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Call to action: Toronto Municipal Election 2014

September 26, 2014

UARR wants Toronto to be a safe campaign space for the full diversity of candidates

ontario-election-vote

UARR calls on all municipal candidates to stand up and denounce the racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic language directed at Council candidate Kristen Wong-Tam and Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow. We are also concerned about reported incidents of vandalism directed at council candidate Lekan Olawoye whose campaign office door was reportedly smashed in early-September.

The UARR implores all municipal candidates to campaign in a manner that is respectful, inclusive and welcoming of all Toronto residents. Racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic comments have no place in an election process and detract from the major issues in this municipal election.

All candidates should condemn these actions and Toronto Police should ensure a safe public space for all campaigns.

UARR calls on all municipal candidates to be proactive by stating publicly their positions on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

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Related

UARR’s 39th Anniversary and Race Relations Award Dinner a Success!

September 24, 2014

This was no formal or stately affair. With a room full of 250 passionate community labour activists, journalists and human rights advocates, greeting and meeting each other like old home week. It was loud and a bit raucous at the UARR’s biennial fundraising dinner.

The 39th Anniversary and Race Relations Award dinner was held on Thursday, September 18th at the Dim Sum King Seafood Restaurant in Toronto, with this years award winners surrounded by family, friends and supporters for their ongoing contributions to community race relations.

Debbie Douglas and Lloyd McKell were 2014 Race Relations winners for their leadership in equity and inclusion in employment systems and the education sectors respectively. The Ashok Chandwani Media Award winners were Jim Rankin (from the Toronto Star) and Enzo DiMatteo (of NOW magazine) for instructive and relevant (print) media representation of race relations in their published work. (Link here to their bios.)

UARR has always enjoyed the support of labour organizations, after all they were original partners in the formation of UARR along with Social Planning Council, under the leadership of Wilson Head. This year, our sponsors were CUPE Local 4400, UNIFOR and United Steel Workers, with further representation from IBEW Local 353, and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. The Social Planning Council continues to work closely with UARR.

Our tradition of community partnerships was represented this year with enthusiastic support from Humber College, where UARR’s Making Noise project worked on 2 campuses to address gender-based violence prevention. UARR’s signature issue over 39 years has been community safety, and over time this has fostered respect and ongoing dialogue with Toronto Police Services Board, another sponsor of the 2014 dinner.

Keynote speaker Barbara Hall looked at the gains and changes over the past 10 years as she winds up her time in her role as Chief Commissioner at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Throughout her time as Chief Commissioner, Barbara Hall has attended UARR events and forums, large and small, always interested in what people had to say about race relations in the community. Human Rights lawyer, Litigator, Julian Falconer introduced Barbara Hall, highlighting her commitment to social justice over many years.

All proceeds go to UARR to continue to organize our regular activities: for an update on activities, become a member and follow us on twitter @UARRToronto. Below are amazing photos from the 39th Anniversary & Awards Dinner taken by  Rainer Soegtrop Photography. To download these photos please visit Rainer’s site www.flickr.com/photos/fotosrsphotos.

 

Related

In 2014, Racism is More Real than Race

September 22, 2014
By Margaret Hageman, UARR Board member
 
Toronto in 2014, one of the most racial and ethnically diverse city in the world, is a global leader in peaceful pluralism. ‘Diversity Our Strength’ is Toronto’s motto, our ability to integrate people from all over the world is a source of pride. But what’s going on under the surface? 
Diversity is a fact of life, and many people believe are we are now a ‘post-racial’ society. If you were to believe certain pundits, racial boundaries have been torn down forever, pointing to Mr. Obama’s presidency as proof that the U.S. in particular, and North America generally. Every so-called scientific differences in race, from brain size to intelligence measurements have been discredited. Apartheid in South Africa was overturned, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms is in place; the good guyswon, end of story. Now we can all just stop talking about race. Right?Not quite. While it’s true that there is very little under the skin that differentiates races, it turns out that racism is more real than race. Essentially, what I mean is that what does differentiate us by race is how people from identifiable races are treated in society. The historical and legal reasons that were used to push Jews from our shores, to put a head tax on Chinese immigrants, to allow slavery in Canada (yes, in Canada!), and sweep Aboriginal children into residential schools were all racist policies, where racial difference was a way to identify ‘the other’ for discriminatory treatment. These and so many other true stories still have impact on race relations today, and that’s why we have Black History Month, and other ways to remember and revisit how race and racism are intertwined.

Talking about race means talking about racism. Yet, this half-truth of a post-racial society gives people a popular way to silence others: Don’t use the ‘race card’. What exactly is the ‘race card’? Who decides what racism is? Why can’t we talk about it?

Historically, we could point to racist policies and prejudices that had a negative impact on particular racial populations, but today racism is largely unexamined, embedded within current systems and must be inferred by the negative effects and outcomes proven by metrics and through the collection of statistics based on race in Canada’s workplaces, schools and streets. It is yet another form of silencing discussion of race and racism to reject the idea of collecting workplace metrics based race or accessing racially segregated data on public services, or dispensing with important public data collection such as the long-form census.

