Alberta Human Rights Information Service June 29, 2010
In this issue:
1. Human Rights in the Workplace public workshops:
Workshops offer recertification points
The Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) has partnered with the Commission's Human Rights in the Workplace public workshop program. Two workshops, "Harassment Prevention" and "Duty to Accommodate," are now eligible for recertification points. HRIA members with the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation can use the points from the workshop to renew their designation. HRIA members can obtain 1.5 points for every hour of attendance at a workshop on these two topics.
Spring 2010 workshop results
The Commission held one full-day and four half-day public workshops in Calgary, Edmonton and Peace River between May 5, 2010 and May 20, 2010. The workshops provided an overview of Alberta's human rights legislation with a focus on human rights in the workplace. A total of 149 people participated in these workshops.
You can read more about the spring 2010 workshop results. Read the archives of past workshop results.
Fall 2010 workshop schedule
Eight Human Rights in the Workplace public workshops are scheduled for fall 2010. The full-day workshops, intended for managers, supervisors, team leaders, human resource professionals, union leaders, and small business owners, will provide participants with:
- an overview of Alberta's human rights legislation,
- information from the workshop module Duty to accommodate,
- an understanding of harassment in the workplace and strategies to prevent such harassment, and
- tools for the investigation of harassment complaints.
See the fall public workshop schedule for details.
Workshops offered to Government of Alberta employees
The Commission is offering 25 half-day Human Rights in the Workplace workshops to Government of Alberta employees from September 21, 2010 to February 16, 2011. The workshops will be offered in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Peace River and High Level. Government of Alberta employees can register for these workshops through MyAgent. For more information, contact Anita Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 780-643-1007.
2. Updating the Commission website and publications to reflect recent amendments to Alberta's human rights legislation:
The Commission continues to update its website and all of its publications to reflect recent amendments to Alberta's human rights legislation. The following Commission website sections have recently been updated:
- Human rights in the workplace
- Human rights in other areas
- Education and information services
- Media room
We will continue to update you through AHRIS as more revisions are completed.
3. Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD) update: Two more municipalities have joined the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD). The town of Markham, Ontario and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia joined CMARD, bringing the number of CMARD members to 35. Read the List of Signatory Municipalities who have joined the Coalition. The Commission is a partner in the CMARD initiative.
4. Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC):
The WIC initiative has published the first issue of its newsletter. WIC is a partnership between the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Human Rights and Citizenship Branch of Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, and the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The partnership was developed to assist communities to build welcoming and inclusive communities and to support municipalities that have joined the Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination. You can read the WIC newsletter.
New WIC webpage
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, in partnership with the Commission and Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, offers a new Welcoming and Inclusive Communities webpage. This webpage is the first in a series of online resources aiming to provide information for municipalities who are working to become more welcoming and inclusive and who are combating racism and other forms of discrimination in their communities. The webpage offers valuable resources for communities, including the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Toolkit.
PLEASE NOTE: In the following sections of the newsletter, we publish news and information provided by other organizations. We also link to other websites related to human rights and diversity. The Commission provides this information as a service and is not responsible for the content provided by other organizations on their websites or by other means. Please direct comments or inquiries regarding these organizations or their websites to the organization in question.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIVERSITY NEWS FROM ALBERTA CULTURE AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT
1. Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund:
The Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund (HREMF) provides financial assistance to community organizations to help them become a catalyst for changes that will:
- create an environment where all Albertans have an opportunity to participate to their full potential without discrimination;
- increase the capacity of organizations to develop and sustain work that fosters equality and reduces discrimination; and
- advance the development of welcoming and inclusive communities and workplaces.
If you are considering applying for financial assistance from the HREMF, now is the time to contact a consultant who works with the grant program. The consultant will assist you with the application process and advise you on your project. The deadline for receipt of letters of intent to apply for financial assistance is October 1, 2010.
Recently completed projects
- Volunteer Alberta is addressing the intercultural challenges that small communities experience in engaging immigrants in community-based volunteer activities. With a grant from the HREMF, this project's research and experiential learning phase identified organizational barriers to creating a welcoming volunteer environment. The project is successfully moving forward in a second, separately funded phase to implement organizational change processes. Three learning modules have been developed for board members, executive directors, managers, and staff in nonprofit and voluntary sector organizations. The modules Intercultural Competence, Building Cultural Knowledge and Linking Language and Culture are available in PDF form in the Annotated Bibliography: Diversity Resources.
- St. Michael's Extended Care Centre Society has implemented institutional change in their workplace to promote the positive impacts of cultural differences. With a grant from the HREMF, they achieved these changes through education and team-building strategies that incorporated effective communication skills and a better understanding of inter-cultural relationships. The outcome is a new staff program, "Wellness Works," that addresses not only physical and organizational health, but also acknowledges cultural similarities and differences within the work environment. Read the final report, Cultural Differences in the Workplace.
- Changing Together - A Centre for Immigrant Women Association used a grant from the HREMF to develop the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT Alberta). The coalition is comprised of province-wide law enforcement agencies, service organizations, government and non-government agencies, healthcare workers and faith-based groups. ACT developed the Alberta Protocol on Service Provision for Trafficked Persons, the first working document in Alberta that addresses how to support victims of human trafficking and honour their rights. The document is available in PDF form in the Annotated Bibliography: Diversity Resources under "Other."
Read about other projects that the HREMF has funded.
