With one of the highest proportions of visible minorities in Canada, in an urban environment known for its civility and tolerance world-wide, we might expect Peel region to be a haven for tolerance. Unfortunately racicm persists, particularly when it comes to jobs. New advocacy NGO E-Race,founded by educator Ranjit Khatkur, wants to make this blight a thing of the past and recognize diversity as a strength, not a handicap. She called on South Asians to speak out about the prejudice they experience, from a place of courage. As an example of current bad practices in the region she spoke of a Mississauga Inclusion and Diversity Committee that was established but did nothing for a long period. Finally, and fortunately, it is moving ahead, Ranjit reported.
TorontotheBetter's Taodhg [aka Tim] Burns was pleased to accept an invitation to speak at the recent launch of E-Race at the Frank Mckechnie Community Centre in Mississauga.and cited his experience in Singapore, where an inclusive approach to development turned a small city-state without many natural resources and with three major ethnic groups and religious affiliations, into one of the most prosperous countries in the world, with an average standard of living higher than Canada's.
Among others who that spoke were Satwinder Gosal who, among other lessons from Canada's past, reminded the audience of former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's involvement in a racist Canadian government bureaucracy that imposed unequal head taxes on South Asian immigrants and denied them the right to vote until 1947. For his part, Navi Sandhu noted the imbalance between the high percentage of South Asians in Peel region generally, and Brampton in particular, in contrast to their single representative on the Municipal Council and School Board. All pointed out the need for organization to change things while Rita Kohli called for anti-racist solidarity with indigenous groups.
TorontotheBetter celebrates inclusive enterprises as productive organizations, both socially and economically.