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Making Equal Rights Real Conference, Montreal May 01 2010 Making Racial Justice Real Grace-Edward Galabuzi Ryerson University.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Equal Rights Real Conference, Montreal May 01 2010 Making Racial Justice Real Grace-Edward Galabuzi Ryerson University."— Presentation transcript:


2 Making Equal Rights Real Conference, Montreal May 01 2010 Making Racial Justice Real Grace-Edward Galabuzi Ryerson University

3 Making Racial Justice Real The Case for Racial Justice What is Racial Justice - definitions Structural Racism - definitions Whiteness and White Privilege - definitions Changing profile of Canada Economic exclusion Opportunities: Power and Participation Breaking down barriers to participation Using Racial Equity Impact Assessments (REIA) Racial equity report cards (Colour of Poverty)

4 The Case for Racial Justice Canadian values: Racial Justice - Canadian society values equality above all else (Justice Iacobucci) Legal imperative: Living up to the ideals of our constitution - Charter of Rights Sec 15: Equality Rights; Multiculturalism Act; Employment Equity Act Social cohesion: Learning to live well together The Business case: Economic sustainability Social Inclusion: Imagining a new Just Canada project Who are we really?: Canada ethnic make up is changing

5 What is Racial Justice - Definitions Racial Justice represents a process of reversing the impact of racialization of particular groups in society Racial Justice is necessary because racialization establishes a system of race-based privileges and disadvantages for collectives within society ‘Race’ -acts as an organizing principle of historical and contemporary life in North America Racialized outcomes manifest as racial disparities through a variety of social economic indicators - in employment, income, health, education, criminal justice system, political participation and representation and life chances

6 ‘ Race’ and Racialization - Definitions ‘Race’ is a socially constructed concept that is used to establish categories of people within the human family Historically, it has relied on bio-cultural distinctions, such as phenotype, ethnicity but also religion from time to time It enables the establishment of racial hierarchies in political, economic and social life through a process called racialization. Ideologically, it is used to justify the differentiation of peoples on the basis of socially selected physical traits for the purpose of acquiring or maintain an advantage for one group or other. Objects of racialization change in time and space - Irish, Quebecois, Eastern/Southern Europeans, Jews In the Canadian context, there has been a persistent focus on Aboriginal populations and ‘Visible Minorities’

7 Structural Racism - Definitions Structural racism is defined as the establishment of a racial regime whose outcomes are racial inequality that is built into the economic and social structure of society  the social order is organized along racial assumptions and norms  institutional and social arrangements that determine distribution of societal resources, benefits and burdens, based on racial concept It is dependant on the process of ‘othering’ certain racialized groups’ cultures and experiences and universalizing the culture and experience of those in power One race maintains having a superior position of power and privilege, using it to gain greater political, economic and social advantages than other racial groups. Other groups are subject to disadvantages and burdens Canadian Anglo-Franco conformity as defining Canadian society – imagined society as one of two founding peoples

8 Everyday forms of racism - Definitions Colorblind racism: the status quo is sustained by those who pledge allegiance to race-neutral policies and shifts focus to intent, individual actions and ignore systemic outcomes. Double-bind racism: those who reference systemic racism and the racial regime or advocate on behalf of anti-racist practices and policies are accused of being racist or “ playing the race card. ” Dog-whistle racism: messages are conveyed on a separate frequency through racially coded words and phrases, that reinforce racially attuned subjective decision-making. Image-borne racism: Images are willfully or unconsciously deployed to trigger deeply ingrained stereotypes - an effort worth a thousand color-coded words.

