ms. fresh fish

International Day for the Elimination of Racism
March 21, 2006, 6:21 pm
Filed under: general

Yesterday, I had a bad day. I woke up late; upon placing my contact lens into my eye, I had a feeling akin to someone (evil) stabbing me in the eye with a burning rod leading me to scream and then cry for five minutes; my hairdryer ceased functioning halfway through “hair time”; I forgot my pass for work; and as I sat myself at my conference, I felt a run in my stockings slowly start from my foot – its eventual growth above the boot-line a threat I feared for the remainder of the day.

Today, as they say, was a whole, new, wonderful day! I woke up early, went for a good run, and got inspired! The inspiration arose out of a conference organized by Justice Canada in honour of this International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

The speakers were amazing, inspiring, brave and non-bureaucratic. Here’s a highlight of quotes from the speakers.

Justice Kofi Barnes (amazing, amazing speaker): “Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done”… “All forms of barriers should serve as inspiration.”

Senator Vivienne Poy: (Paraphrasing) There would be an increase of $13B in personal income in the Canadian economy if people of visible minorities with the same education were payed as much as those of European heritage.

Errol P. Mendes: Understanding diversity is key. His short “definition” of diversity sees it as an ongoing process wherein you must become comfortable where/when you’re uncomfortable and once you’ve become comfortable, you must get yourself uncomfortable.

A participant in the audience who was an important figure in bringing down the Apartheid (the reason for which this day exists), noted that Canada’s employment equity policies and the Charter were used by South Africa post-Apartheid. South Africa, while still consumed with horrible issues, has made amazing leaps and bounds in the last 10 years, partly a result of this attention to the Canadian approach. Goes to show, it’s amazing what you can happen with a little bit of ACTION to accompany the WORDS.

Say it with me people, it’s all about political will.


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