Alberta Human Rights Information Service March 11, 2011

March 21 is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually in commemoration of the 69 people killed by police at a peaceful anti-apartheid demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa. In proclaiming the day in 1966, the United Nations called on the international community to increase its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

Events marking March 21

Communities across the world will mark this significant day and in doing so will focus attention on the harmful effects of racism and the need to promote racial harmony. In Alberta, a number of community events have been organized throughout the month of March. Workshops, presentations, competitions and other activities will help Albertans reflect on their role in tackling racism in their communities.

Albertans are encouraged to participate in the many events and activities taking place. Read more about March 21.

Read the Government of Alberta information bulletin for further information about the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

As Albertans celebrate this significant day in various forms across the province, we are reminded that combating racism and all other forms of discrimination is a year-round effort.

Across Alberta, communities and organizations are working hard to combat racism and discrimination and helping to build welcoming and inclusive communities and workplaces. The Alberta Human Rights Commission supports Albertans by resolving complaints of discrimination and providing education programs and services. The grounds of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin and religious belief accounted for 18 per cent of all grounds cited in human rights complaints opened by the Commission in 2009-2010.

The Commission continues to engage in partnership initiatives to support Alberta communities in their efforts to build inclusive communities.

Ten municipalities in Alberta-most recently the City of Wetaskiwin in August 2010-have joined the Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD). CMARD is a UNESCO-led initiative and is championed by the Commission in Alberta. Each CMARD member has made a commitment to follow key principles in order to combat racism and discrimination and help build welcoming and inclusive communities and workplaces. Municipalities are taking active steps to meet their commitments. Read the complete list of CMARD members.

The Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) Initiative, a partnership between the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Alberta Human Rights Commission and Culture and Community Spirit, is supporting CMARD members and other Alberta communities by increasing their capacity to build welcoming and inclusive communities. Currently 14 Alberta municipalities are part of the Provincial Network of WIC.

Albertans are invited to learn more about and encourage their local communities to get involved in initiatives such as CMARD and WIC to support the goal of a truly inclusive Alberta.

Visit the Alberta Human Rights Commission
website to learn more about its programs and services, including initiatives such as CMARD and WIC.

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The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta.

Due to confidentiality concerns, the Commission cannot reply to complaints of discrimination by email. Please contact the Commission by phone or regular mail if you have a specific complaint.

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