Manitoba groups launch drive vs. Covid-linked racism
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Immigrant advocates and partner organizations launched public awareness campaign to counteract increasing Covid-19-related acts of racism, discrimination and xenophobia in the province.
Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW) and several partnering organizations launched the drive entitled: “Manitobans: COVID-19 Doesn’t Discriminate. Nor Should You!” (in French, Manitobain(e)s, La COVID-19 ne discrimine pas. Vous non plus!).
There have been growing reports of targeted acts of discrimination directed towards Manitoba’s Asian communities, newcomers, refugees, immigrants and other racialized groups.
IPW Director Hani Ataan Al-Ubeady stated, “In Manitoba, we have heard about incidents of Covid-19-related acts of racism and discrimination place at workplaces, on public transit, in grocery stores, online and in people’s own neighborhoods.”
Perla Javate, co-chair of the 20-organization strong Ethnocultural Council of Manitoba (ECCM) added, “We are alarmed by the heightened racist rhetoric being directed towards Chinese people and other peoples of Asian backgrounds.”
“From the spreading of online comments and conspiracy theories associating the Covid-19 pandemic with a racial group, to being verbally assaulted and even spit at by neighbors, these incidents have no place in our society,” Javate said.
Al-Ubeady states that IPW’s campaign consists of the following:
Poster Campaign: Distributing campaign posters (available in English and French) across the province to businesses, organizations, schools, places of worship and highly visible spaces.
Resource Development: Developing and distributing information sheets for victims and witnesses to respond to racism and discrimination. These information sheets will be translated into the common languages spoken by victims, such as Mandarin and Tagalog.
Social Media Challenge: #EssentialinMB social media campaign highlighting newcomer/immigrant/refugee frontline workers as essential service providers re: Manitoba’s response to Covid -19.
Educational Events: Hosting virtual events — including a virtual café — to discuss Covid -19 and racism.
This campaign has been organized by members of IPW’s Civic Engagement and Inclusion Sector Table, together with Social Planning Council of Winnipeg; Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations; Pembina Valley Local Immigration Partnership; Ethnocultural Council of Manitoba-Stronger Together; Réseau en Immigration Francophone du Manitoba; Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties; and CUPE Manitoba.
IPW’s campaign was inspired and developed in partnership with the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations’ Montreal-based campaign, “COVID-19 Does Not Discriminate. Neither Should You!”