The Aspen Family and Community Network Society recently received two awards for their documentary Growing Up Among Strangers at the 36th Annual Rosie Awards of the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association. Their youth documentary was selected for the Best Educational and Best Director Non-fiction Under 30 categories. Funded in part by a grant from the HREMF, this 23-minute documentary was developed by youth and discusses gender and trust issues, cliques, fitting in, feeling left out, and bullying. Read more about the film in the March 9, 2010 issue of AHRIS.
2. Significant dates:
June 21 was National Aboriginal Day: On National Aboriginal Day, Canadians had an opportunity to celebrate the rich cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and to honour their place in Canadian society.
At a National Aboriginal Day celebration on June 16, the Government of Alberta announced funding for a new Safe Communities Innovation Fund pilot project, Enhancing Safe, Diverse Communities through Cultural Community Groups. The project targets Aboriginal and immigrant and refugee communities in Edmonton where local agencies will be designing and delivering crime prevention strategies based on culture. Read the Government of Alberta news release and read about the events held in Alberta communities to celebrate National Aboriginal Day.
June 27 was Canadian Multiculturalism Day: Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity for Canadians to celebrate the country's rich cultural diversity and recognize the role that all citizens play in helping to build vibrant and prosperous communities that benefit everyone. Multiculturalism Day is also an opportunity for Albertans to reflect on their individual roles in helping to ensure that communities are welcoming and inclusive for all. Learn more about Government of Alberta programs and services that support diversity and human rights in the province. Read the Government of Alberta information bulletin about Canadian Multiculturalism Day.
August 6 is Alberta Heritage Day: Celebrated annually, Alberta Heritage Day recognizes and celebrates the province's cultural heritage. This special day has been recognized since 1974, when legislation was passed to dedicate the first Monday of August as Alberta Heritage Day.
September 21 is International Day of Peace: United Nations member countries are calling for worldwide observance of a 24-hour ceasefire and a day of peace and non-violence on September 21. Read more.
See the list of significant days on the Help Make a Difference website.
OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIVERSITY NEWS
1. Government passes motion on cultural competency: On Monday, March 22, 2010, Teresa Woo-Paw, MLA for Calgary-MacKay, introduced a private member's motion, Motion 505 - Cultural Competency. The motion reads:
"Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the government to encourage ministries to evaluate their cultural competency, share best practices, and integrate cultural competency activities into their annual plans to further the government's goals for equitable access to services, a diverse and prosperous economy, and a high quality of life for all Albertans."
Read the motion and debate on page 589 in the March 22, 2010 Alberta Hansard.
2. Inclusive education system in Alberta: To improve outcomes for students with special education needs, the Alberta government will begin to implement its response to 12 recommendations contained in the Setting the Direction Framework. The framework identifies three key strategic priority areas - curriculum, capacity and collaboration - and recommends a vision of an inclusive education system that re-positions special education within the broader education system. An inclusive education system provides a values-based approach to accepting collective responsibility and achieving accountability for all students, including those with special and diverse needs. Read the Government of Alberta news release.
3. Work and Learning Network: The Work and Learning Network, founded by the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta offers a website. From their website: "The Work and Learning Network is a community of individuals and organizations that has come together to engage in research related to work and learning policy and practice. The Network has a Western Canadian focus and the members of the Network are interested in issues relating to diversity, equity and workplace reform."
1. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified: The Government of Canada, with the support of all provinces and territories, has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. From the Government of Canada news release: "The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities, and to ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law." Read the news release.
2. Statistics Canada releases new hate crime report: Statistics Canada recently released a report on hate crime titled Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2008. From the news release: "Police services in Canada reported 1,036 hate crimes in 2008, up 35% from 2007. Just over half (55%) were motivated by race or ethnicity, 26% by religion and 16% by sexual orientation. All three major categories of hate crime increased in 2008. The largest increase was among those motivated by sexual orientation, which more than doubled from 2007 to 2008. Hate crimes motivated by religion increased 53%, while those motivated by race or ethnicity increased to a lesser extent, up 15%."
3. Nominations for Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case: Status of Women Canada launched the Call for Nominations for the 31st annual Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. From the Status of Women website: "The awards honour outstanding individuals who have helped to advance equality for girls and women in Canada, demonstrated by leadership and excellence in any field, in either a paid or unpaid capacity." Candidates must be Canadian citizens over 30 years of age or between 15 and 30 years of age for the Youth Award. The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2010. The award brochure and nomination form are available online.
4. Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies launches new website: The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) has launched a new website, which will showcase the work of Canada's federal, provincial and territorial human rights agencies. Read the June 7, 2010 news release. Alberta Human Rights Commission resources are currently featured in the section Commission Resources.
RELATED PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES
1. Celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Human Rights Action Center developed an inspiring animation of the declaration titled The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The video is featured on the Resources page of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights website.
2. The National Film Board offers films confronting racism in the workplace: The National Film Board, with the participation of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, has produced Work For All, an online project using short films and new media to address racism in the workplace. From the Work for All Facilitation Guide: "Through innovative filmmaking and the sharing of individual stories, the National Film Board is committed to spotlighting issues of social relevance, to celebrating diversity and to building bridges between cultures." Read the list of films available for viewing.
3. Play by the rules: making sport inclusive, safe and fair: Australia's Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission offers a toolkit titled Play by the Rules for sports clubs. From the Play by the Rules website: "Play by the Rules provides information and online learning for community sport and recreation on how to prevent and deal with discrimination, harassment and child abuse, and develop inclusive and welcoming environments for participation."
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