As part of our continued commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion Unifor will be convening a special National Roundtable on Racism & Islamophobia on Thursday, August 16th, 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the lead-up to our annual Canada Council Meeting. Bringing together representatives from a variety of social justice organizations, grassroots advocacy groups, labour activists, academics, and government representatives, our goal of this roundtable is to engage in an open discussion about the role of the labour movement in combatting racism, and how we can forge better alliances with activists and organizations that are leading the fight against racial and religious intolerance.
Our desire is for attendees to leave with some concrete strategies and tools they can bring to their workplaces and communities and leave them feeling motivated, inspired, and supported to become active anti-racist allies and activists. We encourage you to attend this very important event.
Our panelists for this roundtable include:
Jafri is also a Consulting Associate with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and has served as the Executive Director of the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) from September 2007 to August 2017. The OFC’s mandate is to ensure that anyone applying for licensure to practice in a regulated profession in Ontario is treated fairly regardless of where they were educated.
Being employed as a Federal Public Service employee for over 30 years and her extensive experience in the Canadian labour movement enabled Lynn to be a leader in areas Black people had never ventured before. This includes being the first Black General Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress and National Vice-President of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union. Jones is the recipient of the Queen’s Medal and chair of the Global African Congress Nova Scotia Chapter, an organization which seeks reparations for the atrocities of the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Ladd has worked to support and develop community organizing spaces and grassroots organizations such as Migrant Workers’ Alliance for Change, Decent Work and Health Network and Ontario’s Fight for $15 and Fairness. She is also one of the founders and a coordinator of the Toronto Workers’ Action Centre. The Workers’ Action Centre organizes to improve wages and working conditions with low-waged workers, women, racialized and immigrant workers in precarious jobs that face discrimination, violations of rights and no benefits in the workplace.
About the roundtable:
Unifor strongly believes that the labour movement has a key role to play in the fight against racism and Islamophobia. We have worked hard over the years to ensure that anti-racism, equity, and social justice are at the very root of everything that we do. We often pride ourselves in thinking that the problems that exist in other countries in terms of racism and anti-immigrant hostility, do not happen here. However, as recent events in Canada have shown, we are not immune.
In just the past few years we have witnessed mosques being vandalized and the tragic shooting deaths of six Muslim Canadians in Quebec City; the murders of two Indigenous youths from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine, and a system that has failed to bring justice for their families and communities; organized white supremacist rallies in our cities and at our borders targeting immigrants and refugees, and anti-black racism, police violence, and racial profiling of youth and people of colour.
While we are saddened and angered by these tragic events, we know we need to do more. The labour movement needs to do more. We must show a unified front against all individuals and groups that seek to divide us and who actively threaten Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, Muslims, migrants and refugees. We must work to not only find ways to better support our allies and partners who are leading this fight at the local and national level, but also find ways to support our members who want to become anti-racist and migrant justice advocates in their workplaces and communities.
Please contact the Director of Human Rights Christine Maclin Christine.Maclin@unifor.org for further details.
Unifor Canada Council delegates, family members, and special guest invitees will be in attendance for this event. To participate, and to ensure a spot at this event, please complete the registration form. Please return completed forms to Catarina.Xhuli@unifor.org or fax to 416-495-3764 no later than Thursday, August 2, 2018.
Unifor seeks to make all union events accessible and barrier free. If you require accommodations for human rights related needs, we invite you to provide us with your relevant information so that we can take all reasonable steps to address any barriers to your participation in your Union.
Child care is available for children 0 – 12 years of age, of eligible delegates during the conference hours only, if numbers permit. Delegates will be eligible for child care providing they are a single parent, or a parent not accompanied by a spouse or companion. Where both parents are registered delegates, they will also qualify for child care. Child care registration forms are enclosed. Please make your child care reservations as early as possible.