If you are a white woman like me who talks about all aspects of diversity, you might get some suspicious looks, as if to say, ‘What has this got to do with you?’. Being involved with Toronto’s Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR), I remind folks that racism is everyone’s business, and anyone can be an ally for racial equity and fairness.

Since 1975, UARR has responded to and provided leadership on many race-related issues in the community with a focus on anti-racism in educational institutions and on campuses, in policing and public safety, and in workplaces and civic life. The first actions of the UARR were in response to racially-motivated personal attacks on South Asians in the mid-70’s in Toronto’s streets and subways. The UARR’s founding president Wilson Head brought together many community groups including the labour movement and the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto (now Social Planning Toronto). Collectively they played a key role in identifying the racism inherent in these attacks to the police, the media and the public. Such an impact has endured to this day.

Every 2 years, UARR holds a fundraising dinner and celebrates those people who won’t be silenced by the idea that race doesn’t matter anymore. Race relations discussions are crucial to systemic change, and bring life to the ideals of equity and fairness. We put a spotlight on these people whose anti-racist dedication makes Toronto a better place for all of us.

Link here for biographies of 2014 Race Relations Award Winners, 2014. 

View Photos of UARR’s 39th Anniversary & Awards Dinner.

UARR Cordially invites you to our 39th Anniversary & 2014 Awards Dinner

September 16, 2014

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Don’t miss out – Purchase your Tickets online now:

 https://www.uniiverse.com/uarr2014

UARR Race Relations Award Winners

September 16, 2014

Debbie Douglas

Debbie Douglas is an active feminist and anti-racism activist. She is the Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants where she leads a sector of more than 230 agencies concerned with immigrant and refugee integration and social and economic inclusion. In the late 1980’s and 1990’s she was active in the leadership of Ontario’s first shelter geared to abused immigrant women; was also an advocate for Employment Equity and worked to establish anti-discriminatory systems and practices in public institutions with a focus on the intersection of identities. Debbie serves on numerous boards including the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement, Women’s College Hospital, and co-chairs the City of Toronto’s Newcomer Leadership Table. She is the former co-chair of the National Working Group on Immigration and Settlement at the Canadian Council for Refugees. In 2004 she received the YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award.

Debbie Douglas is one of the recipients slated to receive the Urban Alliance on Race Relations Award for her years of public service. The award will be presented on Thursday, September 18th, at the UARR’s Fundraising Dinner.

LMcKell

Lloyd McKell has over forty years of experience as an educator, activist, and community leader. He has devoted a lifetime to advancing equity and inclusion for racialized youth and families. He began his illustrious career at the Harriet Tubman Organization, where he worked with youth. He was the Executive Officer for Student and Community Equity at the Toronto District School Board for over thirty five years. In 2007, Lloyd led the process for establishing Canada’s first Africentric school. He helped establish the Race Relations Advisory Committee of the TDSB and served on many committees including: Central Coordinator of Community Involvement Inner City Advisory Committee, French as a Second Language Advisory Committee and Aboriginal Community Advisory. He currently co-chairs the Mandela Legacy Committee and is spearheading the initiative to rename University Avenue as Nelson Mandela Boulevard. In 2005 he was awarded the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Education.

Lloyd McKell is one of the recipients slated to receive the Urban Alliance on Race Relations Award for his years of public service. The award will be presented on Thursday, September 18th, at the UARR’s Fundraising Dinner.

 

Purchase your tickets to the Urban Alliance on Race Relation’s 39th Anniversary and Awards Dinner: https://www.uniiverse.com/uarr2014
Special Discount for Students/Seniors/Low-income. 

Ashok Chandwani Media Award Winners

September 15, 2014

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Jim Rankin is one of the journalists slated to receive the Urban Alliance on Race Relations Ashok Chandwani Media Award for his body of work. The award will be presented on Thursday, September 18th, at the UARR’s Fundraising Dinner. Here are some samples of Jim’s work where he has collaborated with other reporters:

Carding drops but proportion of blacks stopped by Toronto police rises

Unequal justice: Aboriginal and black inmates disproportionately fill Ontario jails

enzo

Enzo DiMatteo is one of the journalists slated to receive the Urban Alliance on Race Relations Ashok Chandwani Media Award for his body of work. The award will be presented on Thursday, September 18th, at the UARR’s Fundraising Dinner. Here are some samples of Enzo’s work:

Ghosts of police shootings past haunt us still

Gaza Strip: a history of misery

 

Purchase your tickets to the Urban Alliance on Race Relation’s 39th Anniversary and Awards Dinner: https://www.uniiverse.com/uarr2014
Special Discount for Students/Seniors/Low-income. 

