The Urban Alliance on Race Relations is a non-profit charitable organization that works primarily and proactively with the community, public and private sectors to provide educational programs and research, which are critical in addressing racism in society.
The Urban Alliance was formed in 1975 by a group of concerned Toronto citizens.
The Urban Alliance website http://www.urbanalliance.ca continues to feature video presentations and discussions from our initiatives and events including our bi-annual awards dinner, past and current publications and our Newletters. We also use additional social media including @UARRToronto and Facebook to post information on the latest information on the Urban Alliance and items of relevance to our mission, values and goals. The social media sites are regularly updated and usability continues to increase with organizations within the various non-profit sectors following the twitter feed for resources and numerous individuals following Urban Alliance on facebook to read, post or respond to information on the page.
EMBRACING HOPE – BUILDING COMMUNITIES: COMMUNITY-BASED SOLUTIONS ON VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN TORONTO
Urban Alliance President Gary Pieters, and Vice-President Tam Goosen met with John Cartwright, President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council to discuss the intensity of gun violence in Toronto and a community response. Following their meeting, they agreed to convene a meeting of community groups to come up with a community response.
Gary Pieters, and Tam Goosen led the Media Strategy Group for over 20+ Community-Based Organizations/Agencies that met to discuss violence prevention and healthy communities in Toronto. Arising from that meeting, twenty-four community organizations agreed on a joint statement ‘Embracing Hope – Building Communities’ and are encouraging everyone to use their joint statement, published by the Toronto Star, as a catalyst for suggestions and solutions to the issues and concerns that Toronto’s young women and men are facing. The joint statement published as an editorial in the Toronto Star on August 3, 2012 and titled City-s Summer of Violence Calls for Community-Based Solutions is available online at http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1237084–city-s-summer-of-violence-calls-for-community-based-solutions.
The adhoc community response group formed two committees and heres’s what they are tasked with:
- Forums Group– Purpose is to discuss community groups response and to plan a series of forums in various neighbourhoods across Toronto to discuss the increasing violence and what communities are doing to successfully engage and foster healthy neighbourhoods and the key initiatives that organizations are involved with/implemented that addressed the joint statement. The Forums Group met on August 1st, 2012
- Media Strategy Group – Purpose is to prepare and disseminate a joint statement “Embracing Hope – Building Communities”; Share the joint statement in the media (Toronto Star and other media/social media); arrange a meeting with the Toronto Star Editorial Board; ongoing media/social media campaign to highlight what community organizations are doing successfully to engage communities and foster violence prevention. The Media Strategy Group met on July 23rd, July 30th and August 13th, 2012 at YWCA Toronto.
On August 13th, 2012, Urban Alliance President Gary Pieters, participated in a panel discussion with delegates of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario Black Caucus, with a focus on strategies that ETFO and educators across Ontario can use to engage young people and promote healthy communities.
On August 13th, 2012, Urban Alliance President Gary Pieters and Vice-President Tam Goosen conducted a presentation on community-Labour response to gun violence and community safety to members of the Good Jobs for All Coalition.
On August 11th, Urban Alliance President Gary Pieters, did a live phone interview on ‘Black on Black’, a public affairs community program on CHUO 89.1Fm Ottawa. He discussed a variety of issues including; the mission/vision of Urban Alliance; the Urban Alliance’s involvement in developing a community response to addressing some of the socio-economic roots of violence in our communities; the joint statement published in the Toronto Star; public reaction from the community; and next steps moving forward.
Additionally, Urban Alliance president Gary Pieters was invited to speak on the recent violence and known ways to promote community safety at the Toronto and York Region Labour Council meeting on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 along with community members Shukri Mohamed, city youth worker, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 79; and Karen Dublin, Respect Scarborough and UNITE HERE Local 75 leader.
In response to the gun violence on Danzig St. in Scarborough on Monday, July, 17th, 2012, Gary Pieters, president of Urban Alliance, published an op-ed in the Star website on July 19th, 2012 entitled Scarborough shooting aftermath: It’s time to get serious about stopping gun violence Read it here http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/122849
At the provincial level, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services are conducting a 30-day review with a report due to the Premier of Ontario. The MCYS website states that:
The Premier asked Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, to work with police, community, business and youth leaders to look at the many policing programs and community supports to determine which programs will be refocused and what strategic new investments need to be made. They will be reporting back in August.
They have established a web-based survey for public input which is available online at http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/youthactionplan/survey.aspx Please be sure to complete their online survey.