profound, generous, nourishing work.

With warmth and gratitude,

Michael Peterson

Vancouver Community College

Rabbi Bregman, you alongside Jahmira, Tariq, and Yusuf of the OTHER People were fantastic. Thank you, so very much for coming to Fraser Academy and inspiring and challenging us with your lived experiences. It was clear by the attentive listening of our staff that you all had the room in the palm of your hands. Since your visit we have had many people come up to our EDIJ Committee sharing their thanks and how it has impacted them. Here is what our staff had to say: 

  • “I think we should maintain a relationship with this group and work with them over time. Everyone would benefit from more time with this group.”

  • Excellent workshop. Always so nice to feel that we learned something and this presentation went over and above! So much to learn and grow from speakers like these!”

  • The group was amazing – personal stories impactful, helpful practical information/stories from the heart, empowering, please bring them in for the students”

Everyone wants to know when you’ll be back, and when the students will have an opportunity to hear from the OTHER People. Thank you on behalf of our entire community.

Hello again,

I wanted to let you know and the rest of The OTHER People know that we have been hearing overwhelmingly positive responses to your presentation yesterday. Your messaging has really struck a chord with our leaders and is helping them understand the importance of getting out of their bubble and disrupting their thinking. I can’t thank you all enough for the energy and inspiration you have re-injected into our group at a time in the year when energy can tend to fade. 

I hope that our paths will cross again soon.

Christal Brautigam

Assistant Superintendent Richmond School District

From West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) Vancouver BC


The session yesterday was incredible Rabbi. The response from the students has been one of gratitude, of emotion, of wishing we had longer, more and further opportunity for discussion with panelists. I have just re-watched some of the session, and even though I was listening for the second time in two days, the messages hit me just as hard. Tackling some really heavy concepts with humour interspersed made everything so accessible for students, and your quote to finish was such a great way to empower us to speak up and (as both Indy and Jody emphasised) be courageous in those moments of discomfort. The sentiment you heard from students who stayed behind after the session is also what we are hearing from many more students and staff in the halls today. It feels like this session just cracked the door open, so I hope there might be opportunities to continue connecting with you and your panellists to build on the messages that landed so well yesterday. You’ll find a copy of the recording here – would you like me to explore an offline version? Thank you again. I’ll be in touch with more student feedback soon.

Cameron Johnston (he/him)
Student Leadership, Outdoor Education, Entrepreneurship
West Point Grey Academy

Dear Rabbi Bregman, My name is Rafeeq and I am from West Point Grey Academy (I gave the opening remarks when you visited last week). I just wanted to personally reach out and thank you for taking the time to speak with us as a school. You, along with all the panelists, did something I have not yet seen in an assembly in my 13 years of schooling: you were able to take a difficult (but necessary) conversation and turn it into an incredibly engaging, education, and even fun experience. It was incredibly valuable to have all your different perspectives shed light on intolerance in our society today. In a time where discourse fuelled by mutual understanding and empathy has broken down into name calling and a refusal to engage with the Other, your conversation with us was refreshing. I wanted you to know also that I had multiple conversations with different students after the assembly and not one person didn’t enjoy it. You were able to reach all demographics in our school, something quite rare. Please pass on my many thanks to the other panelists as As and someone who believes in the immense importance and value of diversity, and as a Canadian, thank you for the work that you are doing. I know I don’t need to tell you how incredibly important it is 🙂 Warmly, Rafeeq well – I wasn’t able to get ahold of their information.

Annie Ohana is Indigenous Department Head and an Anti Oppression Educator at LA Matheson Secondary in Surrey. She has a masters in Equity Studies and is a curriculum specialist and community organizer across a variety of organizations. She has won multiple awards at every level for her work through her organization MustangJustice, a social justice based Youth Leadership Team. She teaches through collective knowledge and decolonized ways of knowing to think critically and take action for liberation, transformation and intersectional empowerment based on strengthening the beautiful multiplicity of identities within all of us.

