UARR 39th Anniversary Awards Dinner Press Release

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2 Carlton Street, Suite 1001, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3
Tel: (416)703-6607 Fax: (416)703-4415 e-mail:
Charitable Registration 11928-0022-RR0001


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

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: or 416-703-6607 ext. 1

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

Advance ticket purchase is required. For details visit our website at or contact us at 416-703-6607 ext. 5





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.


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 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.


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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