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The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians in partnership with the Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change, hosted the annual Racism Free Ontario Forum on March 21st, 2016, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The forum was the final part of the annual Racism Free Ontario Campaign.

The Racism Free Ontario Campaign introduces a few set objectives. It is set to create a broader public awareness so that Ontarians accept and acknowledge that racism (structural, institutional, and individualized) continues to exist in our daily lives. The campaign is set out to support and promote people who are working on anti-racism-related initiatives so that they feel encouraged and motivated to carry on. Furthermore, it wants to showcase and profile initiatives addressing racism and promoting access, equity, and inclusion in order to build momentum, strength, and capacity that will ensure our collective anti-racism work in Ontario becomes sustainable, collaborative, and impactful. Lastly, the Racism Free Ontario Campaign wants to advocate for public policy changes along with institutional and structural changes to create a more racially just province of Ontario.

The Racism Free Ontario forum – which was the final part of our annual Racism Free Ontario Campaign – was attended by a plethora of passionate members of the community who had the opportunity to listen to speeches presented by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Gila Marlow. In addition, the 110 guests in attendance took part in discussing the Anti-Racism Directorate; specifically providing input and suggestions about the formation and function which contributes to Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate.

The conclusion of a hugely successful forum is only the beginning of our work! Throughout 2016-2016, CASSA continues to run the Racism Free Ontario Campaign with the aid of additional endorsing organizations. Sponsorship opportunities are still available so please feel free to contact CASSA for more information.