2018-2019 CRRF Annual Public Meeting

 22nd Canadian Race Relations Foundation Annual Public Meeting

Saturday November 2, 2019 – 5.00 PM Toronto Time

 In Person Meeting, 

6 Garamond Court/cour, Suite 225 Toronto Ontario M3C 1Z5

CRRF Executive Director Lilian Ma
The CRRF Executive Director Lilian Ma greets guests with a Land Acknowledgment and recaps the Foundations ongoing programs.
CRRF Chairperson Lilian Ma
The Foundation's Chairperson, Teresa Woo-Paw, looks at the challenges ahead and thanks the Finance & Audit Committee for their Financial Report. 



Chairperson: Teresa Woo-Paw

Executive Director: Lilian Ma

Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee: Moses Gashirabake

Director, Finance and Administration: Arsalan Tavassoli


Public: Invited through Eventbrite announcement and posting the event in the CRRF website. Also broadcasted via Twitter & Facebook.

Board members: Gina Valle, Alicia Damley, Art Miki, Anne-Marie Pham, Roy Pogorzelski.

Staff:  Meg Mochizuki, Sharon Pun, Alisa Lu, Suvaka Priyatharsan, Jean-François Pagé

Volunteer : Saleha Forugue

Consultant: Len Rudner

  1. Welcome & opening remarks by Chairperson

Teresa Woo-Paw, Chairperson, welcomed the participants and thanked them for attending the event. She stated that this annual event also coincides with our 22nd anniversary of the CRRF as an organization and Canada’s leading agency dedicated to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society. She also expressed a heartfelt thank you to the dedicated staff of the CRRF and also to its extensive national network of consultants, advisors, partners and volunteers. She reported that:

  • Tt is truly remarkable what has been achieve with so little over the last twelve months.

As some of you may know, in 1988, the Government of Canada and the National Association of Japanese Canadians signed the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement. Under the terms of this important agreement, the federal government also promised to create a Canadian Race Relations Foundation, which would "foster racial harmony and cross-cultural understanding and help to eliminate racism."

  • Looking at the events of the last twelve months, it is easy to be discouraged by the issues that we face as Canadians. Truth be told, these are global issues and the trends are indeed alarming - political upheaval, spikes in racist incidents, increases in hate crimes and the collective rise in extremism has caused many in racialized communities to doubt and question their inclusion in Canadian society.
  1. Highlights of CRRF’s activities by Executive Director

Lilian Ma, Executive Director, greets guests with a Land Acknowledgment and recaps the Foundations ongoing programs. She reported that:

  • Please feel free to review our annual report, here on the table – it is also available online in French and English.
  • Last year has been challenging but the CRRF remains stalwart in our mission. We have achieved much and forged strong alliances and partnerships that will yield meaningful results.
  • We are quite proud of our many achievements in 2018/19 fiscal year – which include among other things hosting a successful Awards of Excellence Gala in Winnipeg, partnering and leading initiatives with many like-minded agencies such as the Mosaic Institute, the Centre for Civic Religious Literacy, the Urban Alliance for Race Relations, The National Association of Japanese Canadians and others.
  • These events, workshops and panel discussions spread from Toronto, to Winnipeg, to Calgary, Halifax and more. We also greatly expanded our online presence to facilitate reaching more Canadians. We revamped our website, ran successful webinars, streamed our Canada Lecture and are growing our social media presence daily.
  1. Financial presentation by the Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee and CRRF Director, Finance and Administration

Moses Gashirabake, Chair of our Finance & Audit Committee spoke on some highlights of the CRRF current financial status and standing.

Arsalan Tavassoli, Director of Finance and Administration reviewed the CRRF 2018/19 fiscal year financial state-of-affairs and informed the participants that he could answer to any questions they might have regarding the Foundation’s financial statements and resources.

  1. Feedback from public and the questions and answers period

There were no questions from the public attendees and other participants.

  1. Closing remarks by Chairperson

Teresa Woo-Paw thanked the participants and stated that:

  • Current events here and abroad have certainly had an impact on our Canadian society that will reverberate for some time. Racism, hate speech, discrimination & extremism – all are now commonplace, every day topics that, just a decade or so ago – used to be just occasional news blurbs. These challenges to healthy and productive race relations, some would argue, threaten the very fabric of Canadian society, as we know it.
  • There is an opportunity for growth, for dialogue, for expansion and leadership. In addition, this is where I see the role of CRRF. The work of this Foundation has never been more important, and indeed I and indeed I intend to steward the CRRF over the next year to help the country heal, learn and move forward. We cannot do this alone, of course, and so will look to take a broader role and expand our partnerships. This year, the CRRF has embarked on a thorough strategic planning initiative to re-align the Foundation’s priorities for the years ahead. We plan to establish the CRRF as a thought-leader in the anti-racism space and as a positive convener for race relations in Canada.
  • I have high hopes and higher expectations of the Foundation for 2019 and onwards. We will defend our vision of an inclusive Canada that can be free from racism and discrimination and ensure a meaningful progress towards achieving our mission. We will coordinate and cooperate with all sectors of society, and develop partnerships with relevant agencies and organizations at the local, provincial and national levels; I hope you will join us on our journey.
  1. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6.15 PM

CRRF Board members and advisors
CRRF Board, top left-to-right: Gina Valle, Alicia Damley, Lilian Ma & Moses Gashirabake.
Bottom left-to-right: Art Miki, Anne-Marie Pham, Teresa Woo-Paw & Roy Pogorzelski.
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