Moose Jaw Residents Against Discrimination and Racism (MJ RADAR) is hosting a rally tomorrow (March 21) in downtown Moose Jaw.
The March Out Racism in Moose Jaw Rally is being held in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The rally is being held in conjunction with the John Howard Society, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, and the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council. Funding is being provided by the Government of Canada.
The event will start at 11 am in front of the Mae Wilson Theatre.
"From 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, that is when we will go outside and walk up and down Main Street," explained MJ RADAR Co-Chair Dalise Hector. "Traffic won't be stopped by this event, we'll just be walking along the sidewalks and drawing attention to the cause. From 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm, there will be more networking back at the [Moose Jaw] Cultural Centre lobby. It's just a brief event that we felt was important to observe this year."
Lunch will be provided to the first 50 participants.
Guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recognizes that injustices and prejudices fueled by racial discrimination take place every day. Observed annually on March 21, it commemorates the day police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.
"Racism can happen in different forms," commented Hector. "There's overt racism, but there's more subtle racism and we're just working together as a group to just make our community more aware of the impacts of racism. Whether it's systemic, outright, or more subtle forms. We just believe in equality and that everyone should be treated with the same respect and have the same opportunities. We just want to observe this day and have everyone in the community come out and support and really provide solidarity in that way."
This is the first time MJ RADAR has organized a rally in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Hector explained how the group was formed.
"MJ RADAR is basically a grassroots group comprised of community members and some organizations and we're aiming to address racism and discrimination in Moose Jaw. We basically work out of an anti-oppression, anti-racism and decolonization framework. We are a group that we seek engagement and input of visible minorities in the community. We want to be continually informed and led by first-person experiences. We are basically here just to support people who are facing different forms of discrimination or racism and helping overcome the barriers that can exist in society that leaves people out of equal opportunities. We want to work together to cultivate harmony and trust. The group was prompted basically by the Black Lives Matter movement. The group began actually back in June 2022. We've gone through some growth and evolution since that time and we're just excited to host our first big public event and we hope everybody can come out and support it."
MJ RADAR is a working group of Prairie Skies Integration Network.