human and civil rights

8 petitions

Update posted 10 months ago

Petition to Durham District School Board, Ontario Ministry of Education, Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services, Ontario Minister Responsible for Anti-racism, Ontario Ministry of Attorney General, Premier of Ontario

ACTION NOW, not Study: Black Children Deserve to Excel in Durham District School Board

Instead of moving forward decisively with specific strategic actions to address the thorny issue of Anti-Black Racism (ABR), the Durham District School Board has commissioned yet another study/consultation. There is no need for another study, there are enough local and North American studies with recommendations done by experts and specialists in the field of education addressing the same phenomenon of oppression distinctly featuring ABR in our education system. We do not need another study with timelines, we need ACTION in the form of community-centric programs that specifically meet the needs of Black children and delivered by caring and committed individuals. Funds being used for studies should be channelled to supporting local grassroots organizations that are making a significant difference with little or no funding. I daresay, the stalling strategy appears intentional to get the next crop of administrators and teachers promoted locally or to the ministry level while our children continue to languish in academic agony and eventually socio-economic failure, in which case none of us win - after-all, Black Lives Matter! Like Canada's Indigenous Peoples, are we going to wait until far into the future, some premier or prime minister have to apologize for the injustice meted out to our children or, are we going to demand justice NOW? We have with us, a very complex social problem for which we are seeking solution. The first step to finding solutions is defining or naming and acknowledging the problem. In general terms, this problem is oppressive phenomenon of power and privilege of which ABR is the predominant feature exhibited. In the education literature ABR is a well-defined problem across Canada, the United States as well as the United Kingdom but I will focus on Durham Region because this is where we are. In addition, the very same constituent issues we are addressing in the education sector are also being addressed in the other two major interconnected sectors of Child Protection Services and Law Enforcement/Policing which are significantly impacting our children. In the area of Child Protection Services which is the mandate of the Durham Children's Aid Society, I think they are somewhat ahead, in that, they own and acknowledge the problem that the organization is inherently oppressive and is now looking for solutions on how to change that culture. I am actually indignant that the Durham District School Board is “playing” Black People with yet again another study/consultation. I think in order to have a sustainable long-term solution we need to bring an integrated community-centric, problem solving approach that would include all three major sectors of Child Protection Services, Education and Policing with some mandate from the Government of Ontario, rather than a piecemeal strategy. I am a faithful taxpayer and citizen of the Region, I speak as one who has merited the highest level of academic achievement in the field of education and a certified teacher, worked, volunteered and continues to be intimately engaged in the education system in the Durham Region. I go back over 25 years, the era in which the Durham District School Board was winner of the distinguished international Bertelsmann Prize with leaders such as Board Chair Audrey Maclean, Trustee Ruth Ann Schedlich Director of Education Pauline Laing, Superintendent Bev Freedman and Antiracism Consultant Sarah McDonald. There is hardly anything new except that the Black and other non-white populations have grown exponentially and we have not kept up with addressing the needs of a growing and diverse population. They are in the archives, we need to follow and monitor recommendations from back then and hold accountable the powers that be. In closing, in 1985, over 30 years ago, the United States College Board concluded its report by issuing a warning, "the rapid changes that are occurring in the racial and ethnic composition of the nation [United States] bring a new sense of urgency to improving the educational opportunities and outcomes of students of color. This need has become a moral and pragmatic imperative because when a great many individuals—and entire groups of people—do not have a genuine chance to develop their academic talents fully, our society is much poorer for their lack of educational opportunities...this is fundamentally unjust and potentially an enormous source for social divisiveness." I think we are seeing the results of non-compliance with this warning right here in Durham where everyone─marginalized and privileged in some way or other, will experience the negative impacts. There is still hope however, we can stem the tide by ACTION NOW! We owe it to our children to help them build a brighter future by changing current circumstances of liabilities into tomorrow’s assets. Together in Action,  Leroy Clarke BEd, PhD, OCT Oshawa, ON  

Leroy Clarke
46 supporters
Update posted 11 months ago

Petition to Kelly Amos, Mayor Rob Burton, MP Pam Damoff, Councillor Marc Grant, Councillor Jeff Knoll, Kim Graves, Donna Danielli, Leah Reynolds, Andrea Grebenc, Richelle Papin, Amy Collard, Tracey Ehl Harrison, Ann Harvey Hope, Joanna Oliver, Jeanne Gray, Jovan Sahi, Sophie Schneider, MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris, Stuart Miller


