Talk tomorrow looks at state of racial discrimination

In recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, York social work Professor Wilburn Hayden Jr. of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies will lead a discussion tomorrow on silos, including poverty as a result of multiculturalism.

Hayden’s talk, “Black Poverty and Silos: The Mosaic Multi-Culture Ontario”, will take place from noon to 1pm in 305 York Lanes, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Wilburn HaydenLeft: Wilburn Hayden

“Last month marked the 40th year of Trudeau’s introduction of Mosaic Society: Multiculturalism. The paper based on the early stages of my research on race in Canada will draw a connection to racial poverty and how in the GTA mosaic multi-culture society works to disadvantaged non-white residents,” says Hayden. “The presentation should engage participants for personal reflection in respect to the connection; and lead to an active discussion that may result in a personal step toward building a truly multicultural society.”

Citing from the Canadian Council on Social Development’s Poverty Policies and Programs in Ontario, Hayden says the figures show “the extent to which poverty is becoming racialized in Ontario.” Among the findings, the Ontario Campaign 2000 reports that “32 per cent of children in racialized families live in poverty.” What is even more startling, he says, is the report shows that between 1981 and 2001 the poverty rate among racialized families in Toronto increased by 362 per cent. However, for families of European descent living in Book coverToronto, the poverty rate decreased by 28 per cent.

As the data is a decade old and from before the downturn in the economy, Hayden says, “I suspect the racialized statistics will show much larger increases…”

In addition, the 2010 United Nations Report on Race in Canada, shows that about 60 per cent of all employed black Canadians earn less than $20,000 per year, compared to 55 per cent of all visible minorities, says Hayden.

Hayden will outline some of the reasons contributing to the poverty rates and the role of immigration. He will look at the racial, religious and ethnic silos of today, which, he says, “lock non-white groups into poverty, discrimination, powerlessness, reduced privileges and prejudice.”

Following his talk, Hayden will lead a discussion about the issue of silos.

For more information, visit the York’s Centre for Human Rights website.