Building inclusive communities

York Regional Police encouraged community members to celebrate diversity and help it build inclusive communities at its 17th annual commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The theme of the April 7 event was Building Social Cohesion and Inclusive Communities. It was held at the Markham Event Centre and hosted by Pastor Dr. Mansfield Edwards, President of Planet Africa.

The Biindigen Healing and Arts Sacred Spirit Dancers, Northern Legs Southern Fists, the Irish Dance Studio, Nirkoda Israeli Dancers of Toronto, reggae singer Jay Douglas and Niro Dance Creations were all slated to perform.

“This event provides an opportunity for our community partners to join with us in a celebration of our diversity and to collectively reaffirm our commitment to the eradication of prejudice and all forms of discrimination,” YRP said in a statement announcing the event.

In 1966, the United Nations declared March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in a bid to increase awareness around the issues of racism and discrimination. On that day in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against apartheid pass laws. Canada was among the first countries to formally recognize the declaration when it proclaimed the day in 1989.

Photo courtesy of York Regional Police.

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