   Our parish community is shaken by the alarming news that all 10 acres of our parish church is being taken away by the Halton District School Board from us for the purpose of building a high school. Ss. Peter and Paul Serbian Orthodox Church, at 1039 Dundas St. W, has been, and still is, the spiritual, cultural, and social gathering place for over 750 (seven hundred fifty!) families in Oakville since 1980. It has been the congregation which shaped the Serbian community’s existence in our great town. It is where generations were married, children baptised, and many of our grandparents were given their final prayerful send off.    Having prayed originally at St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church, on 1531 Oakhill Drive, we were so immensely proud to build the FIRST Orthodox place of worship in our region, thus becoming the mother church for the Romanian, Coptic, Russian and Greek Orthodox communities whom sprouted from our facilities. Our parish is immensely engaged in the neighbourhood and community participating in the Fair Trade Food Bank, fundraising for Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, promoting multiculturalism through the Carousel of Nations, actively learning about the history of our surroundings through our membership in the Oakville Historical Society, blood donor drives with the Canadian Blood Donor Clinics, and recently the Adopt-a-Road programme etc…    The Church grounds are also home to several folklore dance groups, our Church choir, and host the single largest gathering of Orthodox Christians in Halton Region in mid-July every year when we celebrate our patron saints. Our elderly parishioners, and their friends and neighbours, gather daily on our grounds to play bocce ball, chess, listen to music and spend quality recreational time every day! As you can see, the church grounds of our parish are a lot more than a place of worship for Serbs. They are a full out community centre in Oakville and the nucleus of the lives of thousands of your constituents. Having understanding for the needs of our School Board and the town, which we love thoroughly, I strongly propose that the offered plan of splitting the property of our Church in such a way that the school can be built, and we get to keep a portion of the grounds to perpetuate our religious, social, and cultural life, be accepted to the joy of all of us.    Recently we proposed to the HDSB that our church grounds be split, not forcing us to vacate our location, with the School Board so that we can keep at least enough of our property to have a place of worship and gathering. The School Board has more than enough land to the east of our property, or otherwise, to build its facilities without affecting a large group of citizens. Forcing us to sell the property would be the end of our parish because, as the town has made clear to us, there are no viable properties to offer us in exchange. HDSB - SHARE OUR TOWN! SAVE OUR CHURCH OAKVILLE!

Ss. Peter and Paul Serbian Orthodox Church - Oakville, Ontario
2,748 supporters
Started 1 year ago

Petition to Humanity, EARTH RISING


TTAWAPISKAT — Robert Sutherland was heading to bed last Saturday night when there was an urgent knock on his door. “We need you at the hospital for security,” the 27-year-old Attawapiskat man was told. Sutherland hopped in his truck and raced the few gravel blocks from his clapboard home to the reserve’s small hospital, not sure what he would find there. What he saw has turned the eyes of the world on this beleaguered fly-in reserve near James Bay in Northern Ontario, where raw pain and defiant pride exist in equal measure, where young people have no memory of ever drinking water from a tap at home, where housing is in short supply and often mould-ridden, where drug and alcohol abuse are rampant and almost everyone has been touched by suicide. Robert Sutherland, 27. “Is this what our community is coming to now?” the father of two asks. JULIE OLIVER / OTTAWA CITIZENBefore last Saturday, Attawapiskat, population 2,000, was already in the midst of a suicide epidemic. More than 100 people, children and adults, have attempted to take their lives since last fall — 28 in March alone. As the number of suicide attempts mounted, a group of youth, desperate to turn things around, walked for three days onto a winter road to convince their peers that suicide is not a solution and vowed to hatch a plan to heal the community. They walked in the tradition of other First Nations walkers who have travelled long distances to raise awareness and return to a healthier lifestyle. They walked because it was a way to move forward — because the living can walk and the dead can’t. And then, last weekend, things exploded. What Sutherland saw when he opened the door to the hospital on Saturday night were children — six of them, between eight and 14 years old. Each of them had attempted to take their own life that night, most with a handful of pills. They were among 11 suicide attempts in Attawapiskat within 24 hours over the weekend. Sutherland’s job was to make sure none of them left the hospital until a doctor in another town could assess them. The children mostly sat quietly, looking worn out, until a seventh arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning, an agitated 14-year-old, who kept shouting: “I wish I did it, I should have done it.” Hours later, the teenager quietly wept. Sutherland, a father of two who wants to work with young people to build a better future in Attawapiskat, looked at them and thought: “Is this what our community is coming to now?” Two days later, things got worse. A mindbending 20 Attawapikat residents tried to take their own lives on Monday night, including 13 young people believed to be part of a suicide pact. They shared messages on Facebook, asking each other “Are you in pain like I am?” and saying “We can end this pain,” according to one band councillor. Some of the youth were detained by police as a protective measure.  “It is overwhelming when you see your community going through a crisis like this,” said Attawapiskat Chief Bruce Shisheesh. “Every time my phone rings, I get worried: What if it is bad news?” Shisheesh and band council declared a state of emergency Sunday, a move that has turned the eyes of Canada and the world on Attawapiskat, where living conditions are closer to those in the developing world than they are to the rest of the country. This week, as 12-year-old Genise’s classmates at Kattawapiskak Elementary School were preparing for the annual science fair, she was in a hospital hundreds of kilometres away recovering from two suicide attempts made within two days last weekend. On Saturday night, she was one of the children Sutherland watched over at Attawapiskat’s small hospital. Genise, whose dyed red hair and striking features make her look older than her young age, said she took the pills that night “just for fun,” not thinking about the consequences. We must make our government do his job in the right way or we need to get rid of him this genocide cannot continue. Please write fax to the Prime Minister of Canada and tell hime Enough is enough,  I am asking for the world to help. We demand that the government of Canada to do their job and to help us help the human beings of Attawapiskat.  Office of the Prime Minister80 Wellington StreetOttawa, ON K1A 0A2Fax: 613-941-6900

18 supporters