UARR 39th Anniversary Awards Dinner Press Release

September 8, 2014

uarr updated logo

URBAN ALLIANCE ON RACE RELATIONS
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1001, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3
Tel: (416)703-6607 Fax: (416)703-4415 e-mail: info@urbanalliance.ca
Charitable Registration 11928-0022-RR0001

PRESS RELEASE

Urban Alliance on Race Relations announces
2014 Race Relations Award & the Ashok Chandwani Media Award Winners

The Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) announces two Race Relations Awards and two Ashok Chandwani Media Award Winners for its 39th Anniversary Awards Dinner, to be held on September 18th, 6:00pm at the Dim Sum King Seafood Restaurant 421 Dundas St.W 3rd Floor, Toronto M5T 1G6.

Every two years, the UARR holds a fundraising dinner to celebrate its history and shine a light on community-based anti-racism leaders who help make Toronto live up to its motto: Diversity, Our Strength. Diversity is more than multiculturalism; it is about policies and practices that embrace respect and inclusion. This year’s award winners are true anti-racism leaders and their work has made Toronto better, safer and more livable for all of us.

Race Relations Award Winners
Debbie Douglas – A leader in Immigrant, Refugee and LGBTQI communities
Lloyd McKell – Educator and Anti-Apartheid Activist

Media Award winners
Enzo DiMatteo, Now Magazine and Jim Rankin, Toronto Star

For 39 years, the UARR has responded to and provided leadership on many race-related issues in the community with a focus on anti-racism in educational institutions and on campuses, in policing and public safety, and in streets and civic life. The first actions of the UARR were in response to racially-motivated attacks on South Asians in the mid-70’s in Toronto’s streets and subways. The UARR’s founding president Wilson Head brought together many community groups including the Labour movement and the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto (now Social Planning Toronto). Collectively they played a key role in identifying the racism inherent in these attacks to the police, the media and the public. Such an impact has endured to this day.

Please join us, our allies and our award winners on September 18th in celebrating the on-going anti-racism work in our community.

The Keynote speaker is Barbara Hall, who will discuss her role over the last 10 years as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission; she will also speak about the role of community in upholding Human Rights.

The Emcee is Steven D’Souza from CBC Toronto.

Tickets for the UARR 39th Anniversary and Awards Dinner are $100 each and is available on-line at urbanalliance.ca.

The 10 course dinner will be held at Dim Sum King Seafood Restaurant at 421 Dundas Street West, 3rd Floor. This space is wheelchair accessible.

 

Gary Pieters
President, Urban Alliance on Race Relations
Email: gary@urbanalliance.ca or 416-703-6607 ext. 1

For more information about UARR, check out our website: urbanalliance.ca or on Twitter @uarrToronto.

Advance ticket purchase is required. For details visit our website at http://www.urbanalliance.ca or contact us at 416-703-6607 ext. 5

 

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For more information or to arrange interviews with award winners, please contact Margaret Hageman, Board member of UARR at 647.210.9642

UARR Race Relations Award Winners 2014

Debbie Douglas

Debbie Douglas is an active feminist and anti-racism activist. She is the Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants where she leads a sector of more than 230 agencies concerned with immigrant and refugee integration and social and economic inclusion. In the late 1980’s and 1990’s she was active in the leadership of Ontario’s first shelter geared to abused immigrant women; was also an advocate for Employment Equity and worked to establish anti-discriminatory systems and practices in public institutions with a focus on the intersection of identities. Debbie serves on numerous boards including the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement, Women’s College Hospital, and co-chairs the City of Toronto’s Newcomer Leadership Table. She is the former co-chair of the National Working Group on Immigration and Settlement at the Canadian Council for Refugees. In 2004 she received the YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award.

LMcKell

Lloyd McKell has over forty years of experience as an educator, activist, and community leader. He has devoted a lifetime to advancing equity and inclusion for racialized youth and families. He began his illustrious career at the Harriet Tubman Organization, where he worked with youth. He was the Executive Officer for Student and Community Equity at the Toronto District School Board for over thirty five years. In 2007, Lloyd led the process for establishing Canada’s first Africentric school. He helped establish the Race Relations Advisory Committee of the TDSB and served on many committees including: Central Coordinator of Community Involvement Inner City Advisory Committee, French as a Second Language Advisory Committee and Aboriginal Community Advisory. He currently co-chairs the Mandela Legacy Committee and is spearheading the initiative to rename University Avenue as Nelson Mandela Boulevard. In 2005 he was awarded the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Education.

Ashok Chandwani Media Award Winners 2014

enzo

Enzo DiMatteo was born in Belgium and emigrated with his family to Canada growing up in Toronto’s west end. He has served as NOW Magazine’s Senior News Editor since 9/11. When he’s not writing he spends time with his wife Wendy and children Jake, Noah and Luke. Enzo’s work on “Ghosts of police shootings past haunt us still” and his compilation of “Gaza Strip: a history of misery” are some of the articles for which he has won.

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Jim Rankin is a reporter-photographer at the Toronto Star. He is a seven-time National Newspaper Award nominee, and in 2002 led a team of reporters, editors and researchers involved in a Michener Award-winning investigative series into race, policing and crime in Toronto. Rankin has won both an NNA and a Canadian Association of Journalists Award with the Star. Jim was nominated for his body of work.

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