UFCW Canada participates in International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

2016 International Day for the Elimination of Racism – March 21

Toronto – April 4, 2016 – UFCW Canada members from coast to coast supported events on March 21, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. UFCW Canada national office staff was also engaged in support of this very important day.

On the invitation of the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association, Naveen Mehta, UFCW Canada’s human rights director, had the privilege of providing opening remarks for a Saskatoon screening of Salam Neighbor. The documentary focuses on the more than 85,000 Syrians struggling to continue their lives inside Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, and provides an intimate look at one of the world’s most dire humanitarian crisis.The documentary was then followed by a panel discussion with recent refugees from Eritrea and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In Toronto, national representative Emmanuelle Lopez of the Human Rights, Equity and Diversity (HRED) department participated in the Racism Free Ontario Forum, hosted by the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), and by the Colour of Poverty Campaign – Colour of Change Network. The forum brought together leading social justice organizations working to ensure that the function of the recently announced Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate will meet the needs of the communities it serves.

“The labour movement needs to be front and centre on initiatives that tackle systemic discrimination. Racial discrimination affects everyone in society,” says Paul Meinema, National President of UFCW Canada. “It goes far beyond the colour of one’s skin and includes wrongful assumptions and stereotypes about people’s values and integrity. We must stand together to challenge racism on all front and be proactive to end racial discrimination.”