March 21st is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD), which we observe every year, usually in City Hall. As I’m sure you know, the IDERD is a commemoration of a terrible massacre of unarmed protesters in South Africa in 1960. In 1966 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this as a day of remembrance. Canada was the first country to support the initiative, making it an annual campaign in 1989.
In fact, the Interfaith Centre grew out of this event which we first marked in the early 1990’s. At that time it was unique, in Edmonton and elsewhere, to have people from many different faiths making a public statement, from their own tradition, that we all stand together against racism, and the seeds of the Centre were sown. We firmly believe that organizations like ours can take some credit for the wonderful embrace of diversity that characterizes almost all our citizens.
We have a great program planned for Tuesday March 21 at noon in City Hall, with speakers, music and diverse prayers for mutual respect and human rights, and refreshments.
Our March 6 Lunch and Learn featured board member Paula Kirman screening her new film McCauley: A Caring Community – Conversations on Social Housing. A lively discussion about poverty and homelessness in Edmonton, and solutions, followed. Here is the film to see for yourself.
Our annual concert is coming up on January 29, 2017 – and in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s going to be free (donations welcome)! It’s at 2:30 at the Royal Alberta Museum’s theatre (the old location – 12845 102 Avenue). We’ll still be having our silent auction and excellent cultural musical entertainment. Here’s the Facebook event – be sure to invite your friends! We’ll be posting more information as we get closer to the date, so please keep checking back!