Article by Shannon Clarke
When Rogers Media announced it was cutting 110 positions in May, Canadians—journalists, community leaders and critics—focused on OMNI. Not just because the station received significant cuts, but also because of what it has come to represent.
“OMNI, being something that is synonymous with diverse communities and also with the face of Rogers—we were very surprised and shocked by [the announcement],” Jason Merai, executive director of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR), said of the company’s decision to eliminate Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian and Punjabi newscasts from OMNI’s broadcast. “Why would you eliminate that access to an opportunity for [newcomers] to gain knowledge to be engaged in this country?”
Since the announcement, the UARR, along with several other organizations including the Chinese Canadian National Council, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC), have co-ordinated to lobby against the cuts. Since May 7, they have held press conferences, drafted petitions and written letters asking Rogers to reconsider. They are now asking the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to step in.
The 8th Annual Dalla Lana School of Public Health Student-Led Conference, Racial Justice Matters: Advocating for Racial Health Equity is taking place October 23rd – 24th 2015 at the University of Toronto. The conference theme explores health-related disparities and inequities that occur as a result of racial discrimination, from the interpersonal to the institutional, and how the field of public health can eliminate these barriers to health equity. They are calling for research, policy and practice abstract submissions for inclusion in their conference as poster presentations.
The poster session will facilitate knowledge exchange and increase awareness by introducing contemporary research, policy and practice in Ontario and around the world on the topic of racial health disparities and inequities. The subthemes include aboriginal and indigenous health; gaining skills and tools for anti-racism research and practice; immigrant, refugee and newcomer health; environmental racism and built environment; racialized health in the digital age; systemic and institutional racism; and intersectionality. The poster session will provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss their submissions in more detail, and is a great opportunity to learn about the work being done by others.
The early abstract submission deadline is Friday September 18th, 2015. More information on abstract submission guidelines is available on the conference website: http://www.racialjusticematters.com/submit-your-work/
If you have any questions about abstract submission or about the conference please contact: email@example.com.
On August 13, 2015, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations joined a number of community leaders and legal experts for a consultation on police street checks, a practice widely known as carding, conducted by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Among the participating organizations were the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and the Campaign to Stop Police Carding. The objective, as outlined in a document shared prior to the meeting, was to develop a “single, clear standard to ensure that police officers across the province conduct street checks.”
Representing the UARR, Board member Ilaneet Goren provided comments on unconscious bias and racism embedded in carding, a practice the Province is now seeking to regulate, not necessarily to eradicate. As one participant commented, “to legitimize police street checks is to legitimize racial profiling.”
Ryan Teschner, Special Counsel and Advisor to the Deputy Minister, chaired a large portion of the session and began by stating his team has been monitoring the conversation across the province and has conducted preliminary, albeit not extensive, research to inform the drafting of the Regulatory Registry document. Mr. Teschner also said that a “variety of groups” were consulted in order to move forward with developing the proposed regulation, but no details were provided on who those consultants were. Participants were disappointed to learn the Province has not collected and reviewed all of the deputations submitted on the issue thus far before proposing the new regulation. They challenged the Ministry to conduct more thorough and systematic research in order to fully grasp the issue, its nuances and complexities, and to reconsider simply regulating a practice that continues to harm our communities.
Participants also learned that four public consultations will be conducted throughout Ontario, only one of which is being held in the GTA, which led to significant concern among attendees. A draft of the proposed regulation is scheduled to be released mid-September followed by another round of consultations, with opportunities for groups to again provide further feedback and share concerns. Written submissions can also be submitted.
For more information on the public consultations and to submit your comments go to:
-Ilaneet Goren, UARR Board Member
Join the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission for a Panel Discussion and Evening Reception on Thursday, September 17th, with honoured guest, Dr. Akua Benjamin: Recipient of the UARR Lifetime Achievement Award!
The free Panel Discussion, takes place between 3 & 5pm
The Evening Reception, occurs 6 & 8pm.
Register for one or both events by Sept. 10, 2015. Kindly include all accommodation or dietary requests:
-PHONE: 416-703-6607 ext. 3
Evening Reception tickets: Regular – $25, Community Organizations – $10, Students – free
Ryerson University Sponsors include:
-School of Social Work
-Unifor-Sam Gindin Chair of Social Justice and Democracy
-Office of the Provost and Vice President Academic
-Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation
-Office of the Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
-Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR)
-Ryerson Faculty Clinical Social Work Association
-L’Alliance urbaine sur les relations interraciales vous invite à la célébration de son 40e anniversaire Résister au racisme : Passé, présent et futur
Jeudi, le 17 septembre 2015
Université Ryerson, édifice d’ingénierie George Vari, atrium Sears – 245, rue Church, Toronto (Ontario)
co-organisée avec la Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne (CODP)
Discussion en groupe (gratuit) | 15 h – 17 h
Réception en soirée | 18 h – 20 h
(billet régulier : 25 $ | organismes communautaires : 10 $ | étudiants : gratuit)
En présence d’Akua Benjamin, invitée de marque
Récipiendaire du Prix d’excellence pour l’ensemble
des réalisations de l’Alliance urbaine sur les relations interraciales
Inscrivez-vous d’ici au jeudi 10 septembre 2015,
Vous pouvez également contacter Yumei Lin à 416 703-6607, poste 3 ou firstname.lastname@example.org
Si vous avez besoin de mesures d’adaptation en raison d’un motif figurant dans le Code des droits de la personne
ou si vous avez des restrictions alimentaires, veuillez nous l’indiquer.
Commanditaires de l’Université Ryerson:
-École de service social
-chaire Unifor-Sam Gindin de justice sociale et de démocratie
-bureau du doyen à l’enseignement
-bureau du vice-président, recherche et innovation
-bureau du vice-recteur, équité, diversité et inclusion
-Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR)
-Ryerson Faculty Association
President Nigel Barriffe acknowledges the 360 project's unified effort in addressing systemic issues
“Addressing the Discrimination Experienced by Somali Canadians and Racialized LGBTQ Homeless Youth in Toronto” was a one-year study conducted from July, 2013 to July, 2014 by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) in collaboration with the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. The study was generously supported with funding from Mitacs Accelerate. The study focused on two highly vulnerable and marginalized groups in Toronto: the Somali Canadian community and racialized LGBTQ persons who are homeless.
The 360 project was guided by these four research questions:
1) What are the unique experiences of Somali Canadians and Racialized Homeless LGBTQ Youth in the GTA with respect to: racial and/or gender identity formation, education and links to success, employment and employability, physical and mental health, housing, media representations, and the criminal justice system?
2) What experiences shape and influence common perceptions of the Somali Canadian and Homeless LGBTQ Youth communities?
3) What are the underlying factors that account for socio-economic challenges and successes of members of these communities living in the GTA?
4) What strategies, policies, and initiatives do members of these communities believe should be prioritized in order to address these challenges?
The research team recruited 10-15 members from each community to participate in two focus groups, one focused on Somali Canadians and the other on Racialized LGBTQ Homeless Youth, for a pair of enlightening two-hour long meetings. The researchers encouraged each participant to share their personal struggles and discuss issues related to the barriers and challenges that they face in relation to employment, health, justice, education, and housing.
This report provides UARR with vital information about what is currently required to fulfill its mission of working to maintain stable, peaceful, and harmonious relations among the various groups that call Toronto home. This project is also aligned with the Diversity Institute’s objective to develop customized strategies, programming, and resources to promote new, interdisciplinary knowledge and practice supporting diversity with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, Aboriginal peoples, abilities, and sexual orientation.
To view results of the 360 project please click here: 360 project results