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How has racism changed and what are the challenges? Metropolis Panel Discussion* Meharoona Ghani Metropolis Presents Panel Ottawa, September 29, 2009 *

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Presentation on theme: "How has racism changed and what are the challenges? Metropolis Panel Discussion* Meharoona Ghani Metropolis Presents Panel Ottawa, September 29, 2009 *"— Presentation transcript:

1 How has racism changed and what are the challenges? Metropolis Panel Discussion* Meharoona Ghani Metropolis Presents Panel Ottawa, September 29, 2009 * Note that these remarks are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ministry of Citizens Services or the Provincial Government of British Columbia.

2 Why is there division between man and man, between race and race, culture against culture…? Why is there this separation? – Krishnamurti, scholar/lecturer, b

3 Overview How has racism changed? What are emerging challenges for policy makers? What works to address the challenges? What is BC doing?

4 How has racism changed? Does racism still exist? Claims: Canadian values are under threat because of multiculturalism, inclusion, acceptance Racism/discrimination is experienced by all people; and that all people are capable of being racists/discriminatory In order to have the not converted at the table and get buy-in from various sectors and leaders, the R word should not be used Whats changed?: Racism has changed to become even more subtle, hidden, layered

5 What are emerging challenges for policy makers? Emerging Broader Challenges: To objectively define a core set of Canadian values and transfer these without implying that people from other countries do not have such values or racializing groups of people in the process To build more understanding about the construct of race; history of racism and colonization; systemic and institutional forms of racism; and the underlying problem of power and privilege To avoid a complete trade-off by replacing the R word with more open language To understand intersection of identities such as religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc., in the context of racism On-going Program Challenges: Community engagement Capacity/resources Sustainability/Evaluation/Monitoring Critical Incident Response Model small scale outcome evaluation and a scoping review on promising practices of multiculturalism and anti-racism programming from several jurisdictions, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK

6 What works to address the challenges? What we must do? Broader historical, systemic and institutional sources of racism and discrimination Power imbalances and privilege Eight promising practices: 1. Community partnerships and capacity-building 2. Recognizing intersectional identities 3. Creating accessible programming 4. Promoting awareness through special events, recognition and cultural education 5. Engaging youth 6. Focus on arts and sports 7. Media intervention 8. Setting clear targets and measuring success

7 What is BC doing? Implement the means for community leaders to address racism and hate activities Many small community-based awareness and prevention activities leverage other projects to sustain the work Build anti-racism and anti-hate activities as part of broader local community plans and leveraging resources EmbraceBC: Six Program Elements: Community engagement and dialogue Inclusive leadership development and mentorship Inter-faith bridging Organizing against racism and hate Public education Arts engagement Final remarks The manifestation of racism/discrimination has changed Must understand the construct of race and the history of racism to address/recognize systemic and institutional racism and issues of power imbalance and privilege There are promising practices that work

8 Bibliography British Columbia Multicultural Advisory Council (2005). Strategic Framework for Action: a strategy to stimulate joint action on multiculturalism and the elimination of racism in British Columbia, Province of British Columbia (2005). Critical Incident Response Model: small scale outcome evaluation report, Province of British Columbia, (2008). Harrison, Alisa; et al., (2008) Promising Practices and New Directions in Multiculturalism and Anti- Racism Programming: a scoping review, Province of British Columbia. Hunter, Lauren (2008) Research Themes: British Columbia, Multiculturalism Report, #32, Government of Canada. Kymlicka, Will (2008) The Current State of Multiculturalism in Canada and Research Themes on Canadian Multiculturalism , Canadian Journal for Social Research, Vol. 2/1, pp:


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