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Mobilizing Municipalities to address racism and discrimination

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March 15, 2010

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For immediate publication

Toronto - The City of Vaughan, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) are pleased to announce an important forum that will focus on “Mobilizing Municipalities to Address Racism and Discrimination”.

This partnership brings together municipal officials, community representatives, universities and the non-profit sector. Together, they have created an introductory manual for municipalities to confront racism and discrimination.

The forum will provide a unique platform to consider some of the opportunities and challenges municipalities face in making their communities welcoming and inclusive to all people. Participants from municipalities across Ontario will attend practice-related workshops and presentations, and network with others facing similar challenges.

“As our society continues to change, Canadian municipalities have a leading role to play in promoting a strategy of inclusiveness where all members can live in harmony and diversity,” says Ayman Al-Yassini, Executive Director of the CRRF.

“Municipalities know their communities and what local people need,” says Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. “I’m delighted the OHRC can be part of this effort to help municipalities find the best tools to combat racism and discrimination.”

Alan Shefman, City of Vaughan Councillor and Chair of the Community, Equity and Diversity Committee added that "this event is an important step in creating a municipal coalition to address issues of racism and discrimination in Canada. The City of Vaughan is proud to both host this meeting and to have been one of the earliest members of CCMARD."

The manual is complementary to the UNESCO initiative to create a wider Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD).

The conference will be held on Monday, March 22, 2010 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM at Le Parc Conference Centre, 20 North Rivermede Road, Vaughan, Ontario.