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Government and Media Corporations Can Assist Anti-Racism Efforts
March 21, 2006 -- For Immediate Release
Toronto/Vancouver - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21 in tribute to the Sharpeville Massacre, when the South African police fired at an anti-apartheid demonstration, killing sixty-nine (69) people. Eliminating racial discrimination is an ongoing effort and governments and media corporations must do their part.
The multiple patterns of racism which manifest, such as racialized poverty, racial profiling, racism as it intersects with gender, disability and Aboriginality demonstrate that people in Canada continue to be victimized because of the colour of their skin. "Insults in schools, selective attention to crimes and unequal requirements to hire people for government positions all occur on a daily basis and must be confronted," said Estella Muyinda, executive director of the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada (NARCC) based in Toronto.
To demonstrate leadership, governments have to articulate their vision of a non-racist Canada in which racialized group members are no longer marginalized and their contribution is recognized. The Vision must reflect a Canada where racialized group members have access to justice, meaningful employment in areas in which they are trained and the eradication of poverty. The media needs to continue to foster relationships with racialized community group members, reflect the contribution and productivity of racialized communities and depict constructive images and stories as it does with other Canadians.
"The NARCC resolution on media calls on the government to involve Canadians and corporations, particularly media providers, to use their influence to eliminate racial discrimination in our communities and across the country," said Kemi Jacobs, President of NARCC.
The Media Resolution is one of nine resolutions passed at a NARCC gathering in Ottawa last November prior to the federal election. Resolutions were developed on concerns including immigration, justice, aboriginal judicial appointments, health, employment and poverty. NARCC sought counsel from Vancouver-based Community Media Education Society (CMES), which noted relevant recommendations from the Commons' Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (Lincoln Report 2003) could assist anti-racism efforts.
Organized in 2001, NARCC is a network of national and community-based groups with a shared vision of racial equality. NARCC has close to 100 organization members including national groups such as the Canadian Council for Refugees, Chinese Canadian National Council, Canadian Arab Federation as well as local community organizations including ACCESS, Urban Alliance on Race Relations and Black Coalition of Quebec.
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Estella Muyinda, National Anti-Racism Council of
Sid Tan, Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality
and Solidarity (ACCESS)-
Kemi Jacobs, Canadian Council for Refugees, (CCR)
RESOLUTION ON MEDIA
Whereas the Lincoln Report - Our Cultural Sovereignty: The Second Century of Canadian Broadcasting - was submitted to the House of Commons in 2003; and
Whereas the recommendations in the sections referring to: a) community
television, b) Canadian content,
Be it resolved that NARCC calls on the Government of Canada to immediately implement the relevant recommendations of the Lincoln Report.
Be it further resolved that NARCC calls on the Government of Canada to introduce regulations to require that Canadian media outlets inclusive of print, radio and television carry a minimum of 10% of racial, cultural and ethnic content.
Be it further resolved that this content must contain positive and educational stories about the localized or cultural communities, and to promote the positive aspects of racial, cultural and ethnic communities.
Be it further resolved that such content be developed and created by members of racial, cultural and ethnic communities and be published and distributed with other cultural and arts content.
Be it further resolved that the Government of Canada create and adequately fund an agency independent of the Government and media corporations to monitor, investigate and impose sanctions upon any media outlet that is found to be responsible for publishing, broadcasting and distributing content that is harmful, abusive or conveys negative messages about racial, ethnic or cultural communities.