CASHRA - The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies


March 21, 2011

For immediate release:

Celebrating the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Toronto – Today, human rights commissions and agencies across Canada and throughout the world are celebrating the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The UN designated March 21st in 1966 to commemorate a tragedy that took place on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa when 69 peaceful demonstrators were killed as they protested against apartheid. Canada was one of the first countries to support the UN initiative.

Barbara Hall, President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies and Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, stated that, "Although we have come a long way as a society in dealing with racism and discrimination since 1960, we still have a lot of work to do until we can truly say that we have overcome racism in all its forms. I am delighted that commissions across Canada are marking this day with activities that recognize how important it is to continue fighting discrimination and promoting tolerance and mutual respect for one another."

Here are some highlights:


  • Special issue of the Commission's online newsletter about this significant day is being issued on March 11.
  • Joint Commission/Government of Alberta news release on March 11.
  • Collating a 2010 calendar of events in Southern Alberta related to March 21 and posting this, in addition to the Northern Alberta calendar of events on the Ministry website.
  • In partnership with the Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative, holding an event celebrating March 21st that will feature a speech by Chief Mason
  • Attending other March 21st related events.

New Brunswick:

  • News release
  • Website links to the Anti-racism and diversity schools project and activities marking March 21 in communities

Nova Scotia:

  • Film Festival featuring Canadian films that focus on different aspects of racial discrimination.
    • I Am Canadian / Je suis Canadien
    • The Right to Bare Arms / Changer son fusil d'épaule
    • Still Here: A Journey to Triumph
    • Wild West / Far West
    • Pier 21 Gateway of Hope
    • Driving While Black.

Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission:

  • Executive Director taking part in panel discussion for the Association for New Canadians' 2011 Diversity Symposium, March 23, 2011


  • Launching final report on racial profiling and its consequences on youth aged 14-25 in the field of public and private security, education youth protection.


Announcing launch of new website, The Manitoba Class Action, at, designed for students who have an interest in human rights as well as teachers who are looking for a catalyst for class discussions and a tool for human rights education.


  • Featuring African Canadian History Virtual Museum on website which ties in with UN year for people of African descent
  • Holding community events including "Spring free from Racism' a multicultural event with food, dancers and speakers


  • Chief Commissioner takes part in a panel discussion on "Municipalities and the Commitment to Anti-Racism" at Toronto City Hall on March 21, 2011 that looks at issues municipalities currently face regarding racism and discrimination, and examines possible solutions.

For further information:

Afroze Edwards
Senior Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management


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CASHRA - The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies