THE
                     COLOUR OF POVERTY –
                                    COLOUR OF
                               ...
Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change


               about the Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change


Working to build co...
Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change


                     what do we mean by racialized poverty ?

  More & more people ...
Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change


                 phase one of the colour of poverty campaign

   In order to develo...
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Colour Of Poverty Outreach 2 Pager ( May 2, 2008 )

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Colour Of Poverty Outreach 2 Pager ( May 2, 2008 )

  1. 1. THE COLOUR OF POVERTY – COLOUR OF CHANGE NETWORK - WORKING TO ADDRESS AND REDRESS THE GROWING RACIALIZATION OF POVERTY IN ONTARIO For more information - www.colourofpoverty.ca
  2. 2. Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change about the Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change Working to build community based capacity to address racialization, the growing racialization of poverty and the resulting increased levels of social exclusion and marginalization of racialized communities in Ontario As is well documented the gap between rich and poor in Ontario ( and Canada ) is widening generally, but what is much less well understood is that the impact of this growing gulf is being much more profoundly felt by racialized group members. The increasing “racialization” of all the major social and economic indicators can be gleaned not only from the statistics on income and wealth, but also from any one of a number of different measures – such as the increasing rate of incidence and ethno-racial differentials with respect to targeted policing, inequalities with respect to health status as well as learning outcomes (eg. higher drop out rates among racialized learners), and the re-emergence of racialized residential enclaves. All of these are products of the growing social and economic exclusion of racialized groups from the so-called mainstream of society. The historic and growing exclusion of racialized group members in Ontario in particular has in fact led to what some social scientists have described as the racialization of poverty. In the words of Prof. Grace- Edward Galabuzi of Ryerson University, we’re creating an “economic apartheid” in Canada, and the trend will continue until and unless action is taken to address and redress the underlying structural and systemic inequity. The Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change is working to build concrete strategies, tools, initiatives and community-based capacity through which individuals and NGO’s ( especially those reflective of the affected racialized communities ) can begin to develop coherent shared action plans, including creating effective coordinated strategies for collaborating with mainstream policy analysts and institutions, anti- poverty advocacy groups, governments, funders and the media so as to best work together to address and redress this disturbing and growing structural or systemic ethno-racial inequality. The Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change Steering Committee membership currently includes Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services, the African Canadian Legal Clinic, the Canadian Arab Federation, the Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Chapter, the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, the Hispanic Development Council, Karuna Community Services, the Metro Toronto Chinese & South East Asian Legal Clinic, Midaynta Community Services, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants ( OCASI ), Sistering, the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office - together with academic and research partners – Prof. Grace-Edward Galabuzi - Ryerson University in Toronto and Uzma Shakir – Economic Justice Fellow of the Atkinson Foundation. For more information, contact: Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change # 1701 – 180 Dundas St. W., Toronto M5G 1Z8 Phone - 416-971-9676 E-mail - kerr.michael@gmail.com Web-site - www.colourofpoverty.ca Page 2 of 4 For more information and to get involved - www.colourofpoverty.ca
  3. 3. Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change what do we mean by racialized poverty ? More & more people in Ontario come from racialized groups (ie. Aboriginal groups and communities of colour). These persons face a much higher risk of being poor & being affected by factors linked to poverty - like unstable/unsafe work conditions and poor health. While poverty can be a concern for anyone - its causes, forms and lived consequences aren't the same for all. Racialized group members face particular challenges - made still worse when combined with any additional basis of exclusion – ie. gender, disability, sexuality or class. Racialized groups and communities experience ongoing, disproportionate levels of poverty. In other words, people from Aboriginal and ethno-racial minority groups (ie. communities of colour) are more likely to fall below the Low Income Cut-Off ( LICO ) measure and to have related problems like poor health, lower education, and fewer job opportunities, than those from Caucasian or European backgrounds. While it is possible for anyone to experience low income and reduced opportunities, individual and systemic racism plays a large role in creating such problems. Prejudice and discrimination mean that Aboriginal and people of colour are less likely to get jobs when equally qualified and are likely to make less income than their white peers. It means they are more likely to live and work in poor conditions, to have less access to healthcare and related supports, and to be victims of police violence. In societies dominated by people of white, Caucasian or European backgrounds, Aboriginal and different ethno-racial groups have long been