Loraine Balita-Centeno

Journalist | Editor | Digital Media Specialist  

Opinion Column| When you’re a mother of racialized children, how do you protect them from hate?

When we moved to Toronto a few years ago, my husband would often tell my children not to stand too close to the edge of the road. “Someone might push you,” he’d say. “Someone might see that we’re immigrants and then run us over." I used to brush it off and tell him “Don’t be too paranoid, those things don’t happen here.” Then, news came out about the attack in London, Ont. I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. When we moved out of the GTA early this year to Waterloo Region, it was a

Opinion | Slow death by a thousand cuts: Why microaggression can be more insidious

“No, but where are you REALLY from?” people will insist. It’s a question many racialized persons, even those born in Canada, are often asked, because for some people, “Toronto or Vancouver” can’t be the right answer. People who ask this are often not aware of the derogatory message they are sending. But for a racialized person, the message reverberates and seeps deep into their bones — someone who looks like you is a perpetual foreigner, an outsider forever. Racial microaggression is often r

Opinion Column | Boxes, boulders and M&M's: What it's like to be a female journalist of colour

It’s about trust. Our relationship with our readers is built on transparency, honesty and integrity. As such, we have launched a trust initiative to tell you who we are and how and why we do what we do. This article is part of that project. “Go back to where you came from,” he said. “Go back to where you belong,” she said. These things are not new to us anymore. Toxic, putrid, hate and ignorance spewed at people of colour — these words are nothing new. It didn’t just happen when COVID-19 came;

Racial Trauma: How racism affects mental health

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses difficult topics such as abuse, harassment and suicide, which may be triggering to a person's mental health. Bangladesh-born Korey Steckle was four years old when he had his first taste of racism. His adoptive parents had just moved the family from New Hamburg to Petersburg the summer before school started. At the village pool he remembers vividly how it began. It was after he took his shirt off that parents noticed how different he looked from the rest

Immigrants of Waterloo Region: Spotlight on the immigrants who have chosen to make this area their home

During the first quarter of 2021, Waterloo Region welcomed 1,225 new permanent residents according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This figure is 11 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2020 and 41 per cent higher than in 2019. According to the Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership, 60 per cent of these immigrants have settled in Kitchener, 25 per cent in Waterloo, and 15 per cent made Cambridge their home. This trend should be a good thing for th

‘Because your story counts’: Calling all immigrants in Waterloo Region

The Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership is welcoming all immigrants in the region to take part in a survey that will help shape policy and programs that will serve the immigrant communities. The bi-annual, multilingual immigrant survey that will run until June 21 is for all immigrants, refugees, claimants, international students, temporary workers, and their families in Waterloo Region. Questions in the survey are designed to collect information about the immigrant experience of the differ

Immigrants of Waterloo Region: Tech founder went from being an international student to creating 600 jobs

In 2010, a 22-year-old Martin Basiri landed in an airport in Canada. Excited to experience snow and whatever else was in store for him in the country, he went on an adventure to explore life as an international student. Fast forward to 2015: along with his brothers Meti and Massi, Basiri founded ApplyBoard, a platform that connects international students with academic institutions. Today, ApplyBoard has become one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech companies and now employs more than 900 team me

‘We can’t wait to welcome visitors back’: Waterloo Museum reopens with clay exhibit

The City of Waterloo Museum was offering virtual programming throughout the lockdown, “but it is not the same as coming into the space and experiencing and interacting with the exhibits personally,” said Karen VandenBrink, City of Waterloo manager, museum and archival collections. “It will be great to have the energy of people back visiting in the museum, and also to have our volunteers back helping us with welcoming visitors.” The team has been working behind the scenes to refresh the museum

Why That Email About Your Apple ID Being Locked Is a Scam

Since macOS and iOS are still more secure and impenetrable compared to other systems, cybercriminals resort to phishing tactics to hack into Apple accounts. They use social engineering to trick users into giving their Apple ID and password. So yes, that "Apple ID locked" email is fake. Here’s what you need to know about Apple scams and how you can spot one. Scammers who are out to steal your Apple information will use social engineering through phone calls, SMS, or even calendar invitations. B

3 Airbnb Scams You Need to Know About Before Booking Your Trip

Airbnb has long been criticized for its loose policies and even looser enforcement. Its rules are filled with loopholes that scammers have wriggled their way into. Things have gotten so bad that the internet is now filled with horror stories from vacationers who had a bad experience on the platform. Here are some of the most common Airbnb scams you should know about before booking somewhere for your next vacation, and tips for protecting yourself. The most common scammers you might encounter

What Are TikTok Gifts, Diamonds, and Coins?

Besides providing endless hours of entertainment and a platform to share dance moves, TikTok allows content creators to make money through virtual gifts. Creators can join the TikTok Live Stream Program so they can live stream and earn gifts from their followers. Here's all you need to know about coins, gifts, and diamonds on TikTok. What to Know About the TikTok Live Stream Program The TikTok Live Stream Program isn't open to everyone. The program is only open to users who are aged 16 or o

What You Need To Know About Swatting

Imagine opening your door to see a swarm of heavily armed SWAT officers pointing their guns at you. You don’t know what’s happening. You have no idea why they’re raiding your home and kicking doors open. If this happens to you, you’ve become a victim of swatting. This means that someone placed a hoax 911 call to send authorities to your house. Many celebrities have become victims to this insidious “prank” and while it might seem like a joke for some, it can become extremely dangerous, even dead

What Is a Remote Access Trojan?

RATS or Remote Access Trojans have gone a long way from the prank tool 90s kids used to spook their friends. From simply opening CD trays and controlling computers remotely to scare their victims, it has evolved into some of the most prevalent malware in the wild. Here’s everything you need to know about this Trojan and what you can do about a RAT infestation. A RAT is a Trojan, a type of malware disguised as something else that victims need—like a legitimate file, program, or app. It tricks

What You Need To Know About Golang-Based Malware

Golang is becoming the programming language of choice for many malware developers. According to cybersecurity firm Intezer, there’s been an almost 2000 percent increase in the number of Go-based malware strains found in the wild since 2017. The number of attacks using this type of malware is expected to increase in the next couple of years. What’s most alarming is that we’re seeing many threat actors who are targeting multiple operating systems with strains from a single Go codebase.

Were You Affected By the DoorDash Data Breach?

The demand for food delivery services like DoorDash has skyrocketed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Since we give these apps a treasure trove of personal and banking information, you need to ask yourself, is my information safe? A massive DoorDash data breach by a third party was discovered in May 2019. A slew of personal information and financial details were compromised during the leak putting many at risk of a cyberattack. So how do you find out if you were affected by the DoorDash

Everything You Need to Know About NetWalker Ransomware

Netwalker is a strain of ransomware that targets Windows-based systems. First discovered in August 2019, it evolved throughout the rest of 2019 and into 2020. Significant spikes in NetWalker targeted attacks were noted by the FBI during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here's what you need to know about the ransomware that has attacked major schools, healthcare systems, and government institutions throughout the US and Europe.
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