Sunday, January 22, 2012
African Canadian Conference on Anti-Black Hate 2009
National African Canadian Conference on Anti-Black Hate that took place in Ottawa in March 2009
Over three days, 200 legal experts, academics, youth and community leaders went to workshops and listened to speakers on poverty, education, health and the media.
Organizers, including Margaret Parsons, who heads the Toronto-based African Canadian Legal Clinic, hope the conference will lead to a national policy with co-ordinated strategies to address critical concerns within the black community.
The timing of the conference was ideal because many black Canadians are feeling increasingly ignored and let down by their public institutions, including schools, governments, the police and the media.
Indeed, for some, this is a community under stress.
In many ways, blacks in Canada have made great strides in recent decades. But in other ways, they've seen little progress since the 1950s.
As a group, black Canadians are poorer, less educated, less healthy, more likely to be unemployed or in jail than virtually every other racial or ethnic community.
Nowhere is this lack of progress more evident than when it comes to racially motivated hate crimes.
Blacks are the third-largest visible minority in Canada, exceeded only by the Chinese and South Asian communities. And yet 48 per cent of the victims of racially motivated hate crime are black. By comparison, at a distant 13 per cent, South Asians are the second most frequent victims of such crime.
What's worse, anti-black hate crime is on the rise, according to Statistics Canada data.
Hate crimes can include graffiti, oral comments, vandalism, arson, assault, even murder. Incidents can take place at work, in schools, shopping malls and hockey arenas.
I tried to find some followup info on this conference but was unsucessful. In the absence of followup material I thought I might look at the comments to get some kind of feedback on how people were reacting to this conference but - guess what? Anyway I hope this post will help to generate some interest in conditions addressed by the participants of the conference, peace.