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Key Areas of Work

Urban Alliance Board Member Nigel Barriffe Co-Presenter with Gary Pieters, Urban Alliance President and Bro. Kofi Sankofa at TDSB Futures Conference

Urban Alliance Board Member Nigel Barriffe Co-Presenter with Gary Pieters, Urban Alliance President and Bro. Kofi Sankofa at TDSB Futures Conference

The Urban Alliance is a small organization with very limited resources that strives to address emerging issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Some of the key areas of our organization’s participation include:

  • Coalition Work
  • Fundraising
  • Recognition Dinner
  • Legal Interventions
  • Public Forums
  • Act as a Resource
  • Respond to request from the communities and educational institutions
  • Speaking out on matters of inequity and unfair action of a systemic nature

Embracing Hope – Building Community: Community-Based Solutions on Violence Prevention in Toronto

The Urban Alliance and Toronto and York Region Labour Council have taken a lead role in convening meetings with diverse community-based organizations, agencies and individuals from a variety of sectors to discuss the recent violence in Toronto and ways to promote healthy neighbourhoods. Here is their joint statement http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1237084–city-s-summer-of-violence-calls-for-community-based-solutions | Embracing Hope – Building Communities It can be widely circulated, and additional organizations/agencies and individual endorsements are still being taken. Please feel free to send in your endorsement, if your organization/agency is not on the attached list. If you choose to widely distribute it, please be sure to send the names, and emails (and ideally addresses) of individuals and organizations that wish to sign on.

Additionally Gary Pieters, President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations 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, August, 17th, 2012, Gary Pieters, president of Urban Alliance, published an op-ed in the Star website 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

Urban Alliance Board Member Nigel Barriffe was interview by Margot Wright of Ontario Today, CBC Radio’s provincial noon show for a segment on the tragic shootings in Toronto this summer and effective strategies for combating gun violence. The segment was a live call-in show on Monday, July 23, 2012.

Policing and Law Enforcement

The Urban Alliance recently provided a Deputation to Toronto Police Services Board to the Toronto Police Services Board expressing concerns about the carding of racialized young people and racial profiling.

Gender-Based Violence Prevention

Based on funding from the Status of Women Canada, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) has the unique opportunity to partner with Humber College to raise awareness on violence against women/gender-based violence on a post-secondary campus. This Two-year initiative will work in partnership with Humber College and the Humber Students’ Federation (HSF) to examine current institutional policies and programs, social dynamics, security provisions and physical safety issues to address this important issue.

From July 22-27, 2012, Washington, DC, hosted the International AIDS Conference, and Gary Pieters, President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations attended. He took part in various sessions where experts from across the world shared findings that addressed gender-based violence prevention. Gary Pieters also had the opportunity to volunteer with UNAIDS and was invited to shared his experience at the XIX AIDS Conference as a guest blogger for the US Embassy in Ottawa. Read his reflections at the conference here http://t.co/POn7T7bi

The Urban Alliance have undertaken work that addresses the violence against women and how such violence is complicated by factors of race, ethnicity and cultural identity. As was the case in the murder of Aqsa Parvez (a young Muslim woman), the Urban Alliance participated in press conferences with several grass-roots groups to bring attention to the gendered nature of Aqsa’s murder.

Awards Dinner

The Urban Alliance is organizing our Bi-Annual Awards Dinner to be held on Wednesday, October 24th 2012 to spotlight nominated community members selected for recognition for their work as diversity change agents in various fields and sectors.

We Are Toronto: Accelerate Prosperity not Austerity

The Urban Alliance recently addressed the ‘We are Toronto’ rally at lawns of the Ontario Legislature, Queen’s Park on April 21, 2012 with the message that Ontario continues to accelerate prosperity not austerity; that the colour-coded labour market that sees racialized minorities making less gains in access to good jobs, comparative wages and promotions be addressed. We also talked of the income gap, racialization of poverty and racial profiling as issues that need to be remedied in order for Ontario to fully utilize the diversity of its majority minority demographics in major cities of the province. Urban Alliance President’s Speech at Ontario Day of Action Rally

Public Interest Advocacy

The Urban Alliance continue to seek to intervene in cases regarding how police respond to investigations from the SIU and we participate in the SIU Director’s Advisory Committee.

Public Education/Public Benefit

The Urban Alliance continue to do educational work by participating in conferences such as the recently held TDSB Futures conference (May 3-5, 2012), the Ontario Federation of Labor (OFL) Workers of Colour Conference (May 5, 2012), and the upcoming conferences of the Antiracist Multicultral Education Network of Ontario (AMENO) Equity and Inclusive Education Conference (May 30, 2012), and the Truth and Reconciliation Toronto 2012 Conference (May 31-June 2, 2012).

Annually, the Urban Alliance host 3 – 4 “Race Matters Forums” to address issues of concern to the community. We have done forums on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, ‘The Road to Health: A Report on School Safety also known as The Falconer Report, Maclean’s magazine article “Too Asian” among others.

Civil Society

Promoting equity through the provision of engagement in civil society continues to be a high priority. When the Hockey coach Greg Walsh was disciplined for taking a stand against racisms on the ice the Urban Alliance sent a letter to The Greater Toronto Hockey League.

The Urban Alliance also made a submission to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) in relationship to the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto.

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