targets of discrimination and social exclusion. Such groups are said to be racialized or marked, by the dominant group, as inferior. Racism doesn't just refer to individual beliefs and attitudes toward specific Aboriginal or ethno-racial groups in society, it also includes systemic and built-in features of society, the way that institutions like education, health, social services and the justice system function – day in & day out. Racism has existed in many different forms throughout history. In Canada and other "western" countries, for example, white people have discriminated against racialized groups through the practice of colonization, slavery, the deliberate destruction of communities, racial segregation of schools and neighbourhoods, selective and punitive immigration policies, exploitation of certain groups' labour, over- policing in both Aboriginal as well as communities of colour, racial slurs, hate crimes and on and on. Assorted behaviours and policies change over time, but the facts of racialized inequality and unequal treatment have not gone away. While some use terms such as "visible minorities" or "people of colour" we prefer the term "non- Aboriginal racialized groups" as the former could be seen or understood to be too static - relating primarily to number and colour, while the latter recognizes the dynamic and complex process by which racial categories are socially produced by dominant groups – in ways that entrench social inequalities and marginalization. NOTE - We are aware of Aboriginal realities and lived experience and stand in solidarity with advocacy efforts to redress their racialized exclusion. We very much believe there are many links between such struggles and those of other racialized groups in Ontario and Canada. However, we also acknowledge and respect that Aboriginal claims to justice are distinct and require a different set of strategies and policy responses due to First Peoples unique and specific historical relationship with Canada. Page 3 of 4 For more information and to get involved - www.colourofpoverty.ca
  4. 4. Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change phase one of the colour of poverty campaign In order to develop the necessary shared sense of awareness and understanding that is needed to tackle the issues, a series of educational fact sheets have been developed to cover the following priority topics - a backgrounder and overview on the non-Aboriginal racialization of poverty, health & well-being, income security, employment, food (in)security, immigration & newcomer settlement, justice & policing, housing & homelessness, and education & learning. In addition, a complementary short film was commissioned to document several stories of individuals - people of colour experiencing various barriers related to individual and systemic discrimination - and how these barriers have affected - and in different ways impoverished - their day-to-day lived realities. The video is available for use as a DVD. Using these and other resources to help build local and province-wide community-based partnerships – Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change members have travelled to communities around the province such as Hamilton, London, Mississauga, Ottawa, Toronto, Oshawa, Kingston, Peterborough, Brampton and Windsor - to work with local community partners to help them make best use of the tools available. In this way we are working to galvanize these local communities into taking positive and constructive action for needed change. A web-site, an e-list and other related advocacy and e-action tools are being developed – stay tuned - which will provide the means for the more effective sharing and dissemination of information, knowledge, strategies, approaches as well as coordinated advocacy opportunities between and across affected communities as well as the broader public. In order to develop a Shared Framework for Action a Roundtable is being set in motion for discussions among the affected non-Aboriginal racialized communities - to provide all affected communities the opportunity to continue discussing among themselves the actions and strategies needed to reduce and/or eliminate racialized poverty and the social exclusion experienced by communities of colour. The initial focus of the Roundtable process - which began at the Colour of Poverty Provincial Forum on April 28-29, 2008 - will be the to jointly finalize the Shared Framework for Action - through which communities, individuals, groups and organizations will be able to collectively work to address racialized social exclusion and marginalization - on a coordinated, coherent and consistent province-wide basis. Then in order to "make change happen" - and to move forward on implementing the Shared Framework for Action - we are working to create a multi-sectoral dialogue that includes representatives from key mainstream service providers, social policy institutes and think-tanks, foundations and other funders, media related organizations as well as government representatives - to provide feedback and support for the evolving Shared Framework for Action - as drafted by affected communities. Out of this initial dialogue an ongoing Multi-Sectoral Work Group will be set in motion made up of affected racialized community representation, as well as representatives of some of the key governmental and other constituencies as named above. The Work Groups focus will be to develop and monitor an effective implementation plan for the Shared Framework for Action - best ensuring that the growing racialization of poverty in Ontario becomes a key if not central focus of all relevant institutional and governmental policy, program and service discussions and agendas - working towards the long term goal of the elimination of racialized inequity, exclusion and marginalization in this province. We both need as well as look forward to your active participation and support !! Page 4 of 4 For more information and to get involved - www.colourofpoverty.ca

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