Many people define Canada as an inclusive, multicultural country, but it takes work to keep that up — challenging stereotypes and addressing racism when they appear.
Simcoe County’s Children and Community Services is trying to make that easier with its #ItStarts public awareness campaign that asks residents to step up and pledge to eliminate racism and discrimination in their communities.
The campaign runs until May 4.
“(It’s great to see) all of the community leaders taking a pledge to take a stand against racism,” said Ward 1 Coun. Raj Sandhu, who is a member of the Bradford West Gwillimbury Diversity Action Group.
“It’s basically what the diversity group is.”
For nearly four years, the group has been hosting multicultural events, engaging the community, and promoting acceptance and tolerance.
This week, Sandhu joined fellow Bradford councillors Mark Contois and Ron Orr, also members of the group, and community supporters at the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library to sign pledges and make a short video in support.
Bradford Mayor Rob Keffer and Deputy Mayor James Leduc also signed an #ItStarts pledge at a past Simcoe County council meeting.
The campaign is meant to be a conversation and movement designed to help communities become more accepting, tolerant and aware.
It asks participants to go one step further beyond words, such as learn about another culture, host a multicultural event, reach out to community groups, and challenge people to join the movement.
How to participate:
Pick up an #ItStarts pledge card at any library, or download the card from Simcoe.ca/ITSTARTS, fill in a message and sign the pledge.
Take a photo or short video and post it online with the #ItStarts hashtag.