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"NARRC" Black Coalition of Québec August 18-25 2007

May 24, 2007

The Black Coalition of Quebec will mark a week in remembrance of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its abolition, where one hundred million African slaves perished through the Middle Passage. Also this year, we will commemorate two hundred years since the declaration by Britain that slavery would be abolished in its colonies.

A variety of activities will be organized during the week from 18 to 25 August 2007:

In collaboration with the City of Montreal, we will be holding a moment of reflection, on August 23, in remembrance of the Trans-Atlantic Salve Trade. We invite community organizations to participate, or organize its own activities so that society as a whole would be sensitized.

We would also like to inform you that a commemorative booklet will be published to give an overview of the tragedy of slavery, and would also provide a schedule for the week’s events. We will be honoured if you would place an ad in this booklet to support our efforts and make your institution known to us. We sent an attached formula for you to fill and return no later than July 16, 2007. We thank you for your collaboration and support.

Yours truly.

Dan Philip

President- NARCC



For immediate release

Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) responds

to UN body’s criticism of the use of “visible minorities 

Term implies homogeneity of racism experiences while classifying them as “the other”,

says Executive Director

Toronto, June 14, 2007:  The Canadian Race Relations Foundation has submitted a commentary to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) supporting, in principle, its observation that the use of the term “visible minority” by Canada implies that those so classified are “the other” and that there is homogeneity of experiences among them.  The Foundation, instead, recommends that Canada discontinue its use and use the term “racialized” persons or groups because it better reflects the realities of racism.

“The CRRF believes that the term ‘visible minority’ is no longer appropriate, in today’s context, because it oversimplifies the experiences of racism,” observes Dr. Ayman Al-Yassini, Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. “When it was originally coined, it had a specific purpose: to identify groups of people, who were disadvantaged, for special corrective measures. It still has that purpose within the Employment Equity Act, but it takes on a different interpretation when used outside of that area.”

In reviewing Canada’s report, the CERD asked Canada to “reflect further, in line with article 1, paragraph 1 of the Convention, on the implications of the use of the term ‘visible minorities’ in referring to ‘persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non‑Caucasian in race or non‑white in colour’”.

The CRRF response notes that there is value in the use of “visible minorities” such as: It does identify a group of people who have been the target of racism and racial discrimination vis a vis a dominant group; it facilitates an all-encompassing language for those targeted with racism and racial discrimination, and it provides an opportunity to capture quantitative data on non-White and non-Aboriginal, data that would be otherwise unavailable.

On the other hand, the term places those who are so branded on the margins – a sense of inferiority in relation to the dominant group, with a feeling of permanency. The term “visible minority” also assumes a commonality of experiences, that all racial groups in the category experience racism and discrimination equally, including the application of gender, age and class among other things.

“The term also ignores or denies the sense of identity associated with country of origin, race and culture. The fact is that the term, as it is now used, essentially removes the impact of racism from its meaning,” added Yassini.

“It is for these reasons that the Foundation urges that the term “racialized” individuals/groups be used. It places the matter of race as a social construct front and centre, reflecting more honestly the power relationship - economic, social, political and cultural - implicit in racism and racial discrimination.”


The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) was founded as part of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement to shed light on the causes and manifestations of racism and to play a leading role in the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and in bringing about a more harmonious Canada. The CRRF has registered charitable status and has Special NGO Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.


Patrick Hunter, CRRF Communications, 416-952-8359, or cell: 416-473-5062

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