March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 15, 2017

Since its inception, the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) has been a leader on human rights issues that affect not only our members, but all members of society. In 2015, ONA launched a human rights and equity initiative to champion human rights causes even further and to highlight major human rights and equity observances, including the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Each year on March 21, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) joins with individuals, labour unions and other organizations around the world to recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Since the United Nations (UN) initiative was launched in 1966, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has been a part of the global fight to end all forms of racism and racial discrimination. It commemorates the lives of 69 people who were killed in 1960 while participating in a peaceful demonstration against apartheid in Sharpeville, South Africa.

In the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity to renew our commitment to building a world of justice and equality, where xenophobia and bigotry do not exist. We must learn the lessons of history and acknowledge the profound damage caused by racial discrimination.”

The theme for 2017 is Racial profiling and incitement to hatred, including in the context of migration.  Refugees and migrants are particular targets of racial profiling and incitement to hatred. In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted in September 2016, United Nations Member States strongly condemned acts and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance against refugees and migrants, and committed to a range of steps to counter such attitudes and behaviours, particularly regarding hate crimes, hate speech and racial violence.

The UN Human Rights Office is asking people around the world to Stand up for Someone's Rights Today. The campaign, launched on Human Rights Day 2016, aims to encourage and support actions in our daily lives to defend the human rights of others.

Events

ONA encourages members, their families and friends to join us in marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Now is the time to start preparing to attend an event in your community.

Because public events allow us to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to human rights before large public audiences, ONA will coordinate and fund registration fees for Locals/Bargaining Units that plan to participate, and where there are more than 40 member participants, an appropriate float/vehicle. Also remember that locals can apply for political action monies under policy 26.11 to Vicki McKenna before the event. Contact your bargaining unit president or local coordinator for more information.

If you or your Local will be celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in your community, please let us know by emailing webmaster@ona.org. ONA will post the details here for other members. We also invite you to submit any photos from your event - be sure to include the names and Local number with your submission.

See below for details about 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination events:
Check back soon as the event listing will be updated as information becomes available.

ONA Resources:

ONA is committed to being an inclusive and equitable organization that recognizes membership diversity. Visit our Human Rights & Equity webpage to learn about the work being done by our Human Rights & Equity Team and to access valuable resources. Check out our updated FAQ guides for ONA members and leaders to help recognize and deal with racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Watch ONA's "Human Rights and Equity Caucus" video and learn more about the role we play in promoting equity and diversity for our members in the workplace and in the Union.

More Resources:

Learn more about the history of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the United Nations webpage.

Materials:

ONA has prepared English and French versions of our International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination poster.  Click on the document name below and download the PDF of your choosing. Below you will find two versions of the poster: a generic poster (PDF) and one with a blank space at the bottom (Word), which Locals can customize with their own message and/or event details. Click on the document name below and download the PDF or Word document of your choosing.

We have also created this shareable image that you can download and post to your social media accounts. Show your support and spread the word about this important day!

ona_March21Shareable_2017

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