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Anti-racism - The practice of identifying, challenging, preventing, eliminating and changing the values, structures, policies, programs, practices and behaviours that perpetuate racism.


BC Multiculturalism Week - (Provincial) Every year, the third week of November in British Columbia is proclaimed as Multiculturalism Week. Get some impressions here.


Canadian Multiculturalism Day - (Federal) Every June 27, Canadian Multiculturalism Day celebrates Canada's cultural richness and diversity and the contributions made by various cultural groups and communities to Canadian society.


Discrimination - The practice or act of making distinctions between people on the basis of prejudicial attitudes and beliefs, which leads to the inequitable treatment of individuals or groups.


Diversity - The variety of characteristics that distinguish people as individuals and that identify them as belonging to a group or groups. Diversity is a concept that includes notions of age, class, culture, ability, ethnicity, family, sex, language, place of origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation, as well as other characteristics that vary among people and groups within society.


Ethnicity - Ethnicity is a social and political construct used by individuals and communities to define themselves and others. Specifically, "ethnicity" refers to a persons’ cultural background, including his or her language, origin, faith and heritage. Ethnicity comprises the ideas, values and behaviours that are transmitted from one generation to the next. It tends to be perceived in terms of common culture, history, language or nationhood. Ethnic identity and ethnicity are interchangeable terms.


Foreign Worker / Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) - A person who enters Canada on a temporary basis to work, and who has been issued a work permit.


Immigrant - A person who was born outside of Canada and has been granted permanent resident status by Canada or is a Naturalized Canadian Citizen who has settlement and adaptation needs.


International Day for the Elimination of Racism (UN) - The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.


In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a Programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States.


Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings. Taken from the United Nations


Invisible Minority - Refers to people who are not obviously part of a minority. For instance, English-speaking Caucasian immigrants coming from the U.S. are likely considered as invisible minorities.  


Multiculturalism - "Multiculturalism" refers to a society that recognizes, values and promotes the contributions of the diverse cultural heritages and ancestries of all its people. A multicultural society is one that continually evolves and is strengthened by the contributions of its diverse people.


Multiculturalism Organizational Change Definition - Multicultural Organizational Change is the process whereby organizations become inclusive and culturally responsive in implementing their strategic plan. The Organizational change process involves identifying and removing all barriers, which prevent people in a community, especially people from traditionally non-dominant groups from full participation and from receiving equitable services. The change process results in the establishment of organizations that are reflective of, responsive, and responsible to the entire community.


Naturalized Canadian Citizen - A person who acquired Canadian citizenship via the naturalization process.


Newcomer - Someone who is newly arrived, learning about and navigating one or more of Canada’s social, cultural, civic and economic systems.


Permanent Resident - An immigrant who has been granted permanent residence status by the Government of Canada, and who is not yet a Canadian citizen.


Potluck - A shared meal where each guest contributes food.


Race - Historically, "race" has represented the notion that there are biologically discrete "races" of human beings that can be ordered in terms of superiority of intelligence, sexuality and morality. However, modern science has determined that no such biological distinctions exist among humans and that the term serves no useful scientific purpose. Today, "race" is often used to refer to a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished by physical characteristics such as colour of skin, shape of eyes, hair texture and facial features and to designate social categories based on such characteristics. Race is often confused with ethnicity.


Racial Discrimination - As one of the many signatories to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racism in 1969, Canada agreed to the following definition of racial discrimination found in Article 1:

"Racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, social, cultural or any other field of public life.


Racism - A set of mistaken assumptions, opinions and actions both negative and positive resulting from the belief that one group of people categorized by colour or ancestry is inherently superior to another. Racism may be present in organizational and institutional policies, programs and practices, as well as in the attitudes and behaviour of individuals.


Refugees landed in Canada - Immigrants who have had their refugee claims accepted and who subsequently applied for and were granted permanent resident status in Canada.


Skilled Worker Class - An immigrant selected for his / her ability to participate in the labour market and to establish himself / herself economically in Canada.


Stereotype - A fixed mental picture or image of a group of people having the same characteristic(s) as all members of the group, regardless of their individual differences. It is an over-generalization, where the information or experience on which the image is based may be true for some of the individual group members, but not for all members. Stereotyping may be based upon misconceptions, incomplete information and / or false generalizations about race, age, ethnicity, linguistics, geographical or natural groups, religions, social, marital or family status, physical, developmental or mental attributes, gender or sexual orientation.


Temporary Resident - A person who is lawfully in Canada on a temporary basis under the authority of a valid document (i.e., a work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit or a visitor record) issued for the purpose of entering Canada, and an individual who seeks asylum upon or after arrival in Canada and remains in the country pending completion of processes relative to their claim.


Visible Minority - The phrase "visible minority" refers to groups who share physically visible characteristics such as dark skin. This is a term that specifically refers to a certain time and place, where it was true in Canada that people of colour were a minority relative to the majority of the population. The term visible minority, although remaining in some legislation, is quickly losing its relevance, as it is no longer applicable in our society due to changing immigration patterns. Currently, the phrase should be used with caution because it often excludes groups of people who commonly experience discrimination. It does not seem to include, for example, many Latin Americans, southern Europeans, or religious groups, such as Jews and Muslims.


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