TORONTO, November 4, 1999 - A unique set of community, business and broadcast partners are coming together today to launch the Unite Against Racism campaign, the largest and most diverse anti-racism campaign of its kind in Canadian history.
"We want to engage Canadians in a national dialogue about racism," says the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, chair of the Foundation and a former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. "We want Canadians to fight racism wherever it rears its ugly head in schools, in hockey rinks, in workplaces, and on the street."
"We believe that this campaign will raise public awareness about the importance of breaking down stereotypes and eliminating racism," says Lesya Balych, Vice President, Workplace Equality, Bank of Montreal, one of the major partners in this campaign. "Overall the campaign is asking Canadians to examine their biases and value diversity."
Video artists in each region of the country are producing ads that will air on both national and local television. The launch will feature two ads created by video artists Dana Inkster (Atlantic) Rion Gonzales (Ontario). Other ads by Paul Wong (Western Canada), Michael Jarvis (Quebec) and Aboriginal producer, Cynthia Lickers are currently in production.
Starting on December 15th, the Foundation and its partners will be running 30 and 60-second television ads on CBC/Radio Canada, cfmt, TVO/tfo and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Posters, stickers, a study guide and a 30-minute video will also be distributed throughout Canada.
Toronto soul/fusion group Blaxäm will perform the campaign song, "Our Song" at the launch and be joined by more than 20 campaign partners. David Lau from cfmt and Patty Sullivan from TVO Kids, will perform emcee duties. The launch will also include appearances by celebrity guests and other entertainment.
The launch of the "See people for who they really are. Unite Against Racism." campaign will be held in Toronto on:
November 4, 1999 at 1:30 p.m.
Barbara Frum Atrium of the CBC Broadcast Centre
250 Front Street West
Aboriginal People's Television Network Aboriginal Voices, Artists Against Racism, Assembly of First Nations, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Canadian Council for Refugees, Canadian Ethnocultural Council, Canadian Teacher's Federation, cfmt, ChineseCanadian National Council, Council of Christians and Jews, Council on Diversity, EthnoWorks, Harmony Movement TVO/tfo, plus more to be announced at the Launch!
The Foundation has established a Taskforce on Aboriginal Issues that will report to the Foundation's board of directors later this month. The taskforce is providing advice and recommendations on appropriate roles for the Foundation with respect to issues facing Aboriginal peoples in Canada.