CommUnity – The Power of One event set for March 19th

  • Mar. 9, 2016 3:30 p.m.

Co-hosted by a number of local community agencies, ‘CommUnity – The Power of One’ is set to run March 19th at the Radisson Hotel in Red Deer.

Folks are invited to commemorate the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by taking in key note speakers, a panel discussion and workshops at the free event.

Speakers include Danika Littlechild and Dr. Darren Lund and the panel discussion will be led by former Red Deer mayor Morris Flewwelling.

Sessions will focus on various topics including understanding the truth and reconciliation process, dispelling myths about refugees, working through internal bias, acquiring tools to respond to racial discrimination and ending discrimination in the workplace.

This event is an exciting opportunity to gather hundreds of diverse people of different cultures, backgrounds and professions, like–minded or not, to create an experience in which they are empowered, inspired and motivated in an environment of raised awareness and learning, said Jan Underwood, a member of the planning committee and the public awareness coordinator at C.A.R.E.

“We hope to build relationships, break down barriers, help people to learn and develop understanding of each other, to rise above bias, prejudice and discrimination,” she said.

“Our goal is for people to take away tools and resources to use for best practices in any workplace, school, organization; to empower people to be able to make a difference and find solutions, to create welcoming and inclusive environments everywhere, in a safe community as individuals and as a community to make a positive difference. CommUnity – The Power of One is about one individual or one community working towards the same goal – the elimination of racial discrimination.

“We are also hoping it will inspire and motivate people, and that they will come away from it feeling pro-active.”

She added that the event is also about celebrating the diversity that is within the City.

Lund is a professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary where his research examines social justice activism.

He earned a PhD from the University of British Columbia and was a Red Deer high school teacher for 16 years. In his rookie year, he formed an award-winning student activist program, Students and Teachers Opposing Prejudice (STOP).

Littlechild was named vice-president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU) in 2014.

She’a a lawyer from the Ermineskin Cree Nation, and practices law with Indigenous peoples in several areas of expertise – governance, indigenous legal systems, environment and international law.

Meanwhile, for more information about the event, a detailed schedule, or to register, check out www.immigrant-centre.ca/community. The cut-off for registrations is March 15th.

Again, there is no charge to attend.

“The impetus for the CommUnity –The Power of One was the idea of providing Central Albertans an opportunity to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by developing a day full of discussion about our biases and how to relate to each other despite them. It is an opportunity for us to widen our circle of influence to be inclusive in our discussions and in our actions,” said Mari Jo Vanidour of Catholic Social Services.

Catholic Social Services, Immigration and Settlement Services, the Central Alberta Refugee Effort, the Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association, the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre, and Red Deer College Campus Rec/Student Life had all been planning events for mid-March, and, in contacting each other realized they would be more effective by collaborating and coming together to demonstrate how a community can dialogue and move forward through its differences.

Register online at www.immigrant-centre.ca/community.

Questions may be sent to sadia.khan@care2centre.ca or by calling the Immigrant Centre at 403-346-8818.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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