Toronto for All is starting their 14th campaign and looking at combating and shutting down anti-Asian hate in the city.
The initiative started in 2017 with their first campaign in support of trans youth of colour. Since then, Toronto for All has tackled numerous topics to raise awareness with the goal “of creating a city that says ‘no’ to all forms of discrimination and racism.” Previous campaigns focused on homelessness, intimate partner violence and anti-black racism.
This year they are bringing to light and aiming to stop anti-Asian hate. The initiative has dealt with this issue before during the pandemic when anti-asian hate rose across Canada. In their last campaign, Toronto for All said that Asians “are being scapegoated because of the coronavirus and facing increasing incidents of anti-East Asian racism and discrimination.”
“I think we’re still seeing the impact from COVID. And kind of a nip it in the bud approach, because we want to make sure that we highlight that it’s still happening, and give people some tools to talk about it,” says Coun. Lily Cheng of Ward 18.
At the Cecil Community Centre, Cheng led the announcement of the campaign this morning. She was joined by Amy Go, a past president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice.
In their presentation, Cheng and Go shared personal stories of past and present anti-Asian hate. Cheng says that when she was in grade five on her way home three boys cornered her calling her racial epithets. Where as Go over the summer had a man in an Ecuadorian airport warn her friend about sitting next to Chinese women.
“This campaign aims to raise awareness about the realities of anti-Asian racism in our community. This marks support to Toronto for all campaigns reflecting the city’s ongoing commitment to addressing various forms of discrimination and promoting dialogue among Toronto residents. After all, what we really want to do is promote kindness,” says Cheng
The campaign will be running throughout the fall and winter. The posters and advertisements will be spread throughout the city. With them appearing on transit and prominently on social media.
Cheng says that with social media they hope people “will carry the torch by sharing by starting conversations.” She says that this campaign on social media is a chance for people to share their stories and experiences with discrimination. She says that this is “a reality that many of us have grown up with.”
“We as a city need to recognize and need to reconcile with the past,” says Go.”We need to reconcile all this history, all the impact of the structural racism on our city and on our work on our day to day life. And how do we ensure that these education can be not just raising awareness, but really bringing forward actions.”
More information and resources can be found on Toronto for All’s webpage
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