TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) is celebrating Lincoln Alexander Day today, on Jan. 21, by continuing the dialogue he recognized as laying at the core of harmonious race relations. The Honourable Lincoln Alexander, who sadly passed away in 2012, has left a legacy the CRRF is determined to continue to honour.
"Lincoln Alexander was a shining example of a man who exemplified a commitment to Canadian values and a dedication to eliminating the barriers of racism and prejudice," said Anita Bromberg, Executive Director, CRRF. "He was instrumental in the Foundation's mission of advancing harmonious race relations and strengthening Canadian identity."
Mr. Alexander was a man who came first in many ways – he became Canada's first Black Member of Parliament, the first Black Cabinet Minister, and the first Black Lieutenant Governor, serving Ontario between 1985 and 1991. He also became the CRRF's inaugural Chair in 1997.
"Lincoln Alexander was a passionate advocate for the advancement of youth issues, education and race relations. He was committed to serving his community and country," said Albert Lo, Chairperson, CRRF. "Today, Canadians must come together to ensure that his legacy continues. Collectively, we need to commit to maintaining Canadian values and ideals as a vital foundation of our country."
Last year, Mr. Alexander was featured in the first story of the 150 stories initiative, in which the CRRF publishes one story per week for 150 weeks, paying tribute to Canada's diversity and multiculturalism. This year on Jan. 21, the CRRF is hosting the "Richmond Living Together Symposium" in Richmond, B.C., where individuals, community and faith leaders, academics and diversity champions have gathered to explore Canadian values and identity.
Earlier this week, the CRRF hosted its fourth edition of its Urban Agenda Roundtable series in Vancouver, which featured a panel of thought leaders in timely conversation about race relations, citizenship, diversity and inclusion.
"Racism is, simply, a product of ignorance, but I am an optimist and have seen great strides taken toward eradicating that evil…We all need to work together to make certain Canada is the great nation it can be and in many ways already is," said Mr. Alexander in his 2006 memoir, Go to School, You're a Little Black Boy.
Lincoln Alexander Day became a national celebration in 2014 after the Lincoln Alexander Day Act received Royal Assent from the Governor General of Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Race Relations Foundation
For further information: CRRF Executive Director: Anita Bromberg, [email protected], 416-508-9033