Intersectional Empowerment For All
Unceded Coast Salish Territories of Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, and QayQayt peoples
ANNIE OHANA (she/her Pronouns) M.Ed in Equity Studies
Indigenous Department Head
MustangJustice Program Founder/Director
Social Justice, IndigenousTeacher Advocate, Law, Social Sciences, Anti-Oppression/Justice & Equity Curriculum Specialist/Community Organizer
Teacher Sponsor: MustangPrideGSA, Justice Leadership
Community: SFU Mentor in Teaching For SJ Grad Program, Next 100 Years Mentorship Through Identity, Shakti Team, Safe Schoosl Coalition,MarchOn, IndusMedia, NEVR, OneVoiceCanada, Global Peace Alliance, Solid State Co-Op Advisory Board, Lumbala Leadership Advisory Board, SHER Vancouver Advisor
Local Representative to BCTF? WR Long Intennational Solidarity Committee/ STA Rep/ SJ Rep/ BCTF Workshop Developer/Facilitator/
STA Cmtes: indigenous Education, Status of Women, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, International Solidarity, Convention, PAPR

King David was blessed to have “The Other People” team come to our school for a presentation.

The students were able to ask questions to The Other People. Here is what our students had to say after the presentation:

“I learned something new about each of the panel people’s cultures, how they represent themselves, how they motivate themselves to stay strong about their identity and culture and not be afraid to show it. I really enjoyed learning about the hate other groups experience and relating it to the jewish experience. It made me realize that though we all come from different backgrounds, the discrimination we face is in essence the same, and the only way to combat it is to work together.”

As a result of the this program, 95% of the Grade 11 & 12 students said that they have a better understanding of the negative effects of discrimination on people who are different from themselves.

As the Head of School for King David High School, I felt that the visit by “The OTHER People” was exceedingly important and tremendously educational. I highly recommend having them come to any High School We are grateful to the entire panel for their courage and for sharing their strength and love with us.

-Russ Klein

Having “The Other People” team visit our school gave our students an exceptional experience of listening and hearing others’ perspectives on important and complex issues. The members of
“The Other People” visiting team were intelligent, articulate, compassionate and kind. They connected with our students beautifully, engaged them in thinking about the world from different points of view, shared experiences and told stories. I highly recommend a visit from
“The Other People” as a powerful and authentic way to bring diverse voices into your school community.

Dr. Anne Bonnycastle
Assistant Head of School
King David High School
Assistant Head of School, Director of Teaching and Learning

As a teacher at King David High School, I feel honoured to have had our school be the first to host the panel of “The Other People.”
It was evident throughout the presentation how essential it was for our students to have been given the opportunity to sit down with a panel that reflects the diversity of our city and our country. Students actively participated in meaningful dialogue that helped shed light on our shared humanity and as well share what is unique about each person on the panel. 

Communities they represent. Students were invited to ask questions that go beyond the usual surface issues and were encouraged to ask about those issues often considered challenging. The number of students whose hands remained raised as the discussion came to a close and who remained after to individually approach panel members is testimony to the impact the panel had on our students. In today’s world, that is to say, in a world that has become increasingly divided in religious, political, and philosophical spheres, it is important to create safe and open opportunities where youth can sit down together and engage in meaningful dialogue with a goal of understanding “the other people.” Anna-Mae Wiesenthal

Hi Rabbi Bregman,

We are truly grateful to you and the incredible folks on the OTHER People panel for creating the space for our community and our students to interact with you on such challenging topics, in such a deeply personal way. I want to acknowledge the nature of the questions and how emotionally exhausting it must have been for you and your team to read, reflect on and respond to them.

Dr. Shirley Chau, who joined us at the events, described the school presentations as “community intervention”. Forgive me for not being able to better express my depth of appreciation, or to be able to summarize the impact of the Other People into a couple sentences in this moment. We will gladly write a letter of recommendation and support for the OTHER People. By then I will have had more time to process the layers that have been exposed after last week, and will be more succinct with my words. Additionally, I will connect you with Jenny and Michael, the respective interfaith Minister and Anglican Reverend that Louise Wallace Richmond got in touch with. 

“The Other People was an eye-opening presentation for many of our students, and indeed our staff as a whole. As a rural community, Salmon Arm has on the whole exposure to less diversity and so having a diverse group like the Other People dedicated to coming in – both virtually and in-person – to educate and further inform our students was an incredible opportunity. In facing some really tough and even at times blatantly racist and stereotypical questions they showed grace in answering informatively and clearly for all the students’ benefit, no matter the question. The depth and variety of experience that this presentation brings is invaluable for furthering conversations on race and religion in our society, and forms an important of dispelling ignorance and prejudice against any group, no matter their background.” – Ryon Ready, French Immersion Teacher, J.L. Jackson Secondary, Salmon Arm

Ryon Ready
(il/le/iel/li – he/him/they/them)
Enseignant d’immersion – French Immersion Teacher
J.L. Jackson Secondary on unsurrendered Secwepemcúl’ecw
250-832-2136 Ext. 3109

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