9 ‘Race’ and Canada: Does race matter? The dominant Canadian narrative is one of exhaltation of European culture and civilization and inferiorization of ‘others’ – leading to structural racism/race regime A history of colonization  Canada depicted as a nation of two founding peoples  Wars of conquest against Aboriginal peoples  Cultural genocide against Aboriginal peoples The Japanese Internment The Chinese Exclusion Acts 1883-1943 The Hindu Woman’s Question The story of Africville, Nova Scotia Persistent discrimination against racialized and First peoples

10 Anti-racism Action Structural racism understood and addressed as a social relation (intersecting with class, gender, etc- under capitalism) Anti-racism focus on racial equity: substantive equality, equity in outcomes, commitment to eradicate racism Anti-racism action can extent to all other social oppressions - gender, ability, sexuality, etc Racial Inclusion: Focus is on integrating racialized members and Aboriginal peoples as full and equal participants in society It represents an holistic approach to building inclusive ideologies, policies, goals, practices, systems, as well as changes in power relations, commitment to empowerment, supportive alliances and solidarity

11 Anti-Racism Policy Analysis DimensionsFocusQuestions IdeologicalHistorical disadvantages, Values, Attitudes, Climate How has the state historically regarded Aboriginal and racialized people StructuralEntitlements/rights, recourse and remedies Are there effective legal measures for dealing with systemic racism ParticipatoryPrograms, servicesTo what extent do the communities exercize control over the policies and programs that affect them DevelopmentalOpportunities and resources To what extent is the potential of the groups being realized

12 Why address racial inequity - Changing Profile of Canada According to the 2006 Census data, those who self-identified as ‘Visible Minorities’ (racialized group members) were 16.4% of the Canadian population while immigrants accounted for 19.6%. By 2031, racialized groups will make up close to a third of Canada ’ s population – that is one in three Canadians will be racialized. This is a major transformation, from less than 5% of Canada ’ s population in 1980 to 32% (between 11.4 and 14.4 million) in the next twenty years. There has been a significant change in the source countries, with over 75% of new immigrants since the 1980s coming from the global South – Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Middle East, Latin America. Racialized group population grew by 27 per cent between 2001 and 2006, more than five times the increase in the rest of the population at 5.4%. South Asians now account for a quarter of all racialized people in Canada, or four per cent of the total population. Chinese comprise about another quarter of the country's visible minority population, with some 1.2 million identifying themselves as Chinese. Blacks, Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, Southeast Asians, West Asians, Koreans and Japanese round out the top 10 racialized groups

13 Social Exclusion in the C21st “The many varieties of exclusion, the fears of social explosions to which it gives rise, the dangers of social disruption; the complexity of the mechanisms that cause it, the extreme difficulty of finding solutions, have made it the major social issue of our time” (Yepez Del Castillo, 1994: 614)

14 Economic exclusion “Exclusion is the greatest risk accompanying the opportunities of the new economic era. Significant numbers of people lose their hold, first on the labour market, then on the social and political participation in their communities” R. Dahrendorf et al Report on the Wealth Creation and Social Cohesion in a free Society (London: The Commission on Wealth Creation & Social Cohesion, 1995:15).

15 Elements of economic exclusion Racial income inequality Racial inequality in access to employment Higher unemployment and under employment Lower labour market participation Uneven conversion of human capital into comparable occupational status Higher exposure to low income - racialized poverty

16 Employment income disparities for immigrants Immigrant earnings as % of Canadian born (1980-2000) ________________________________________________________________ Years in Males Females Canada 1980 1990 20001980 1990 2000 ______________________________________________________________________________________ 1 year71.6%63.4%63.1%64.7%70%60.5% 2 years86.9%73.3%71.4%79.3%79.8%68.4% 3 years93.4577%75.5%84.4584.4%71.7% 4 years88.8%77.1%77.3%87.8%82%74.3% 5 years92.7%78.5577.1%91.7%83.8%77.4% 6 years93.5%81.5576.5%94.9%83.3%77.8% 7 years95.1%84.5%76.6%97.9%87.3%76.8% 8 years89.9%97.5%75.2%96.3%94.6%80.2% 9 years97.3%97.2%78.3%103.1%93.7%82.2% 10 years100.4%90.1%79.8%103.1%93.3%87.3% ______________________________________________________________________________________

