Event held to battle racial discrimination

Friends and strangers drummed together at the Hub on Ross on Sunday afternoon, leading the way to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

A diverse program of events at the Hub

A diverse program of events at the Hub

Friends and strangers drummed together at the Hub on Ross on Sunday afternoon, leading the way to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Since 1966, March 21 has been a day to promote racial harmony. Peaceful demonstrators against apartheid in South Africa were killed on that day in 1960.

On Sunday, the rhythmic beat of drums filled the Hub for and attracted about 80 people.

Drums are a primal part of every culture, said Tanya Schur of Drumocracy who led the drumming.

“It awakens the child in each one of us, the time when none of these things matter — the colour of your skin, your size, your age. It was just about playing together and being together and enjoying one another,” Schur said.

“You feel the unity,” said Glayds Lucien, who joined the drumming, tapping to the beat on a hand drum for the first time ever.

“I love it.”

In Central Alberta, more and more people are also embracing the principles of the program Safe Harbour: Respect for All.

Safe Harbour is a national initiative encouraging agencies and businesses to promote diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace and community.

In the last 13 months, people from 50 groups and companies have participated in local Safe Harbour workshops.

Jan Underwood, community educator with Central Alberta Refugee Effort Committee, said Safe Harbour has become popular because it embraces all aspects of diversity which are in every community.

Training, which is free, provides a support and networking system for organizations, and can help attract customers and retain staff of diverse backgrounds.

“In some places it’s become part of policies and procedures to do this training,” Underwood said.

It’s about investing in the future of communities, like Red Deer, by welcoming people of any background, she said.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was organized by Central Alberta Diversity Association, Central Alberta Refugee Effort Committee, Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association, Red Deer Native Friendship Society, and the Hub on Ross.

For more information about Safe Harbour: Respect for All go to www.safeharbour.ca

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com