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CULE Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21, 2017

Every year, CULE marks March 21, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by taking stock of our past struggles and achievements. This year’s theme is: “Racial profiling and incitement to hatred, including in the context of migration.”

The current political climate in the US poses particular challenges for racialized people and their allies in the US, Canada and worldwide. We have seen a rise in racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic hate crimes, hate speech and racial violence. From personal attacks in the streets and on public transit, to the January fatal shooting in a Muslim mosque in Quebec City, to bomb threats against Jewish community centres, to the continuing poverty and social issues faced by Indigenous people in Canadian society as a result of the impacts of colonization and the residential school system.

Now more than ever it is important to remain vigilant against the rise of racism and to continue to address the root causes to eliminate the systemic barriers and discrimination that racialized and Indigenous people continue to face in Canada.

As part of the larger Canadian labour movement and progressive social justice movement, CULE looks at our own workplaces as manifestations of larger Canadian society. Our own workplaces are not immune to continued racial discrimination whether intentional or not. Rather than ignore or deny the existence of racism, we encourage our members to continue to speak out, challenge and take action against racism in their workplaces and larger society as racialized and Indigenous workers and as allies. CULE is proud of the anti-racism and anti-oppression work we have done but know that there is much more to do. We encourage our members to continue to network with allies and support each other and work towards healthy and safe working environments that are hate-free, inclusive, diverse and barrier-free.

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