17 Employment Earnings Comparative racialized and non-racialized, 2000 and 2005 % change %NR ___________________________________________________________________________________ 200020052000 2005 ___________________________________________________________________________________ Total Canadian35,61936,3011.9 Total Non-Racialized36,35337,3322.7 Total Racialized30,45130,385-0.28481 Chinese32,35432,9811.989 88 South Asian31,48631,103-1.28783 African Canadian28,21528,012-0.77875 Filipino28,54229,3933.07979 Latin American26,03426,2410.87270 Southeast Asia28,95828,880-0.38077 Arab30,45229,441-3.38479 West Asian27,10126,279-3.07570 Korean27,14925,892-4.67569 Japanese42,57942,177-0.9117113 Racialized (nie)32,84130,666-6.69082 ____________________________________________________________________________

18 Poverty is not Colour Blind: The Racialization of poverty The Racialization of poverty refers to the persistent and disproportionate exposure to low income experienced by racialized group and Aboriginal people in Canada. It points to the significance of racialization as a key structural determinant of poverty in Canada and the differential experience of poverty Racialized groups and Aboriginal people are two to three times more likely to be poor that other Canadians

19 Strategic Framework for Advancing Racial Justice (Compact for racial Justice - ARC) Focus on structural and systemic inequality rather than personal prejudice Focus on impacts rather than intentions Address racial inequality explicitly but not exclusively Propose solutions that emphasize equity and inclusion Develop strategies to empower stakeholders and target institutional power-holders Make racial justice a high priority in all social justice efforts

20 Action for social change: Shared Power and Participation Addressing social exclusion/racial justice in a liberal democratic society requires its victims to be an integral part of the process of change. That means empowering them to be central actors in the process of change and in the systems and structures that govern decision making in society. Racialized groups and Aboriginal peoples need to confront the lack of representation in key political, economic, social and cultural institutions especially in the geographic communities in which they live. For Aboriginal and radicalized peoples to make significant progress in Canadian society, they need to be at the tables where decisions are made Aboriginal and racialized group change relationship to power

21 Breaking down barriers to participation Breaking down barriers means making changes to our institutions that facilitate racial justice and inclusion in every aspect of decision making - sharing power Requires understanding the connection between majority privilege and minority oppression - acknowledging that racial oppression is necessary to sustain racial privilege. Coalitions of progressive politics are essential to establishing a politics of racial justice and inclusion in the city, the province and the country. Progressive institutions are the key ‘switchmen’ in the process of change

22 Using Racial Equity Impact assessments A Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) is a systematic examination of how proposed policy action or decision will likely affect different racial, ethnic and Aboriginal groups. REIAs are used to minimize unanticipated adverse consequences in a variety of contexts, including the analysis of proposed policies, institutional practices, programs, plans and budgetary decisions. The REIA can be a vital tool for preventing institutional racism and for identifying new options to remedy long- standing inequities.

23 Racial Equity Impact assessments - (Applied Research Centre - ARC, Oakland, USA) Identify key stakeholders Engage stakeholders Identify and document racial inequities Examine the causes Clarify purpose of policy proposal Consider the adverse effects Consider equitable impacts Examine and present alternatives Ensure viability and sustainability Identify success indicators and monitor progress

24 Racial Justice/Racial Equity report cards - Key areas to evaluate racial equity in the City of Toronto (Colour of Poverty Campaign, Ontario) 1. What measures were taken by elected municipal officials in the past four years to reduce racial disparities?  Were racial equity and economic justice discussed as official policy goals, including in the municipal budget?  How do racial equity and economic justice figure into the election platforms of the candidates? 2. Was access to services increased for members of racialized communities, for example, education and training programs, after school programs, child care, libraries, emergency services? Were racialized workers hired to help provide these services? 3. Were neighbourhoods of racialized communities adequately served in the past four years in terms of infrastructure: for example, social housing, schools and public transport? If not, how are infrastructure needs accounted for in the election platforms of candidates? 4. Did the police and other emergency services respond to community needs, or work counter to them? Were elected officials helpful in resolving issues raised by the community vis a vis policing/racial profiling, for example? Are these issues addressed in election platforms of candidates standing for election?

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