Ontario Human Rights Commission launches online anti-racism course

Published On March 22, 2018 | By HN Staff | International, News, Politics

Keysha Watson

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has launched an eLearning course designed to raise awareness of the history and impact of racial discrimination in the province.

The eLearning program entitled “Call It Out,” was released Wednesday to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD).

The interactive learning program includes video, and quizzes to trace the legacy of racism throughout history, and aims to foster a culture of human rights in Ontario.

IDERD marks the 58th anniversary of the  Sharpeville massacre that took place on March 21, 1960 in South Africa, where police shot and killed 69 peaceful protestors who had been demonstrating against the country’s system of racial
segregation, known as apartheid.

“Racism and racial discrimination are pervasive and a continuing reality for many Ontarians. This is unacceptable,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane in a statement released Wednesday.

“Before we can stop racial discrimination, we have to understand what racism is and how it can violate human rights. Call It Out is a step in identifying, understanding and ending racism and racial discrimination.”

“The Commission’s new eLearning program is a great resource for identifying and addressing racism,” said Steve Orsini, Head of the Ontario Public Service in the same statement.

“Every member of the Ontario Public Service will have the opportunity to access this training as part of our internal Anti-Racism Policy. By tackling systemic racism head-on, we can achieve our goal of building a more inclusive, equitable and respectful workplace.”

The release of the eLearning course also coincides with their #CallitOut social media campaign that challenges people to speak up when they observe any form of discrimination.

 Humber College had no events celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

However, Jodie Glean, Manager of Human Rights, Equity & Diversity at Humber College said the school is making an extensive effort to combat racism both on-and-off campus.

“There has been quite a bit of increased organizational programing that has really supported raising awareness and creating educational opportunities, such as the Bridge program and the Aboriginal resource center.”

Glean said the zero tolerance policy for racism along with various resources available to support students make Humber College a safe environment.

“Acts of racial discrimination are a direct violation of Humber’s Human Rights policy,” she said.

“Humber has a number of  programming in place in various offices including human resources student center for human rights, the student department, and Ignite which have collectively done amazing work in raising awareness and putting forth the advocacy in addressing racial discrimination.”

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