City of Winnipeg announces Anti-Racism Week, March 21-27, 2021
Released: 10:17 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – Today, the City of Winnipeg, along with community partners, announced that Anti-Racism Week will be held from March 21 to 27, 2021.
Anti-Racism Week is being organized by the City of Winnipeg in partnership with Immigration Partnership Winnipeg, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, Elmwood Community Resource Centre, Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, Human Rights Hub, and Black History Manitoba. The theme of Anti-Racism Week is “What would Winnipeg look like without racism?” and this theme will help shape events and conversations during the week.
“As a City, we understand the negative impact of racism cannot be eradicated if we do not acknowledge it exists,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “We all have role to play when it come to the eliminating racism, and the City is proud and honoured to partnered with so many outstanding community organizations to put this week together,”
Anti-Racism Week will kick off with a virtual Launch Event on Sunday, March 21 at 2 p.m. to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. A number of initiatives are being organized for that week, in the hopes of starting a city-wide conversation exploring ways to identify and eliminate systemic racism.
We encourage all Winnipeggers to get involved with events offered throughout the week. To see a detailed events calendar and for more information on how to register, please visit winnipeg.ca/antiracism.
“We know racism exists within our organization, and we also know that it presents itself in different ways and has been a difficult topic to discuss,” said Mike Ruta, Interim Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Winnipeg. “While it might be easier for some to continue to deny the existence of racism, we are encouraged that staff are feeling more comfortable bringing their concerns forward so we can continue to improve our workplace and build trust with the communities we serve.”
Anti-Racism Week is one part of the Anti-Racism Initiatives Report supported and approved by Council in July 2020. In July of 2020, Council directed the Public Service to build on the work being done as part of the Newcomer Welcome and Inclusion Policy, specifically asking for all City staff to be provided with training on anti-oppression, anti-racism, and cultural competency.
The Public Service will also be launching a two-part Workplace Cultural Assessment over the coming weeks, to gain a better understanding about perceptions and attitudes of equality, equity, and inclusion in our workforce, by hearing directly from our employees.
“Racism, discrimination, and all other types of prejudices can negatively impact the integration process of the ethnically diverse newcomer populations in Winnipeg and hinder the growth of our city. Through collaborative work, Immigration Partnership Winnipeg is committed to finding community-based solutions to fight racism and create a welcoming and inclusive community.”
“Racism prevents us from growing.”
“Eliminating racism involves moving beyond awareness to action and commitment. We each have a responsibility to ensure all peoples can live, work, and play in a City that is respectful and inclusive.”
“Business prosperity requires a healthy community-at-large and vice versa. Systemic racism, inequity, and exclusion undermines these shared and interdependent aspirations, and therefore must be exposed and uprooted wherever they exist. The Winnipeg Chamber is pleased to commit to the long-term work of creating an equitable, inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”
“It’s our outmost responsibility to create a just society and to take a stand against racism. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of his dream of freedom and that one day people will not be judged based on the colour of their skin but for the content of their character..… Let us keep that dream alive so that the next generation might live in a society where they are treated as equal. Change does not happen overnight, but working together as a community, we can dare to hope; we can dare to dream and we can make a difference!”
“Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties is proud to partner with the City of Winnipeg on this important initiative. Although the circumstances are unfortunate, we hope our work will help to build the foundation for a more inclusive future in Winnipeg.”
“The most powerful tool we have to end racism is education. The Human Rights Hub is committed to partnering with and connecting with the many amazing human rights organizations in Winnipeg to collectively empower people with educational tools and resources.”
“In order for healing to begin we have to start the conversations around racism and discrimination. As a city we should not wait until someone dies to acknowledge the need for change. We should be proud to be in a city that recognizes that there is a problem and work together to find a solution.”
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