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It seems that unprovoked attacks are becoming the norm – so that once again Black Mothers fear for their son’s lives.

July 26, 2017

For immediate release

It seems that unprovoked attacks are becoming the norm – so that once again Black Mothers fear for their son’s lives.

A young black man -Defonte Miller-out with his friends was beaten viciously and severely injured by two white adults. The attack raises the spectre of behaviours that most of us thought were confined to the US South prior to the Selma marches.

Young Defonte Miller is lucky to have escaped with his life. But what a life it will now become, for it is forever scarred by the brutality of an off-duty cop and his civilian brother. It is a horrendous situation for his entire family.

It is absolutely despicable that young people of colour are being harassed, intimidated and brutalized by those who are charged with ensuring public safety and security.

How can Black youth have confidence in the police? Defonte it appears was doing nothing wrong (all charges have been dropped against him).

What message does this send to Black youth who may need the protection of the law if the law is applied selectively or used against them. What message does it send to the families of Black youth and indeed to all people of colour who may seek the protection of the justice system in Ontario?

The UARR urges the Government to move swiftly to ensure that an incident of this kind never happens again. The Premier and the Minister for Community Safety must act decisively to bring justice to Defonte and his family to restore the public’s confidence in our justice system. The Mayor’s of Toronto and Whitby and their respective councils must respond immediately.

And now more than ever, they should demonstrate their support for this young Black man and his family.


Board of Directors UARR

Celebrating #Canada150 mindful of and opposed to the injustices their based

July 1, 2017

Greetings UARR Community, Family and Friends,

On the 150th anniversary of Confederation we at UARR recognize the Indigenous Territories on which we live and the violence against our First Peoples that accompanied the creation of the Canadian State.

We celebrate all the people who have come to Canada escaping persecution in other lands and all that people from diverse regions, ethnicities and faiths have contributed to bringing about just social change in our society. We hope that this anniversary will inspire more commitment to ending social inequality, to challenging Islamophobia, Anti-Black Racism, Racism against our First Nations and other People of Colour, Anti-Semitism, Transphobia and Homophobia. We hope that this anniversary marks sincere progress toward the fulfillment of the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Wishing you all a weekend filled with community, love and warmth.

UARR Board of Directors

The UARR celebrates National Aboriginal Day

June 21, 2017

TORONTO, June 21, 2017 – The Urban Alliance on Race Relations is honoured to add its voice to Canadians across the nation as we celebrate National Aboriginal Day, and the unique and important influence and impact of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples on Canada.

“National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity for us all to re-commit our efforts and resources to ensure all 94 Calls to Action of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada are met/acted upon,” said Nigel Barriffe, President of UARR. “First Nations, Métis and Inuit people have endured 500 years of colonialism, the horrors of residential schools, and the Government of Canada’s continued failure to meet its obligations under the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant.”

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples were the first on this land, yet they have for far too long been treated as third class citizens. It is unconscionable that today, in 2017, Indigenous peoples still do not have the right to decideimportant issues that affect their communities. Canada must just honour First Nations treaty rights, and it must also move away from a relationship of paternalism and control and toward one of deference and support.

Canada has a duty to ensure equal opportunities and justice for all who share this land, particularly its First Peoples. It is no secret that this isn’t the case today.

Founded in 1975, Urban Alliance on Racial Relations has worked with the community and the public and private sectors to provide educational programs and research to address racism and discrimination in our society.

For more information, please contact:
Nigel Barriffe

(416) 703-6607 ext. 1

UARR teams up with Fasting 5k to support a new program, aimed at engaging Muslim youth with local government

June 19, 2017

This month, Urban Alliance teamed up with Fasting 5k to support a new program, aimed at engaging Muslim youth with local government.  Fasting 5K is a grassroots organization that aims to create a network of communities that walk/run for one cause through the spirit of fasting, running and charitable giving during the month of Ramadan. Since its inception, Fasting 5K has raised over $140,000.00 for youth causes across a dozen cities!

For the 2017 Toronto event, Fasting 5K was able to raise close to $7000.  Funds will support Dawanet’s Muslim Leadership Development Program to place Muslim youth in fellowship programs with municipal and provincial offices to train these youth to serve their communities and Canadian society to the best of their abilities. This fellowship will provide youth with the training they need to develop their professional skills as public servants while serving their communities and Canadian society to the best of their abilities.  These Fellows will then be places in paid internship opportunities working for municipal and provincial officials’ offices for a full training experience.

Nora Hindy

UARR Board member

We resist. We build. We rise. On the 100th day of Trump’s presidency thousands joined together in a powerful demonstration of unity for jobs, justice, and climate action.

May 3, 2017

See highlights of Peoples Climate March (Toronto)

On April 29th, students, workers, faith communities, Indigenous Nations, community organizations, and environmental groups joined together to make it clear that this resistance will defend our communities, now and forever.

The march was a beautiful, hopeful moment. And now, together, we will chart another path for Canada: away from the bigoted agenda for a cruel, polluted and divided country, and towards a clean energy economy that works for everyone.

Here are a few highlights from the day.

special thanks to Nadia MacKinnon Media

Walk With Dignity on Saturday, May 20th, 2017

May 3, 2017
Greetings Friends and Family,
On Saturday May 20th, 2017 members of UARR will be participating in the International Development and Relief Foundation’s (IDRF) Dignity Walk. 

Dignity means:

  • Women can access clean water without risking their lives and walking for miles
  • Hearing-impaired youth can learn to communicate and gain skills for a brighter future
  • Families in a refugee camp can have food, shelter, fuel, water and warm clothing for the winter
  • Traumatized children of war can access psycho-social programming to improve their mental health

By sponsoring UARR on this day, you will help others be able to live with dignity – an inherent value of worth we are all born with. It can be as little or as much as you can afford.

MIXED Art Conference 2017 : Get Your Tickets Now!

May 3, 2017

The aim of this multidisciplinary biennial art conference is to co-create an inclusive dialogue about racialized mixed identities and lived realities through an intersectional lens.

MIXED is a multidisciplinary art conference that provides a space to share our experiences around racialized mixed-race identities through art, discussion and community building. Facilitators will use storytelling, poetry, visual arts, performance art, etc. in the day’s events instead of solely relying on the traditional academic conference style where topics of race and identity tend to be discussed. By doing so, the attendees may co-create the content alongside the facilitators thereby facilitating a space where the attendees are also regarded as subject matter experts of their own experiences.

The 2017 conference theme is “Activism: Within and Without the Family”, featuring Sharon Chang, author of Raising Mixed Race! We’d love to hear your stories of resistance and resilience regarding the generational impact of: the 60s scoop, Japanese internment, Chinese head tax, anti-Black racism, etc; as well as how you cope with prejudice within the biological or transracially adoptive family, or even forging a community-based family.

Self Care Throughout the day,  active listeners will be available to assist with possible triggering. We will also be featuring a wellness group exercise lead by Dr. Samantha Boshart for some self-care debriefing at the end of the event.

We would like to have as many individuals participate in the event by reducing boundaries where possible. An all gender bathroom will be available and the space is wheelchair accessible. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is Pay What You Can, but no one will be turned away at the door. We ask all attendees to come scent-free.

MIXED is meant to be as safe a space as possible for all attendees which means no forms of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, discrimination based on age, class, weight, creed, immigration status, xenophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, cissexism, etc. will be tolerated.

Our 2015 event sold out very quickly.

The 2017 event tickets available now:

Click here to learn more about M.I.X.E.D.