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.
- Race Relations Award Winner Champions Employment Equity Gleaner (North America Edition) – October 1, 2014
- Urban Alliance City Nights Toronto Star – September 27, 2014
- Ontario Human Rights Head Outlines Progress Pride News – September 25, 2014
- Anti-racism activists recognized by UARR Share News – September 25, 2014
- Celebrate and nurture, rights chief tells UARR The Caribbean Camera – September 25, 2014
- Enzo DiMatteo wins Urban Alliance on Race Relations Media Award Now Magazine – September 22, 2014
- City Council Approves ‘Nelson Mandela Boulevard’ Pride News – September 18, 2014