News and Events: 2013 Black History Month
“From the Past to the Present the Struggle Continues”
Black History Month is a time to acknowledge historical figures and movements that contributed to the struggle for all against social injustice and inequality.
In acknowledging the legacy of racialized Canadians who have been at the forefront of the struggle for democracy, the OPSEU Workers of Colour Caucus recognizes the achievements of Black Canadians like Mary Ann Shadd, Marie-Joseph Angelique, Viola Desmond, Richard Pierpoint, Rosemary Brown, Afua Cooper, and Sherona Hall—just to name a few. These and many more racialized Canadians were leaders of great vision, courage and democratic conviction. Theirs was a movement of everyday people that put the issues and struggles of working people at its center.
In the current social and political environment of so-called austerity, racialized Canadians continue to face the greatest inequalities. Racialized men earn 68.7 cents to every dollar that their non-racialized counterparts make and and racialized women earn 56.5 per cent to every dollar.
Multiple studies have documented the link between unemployment, precarious work and extremely negative health outcomes. Racialized communities have been the hardest hit. Black males living in Toronto also face greater police surveillance and are three times more likely to be carded by the police than their non-racailized counterparts.
In 2011, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concerns about the state of racial discrimination in Canada. The report cited the growing socio-economic gaps among ethnic groups, racial profiling and over-representation of racialized groups in prisons as pressing issues.
The OPSEU Workers of Colour Caucus urges all of us to use Black History Month as a time for personal and critical reflection, for organizing and mobilizing against systems of inequality and intolerance. By engaging locals with regional, national and global sectors and working across many issues—pay inequity, poverty, racism, homelessness and police brutality—black history reminds us that racial justice and equality can be a goal for all.
OPSEU Black History Month Celebration
Come out to this special celebration event for Black History Month sponsored by the Workers of Colour Caucus and the Region 5 Workers of Colour Caucus.
Date: February 23, 2013
Time: 1 pm to 4 pm
Place: OPSEU Wellesley Street Membership Centre, 31 Wellesley Street East, Toronto
Guest Speaker: Dr. Walter Borden
Dr. Walter Borden has been invited a Keynote Speaker. Dr. Borden is the recipient of the Order of Canada ; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal ; the Portia White Prize ; and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award to name just a few of his many achievements.
For more about Dr. Borden download his bio.
OPSEU Black History Month Forum
2013 Public Service Alliance of Canada Black History Month Forum: “Where is Our Obama”?
The Workers of Colour encourage members to attend PSAC’s forum in celebration of Black History Month racialized community and labour organizations (Workers of Colour Caucus – OPSEU, Racially Visible Committee – PSAC, Latin American Trade Unionists Coalition – LATUC, Asian Canadian Labour Alliance – ACLC, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists – CBTA & the Ontario Federation of Labour) are co-sponsoring an event titled "Where is our Obama?" with the objective of mobilizing racialized workers including young workers for the upcoming 2015 Federal Election.
Harper intends to win a majority government by adding additional ridings in the GTA. As one community partner put it: "We need to reflect upon and learn from what African-Americans and Latinos did in the past elections in USA. It is the right time for our communities and organizations to engage in the political struggle in a more direct way. As labour legend Cesar Chaves said "Yes, it can be done!!! Si Se Puede!!!" A majority of workers in the GTA are now racialized and have the power to stop Harper if we mobilize. Let's start the conversation.
Mark your calendar with the following event details:
Event: Where's Our Obama – Black History Month
Date: February 28th, 2013
Location: Large Boardroom, Public Service Alliance of Canada
Address: 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 608
Time: 6:00PM – 8:30PM
RSVP By: February 21st, 2013 via email PSAC_Toronto_ Mail@psac.com
Mark Brown has been invited as a Keynote Speaker. Mark Brown is the President of the Brampton-Springdale NDP Riding Association, member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and CUPW Member. The poster for the event is attached.