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The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Call to Action: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

PEEL REGION (March 21, 2016) –  The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Call to Action: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Every year, March 21 is celebrated around the world as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is a day that marks the anniversary of the tragic events of Sharpeville, South Africa, when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid “pass laws” in 1960. Six years later, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 21 an annual date for the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate racism in all its forms.

United Way of Peel Region is very concerned about the socio-economic disparities/disadvantages and exclusion of racialized communities in the Region of Peel. In particular we have heard from our ethno-specific Community Advisory Councils and Young Leaders Council who are engaged and concerned members of the Region. The high youth unemployment rate, the increasing divide in neighbourhoods that have and those that do not; the lack of services and exclusion of the LGBTTQ communities in Regional discourse is alarming.

Studies and findings by international, national and local bodies demonstrate that people of African descent still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and employment.

The ongoing exclusion and racism experienced by our Aboriginal community is shameful!

The desperate pleas of our homeless communities demands that the creation of affordable housing is not a luxury but a basic need afforded to all human beings.

The increasing expressions of Islamophobia and Xenophobia warrants a deliberate and conscious strategy of public education and awareness building to ensure that all members of our community are respected and that dialogue is the tool of change.

We call on all decision makers in the Region to pay attention to the marginalized groups and individuals who are most vulnerable to poverty. To pay specific attention to the unheard voices that are silenced and excluded from many Regional conversations and narratives on economic growth.

Today, United Way of Peel Region encourages all residents of Peel to stand up and participate in the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination! That all residents of Peel commit to defending the equal rights inherent in Canada’s Charter of Rights & Freedoms of their neighbours. That we as residents of Peel stand up and say NO next time a racist slur, inappropriate joke, immigrant & refugee barrier is imposed, that a sexist comment is made, when an individual is denied housing, educational and job opportunities; that YOU stop the ‘othering’ of human beings because they are different from you!

We ask that as neighbours committed to defending strong communities and inclusion that we ACT now to keep Peel open, safe and a community of refuge for all.

Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and share with us how you will be participating in the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

About United Way of Peel Region
Established in 1967, United Way of Peel Region inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and motivate policy and attitude changes that lead to the improvement of people’s quality of life in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. United Way’s community investment focus is to help individuals and families move from a life of poverty to one full of possibilities, to ensure all children have the opportunity to be all they can be, and to build strong communities. For more information on United Way’s work in the community visit: www.unitedwaypeel.org.

Media contacts:

Roy Saad | Manager, Stakeholder Engagement
416-356-6344 (mobile) | rsaad@unitedwaypeel.org | @unitedwaypeel