NYAN Launches at Calgary Conference Theme: Educate! Mobilize! Resist!
The conference, under the theme "Educate! Mobilize! Resist!" will allow participants to be informed on critical antiracism issues in Canada, sharing strategies, taking action and network and alliance building. The official launch takes place Friday, March 18th at 7 pm. The CRRF's Youth Award of Excellence in antiracism practices will be presented on Saturday, March19th at 6 pm.
"We are very pleased and excited about this conference. It has been a challenging road getting this far and, it certainly feels good to be at this stage," said Beenash Jafri, the CRRF's youth coordinator, who is also coordinating the Calgary conference. "Coming out of this conference we will have a better and stronger sense of how and where youth can and should contribute to the ongoing struggle against racism."
In October 2002, the Foundation convened a national conference in Edmonton to develop specific recommendations for the overall national antiracism plan of action. Youth delegates began their process by formulating a number of recommendations, including asking the Foundation to support the development of a network of youth involved in antiracism. Youth delegates then began laying the foundation for the upcoming conference at the 2003 Award of Excellence Symposium in Toronto. An interactive website, www.nyan.ca, has been established to facilitate the national network's growth.
"It is critical that not only should youth have a significant voice in the struggle against racism, but also that non-youth ensure that youth voices are heard and taken into account," said Pat Case, Chair of the CRRF. "It is clear that the fight against racism is ongoing and the youth perspective must be a part of the struggle."
"We are very pleased to be able to support and help to facilitate the development of NYAN," added Dr. Karen Mock, the Foundation's executive director. "We wish we were able to widen the participation of more youth delegates at this important conference. Nevertheless, we are grateful for the additional support of Alberta Association for Multicultural Education, the Calgary Foundation, Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Education Fund, Canadian Labour Congress, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and Passages to Canada (The Dominion Institute) as well as our partners Youth ROAR, Calgary Ethnocultural Council and the Committee on Race Relations and Cross Cultural Understanding.Working together is what it's all about."
The conference opens on Friday, March 18th at 7pm at the Ramada Hotel, 708 - 8 Ave. S.W., downtown Calgary.