Our Business Plan for 2009-2010 adopted a two-pronged approach: we focused on rationalization and streamlining of activities and projects, and increased and strengthened partnerships with like-minded institutions in fulfilment of our strategic plan. For example, we temporarily suspended the Initiatives Against Racism program and replaced it with a series of Round Table discussions designed to take place in various locations across the country with the objective of addressing current issues of anti-racism and discrimination in a timely and targeted manner. We have also converted the release of our publications, including the Annual Report, into electronic or CD format. In addition to these efforts to minimize our environmental ‘footprint’, we are making our publications further available to a larger audience through cost-efficient means.
In recognition of the Foundation’s credibility and expertise, we received an invitation to speak a major meeting organized by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Yaounde, Cameroon. Unfortunately, we were unable to fulfill this invitation due to prior commitments. However, the CRRF played a major role at a number of other key events. For example, we hosted the visit of a senior delegation from the People’s Republic of China, which examined the Foundation’s role in anti-racism and discrimination advocacy and training, and the promotion of Canadian identity. Our Chair, Mr. Albert Lo, participated in this meeting.
In addition, the CRRF was one of the organizers of a major conference in Montreal (EDIT) which brought together government, NGOs and the private sector. Attended by the Quebec Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Honourable Yolande James, the conference presented best practices of the private sector with regard to benefitting from the diversity of Quebec society. The CRRF also participated with the Federated Press in Toronto in chairing a conference on Diversity at the Workplace.
Over the course of this last year, we increased our commitment to the design and delivery of education and training programs. Through the initiative of the Foundation’s well-respected former Board member, Dr. Inez Elliston, the CRRF coordinated and released a major publication dealing with the management of diversity. We distributed this publication to our stakeholders, including relevant federal and provincial agencies. We also delivered a number of training programs to school boards and other organizations and entities across Canada, and participated as presenters in a number of conferences.
Our commitment to research and publications was also maintained through the release of two CRRF-funded research projects dealing with gender, race and employment. We will release these two studies in a special issue of Directions dealing with the same topic.
Finally, we are quite pleased with the increase in media acknowledgment and coverage of the Foundation’s achievements in promoting its work.. Through our media releases and frequent interviews, we were better able to promote the message of a strengthened Canadian identity and anti-racism advocacy.
Our successes over the past year were made possible because of the commitment of CRRF Board, staff and volunteers, and our ongoing association with you, our stakeholders. As we approach the end of 2009, we welcome two new staff members, Alexia Dyer, Manager of Education and Training, and Aren Sarikyan, Project Associate. We also welcome a new intern Anna Ronaghi. More challenges will confront us in the coming year, but we are certain that, by working together, we will be assured of continued success!!!