University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. We work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. We believe that anti-racist and decolonizing education, when woven together, can create humanizing and emancipatory change for everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21st - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

See below for information regarding the origin of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Together we can find ways to learn and teach about anti-racism education throughout the year.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.
The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.
Link to site: United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, Video Message for 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

USASK "Take a Stand" Anti-Racism campaign gaining momentum

Hi everyone - check out this University of Saskatchewan anti-racist initiative!

Over 40 people have posed for a poster in the University of Saskatchewan anti-racism campaign. A photo gallery of the posters can be found at www.usask.ca/ulc/takeastand
If you are interested in posing for a poster, please visit the USSU Help Centre in the tunnel or the ULC PAL Desk located at RM 106 Murray Building.

Read more about the initiative in the Sheaf...

'Take A Stand' urges students to fight racism on campus. The University Learning Centre is urging students to fight racism on campus. The ULC — along with the International Student and Study Abroad Centre, Aboriginal Students’ Centre and University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union — has launched Take A Stand, an anti-racism initiative, after an incident in October in which a campus event was disrupted.

At the time, the Indigenous Students’ Council was holding a gathering near the Bowl to celebrate Aboriginal culture and mark the place of the proposed Aboriginal Students’ Centre. However, two passers-by started hurling insults at those gathered. One student, Katie Peters-Burns, confronted the two individuals and was spat upon before they made their escape.
“Spitting on someone is a type of assault and it is one of the most disrespectful things you could ever do to someone — especially a woman,” she said at the time. That incident was the impetus for the new awareness campaign, Take A Stand. Leon Thompson, USSU vice president student affairs, says that racism is an issue on campus even removed from such shocking instances.
“I think that racism exists on campus,” he said. “Racism is one of those things that you know is there, even if it’s hidden away or not visible.” As a first step, posters have been distributed around campus on which students have expressed anti-racism messages. According to Thompson, the reaction has been mixed, with some people complaining that the messages were at times unclear. In the first posters, students were encouraged to write whatever they wanted; some of the resulting messages were statements drawn from personal experiences that would not be immediately clear to everyone.
“I think the important thing is that it’s getting attention, that it’s meriting people’s interest and thought and critical engagement,” said Thompson. “Even if they don’t agree with the posters, it’s making them stop and think.” Students are encouraged to have their photos and pledges taken if they want to join the initiative, and several events are planned for later this month. For one such event, anti-racist author and educator Tim Wise will give a lecture at Third Avenue United Church, followed by a panel discussion.
“This [initiative] is not only to fight against racism on campus,” said Thompson. “It’s also something for those students who have been affected by racism to look at and to know that, ‘Hey, I’m not alone in this. I have people that I can go to, there are places that I can go, people I can talk to. There are support services standing by.’ ”
Thompson says he hopes future USSU executives will continue the union’s participation in Take A Stand. He refused to comment, however, when asked if the proposed USSU Social Justice Centre might factor into the campaign. In the meantime, Thompson says students need to recognize that racism is still present on campus. “It’s all well and good to say the university is a fantastic place and nothing ever goes wrong here but we need to bring it out in the open, if anything, just to engage students.”
For more information, see the Take A Stand website.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Novel Study: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

A novel study on Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It is an amazing novel. The website is a great resource for getting ideas for lessons while studying this novel. Perfect for grade 7, 8, 9 middle years. 

I came across this (see below) on a blog called blogging censorship (National Coalition Against Censorship)...could lead to an interesting class discussion about stories, which ones get told, and why.

A disappointing ruling came out last night regarding Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in Stockton, Missouri. The Stockton School Board voted 7-0 holding firm in its decision to remove the book from school classrooms, notwithstanding pressure from many educators to keep it. The board also ruled in favor of banning the book from the high school library.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Last Acceptable Racism - Sports logos

Excerpt from article: As both a Native American and a Jew, I am equally offended by racist attacks on either group. This type of verbal and pictorial violence has only one goal in mind: to dehumanize the subject group so they're viewed as a subclass not worthy of respect or acknowledgment as a distinct people.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

Sheelah M shared this resources with us. Thank you Sheelah!

Please take time to watch Chimamanda Adichie - The danger of a single story. A good resource to use with Thomas King's - 'The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative.'

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

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