Campaign Will Teach Elementary Students How to Combat Racism

    'racism hurts' to be in Ontario schools this September

    TORONTO, Aug. 12 /CNW/ - Kindergarten to grade 8 students in Ontario's
elementary public schools soon will be learning how 'racism hurts' and what
they can do to combat it, thanks to a unique campaign announced today.
    The campaign, 'racism hurts', is a partnership between the Ontario Human
Rights Commission (OHRC) and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
(ETFO). It consists of a poster and curriculum materials to help teachers
begin a dialogue with students about human rights, discrimination, and racism,
and to get students to think about what they can do when they experience or
observe racism in their school and in their community.
    The award-winning poster was designed as a result of the Commission
teaming with students and faculty from Seneca College's Graphic Design Program
in a course called Design for Social Change, while lesson plans were developed
by volunteer ETFO members.
    "Our federation is committed to fostering a climate of social justice in
Ontario and taking a leadership role in such areas as anti-poverty,
non-violence and equity," said ETFO President David Clegg in explaining ETFO's
involvement in the campaign.
    "We believe that it is important to first acknowledge that racism
exists," Clegg said. "Then, as education workers, we have a responsibility to
work to eliminate it."
    "I can't think of a better way to create a culture of human rights in
Ontario than by engaging young students in dialogue and action with their
teachers," commented OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. "I'm very pleased
that the Commission is working in partnership with ETFO and Seneca College on
this important campaign."
    In announcing the campaign to the more than 500 delegates attending
ETFO's annual meeting in Toronto, Clegg explained that a package of the
campaign materials will be distributed in September to the 3,500 Ontario
schools where ETFO members are teaching.

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across Ontario and is
the largest teacher federation in Canada. The Ontario Human Rights Commission
works to promote, protect, and advance human rights for the people of Ontario.

       August 11-14 ETFO Media Centre, Queens Quay 1, Concourse Level,
                     The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto
                 Phone: (416) 957-7181; Fax: (416) 957-7180

For further information:

For further information: Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
948-0195 (cell),; Afroze Edwards, OHRC Senior Communications
Officer, (416) 314-4528,

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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