DARTMOUTH, March 3, 2000 - Canadian schools must adopt concrete measures to eliminate racism, says the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.
"We know that if young people feel unfairly treated, they may either drop out of school or fight back aggressively and get into real trouble," says Mr. Alexander, a former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. "Our schools must ensure that no student's full potential is wasted because of the barriers created by racism."
Mr. Alexander is speaking at a forum today on the state of anti-racist education in Nova Scotia:
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
(Speeches commence at 10:30 a.m.)
Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
1149 Main Street
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
A panel discussion in the morning will provide a "report card" on the progress that has been made in fighting racism in Nova Scotia schools. The panelists include Brad Barton (Black Educators Association); Mike Whitehouse (Cole Harbour District High School); Sister Dorothy Moore (Mi'kmaq Services Division, Nova Scotia Department of Education); Suling Duong (student); and Bryson Sylliboy (student).
Another panel discussion in the afternoon will examine various models of anti-racist and human rights education. The panelists at this session include Lorna Crawley-Mulaloni (Black Educators Association); Sylvia Parris (Multicultural Education Council of Nova Scotia); Lorraine Smith Collins (Mi'kmaq Services Division, Nova Scotia Department of Education); and Professor Katherine Covell (Children's Rights Centre, University College of Cape Breton).
The Foundation will also be releasing a research report by Professor Covell and Professor Brian Howe, who also works at the Children's Rights Centre at UCCB. With funding from the Foundation, the researchers developed a curriculum for teaching grade eight students about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The curriculum was pilot tested in the grade eight classrooms of six schools in the Cape Breton - Victoria Regional School Board.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (www.crr.ca) opened its doors in November, 1997. It operates at arm's length from the federal government and works at the forefront of efforts to combat racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canada.
The Foundation focuses its anti-racism work in three areas: education, employment, and youth. Today's event in Nova Scotia is part of a series of forums being organized by the Foundation on racism in education. The next forum will be held in Winnipeg this summer and will examine the barriers faced by Aboriginal students in the education system.
The Foundation recently launched the largest anti-racism campaign of its kind in Canadian history. It is currently running 30 and 60-second television ads on both national and local television. Posters, stickers, a 30-minute video and a study guide will also be distributed throughout Canada.