As is well documented the gap between rich and poor in Ontario ( and Canada ) is widening generally, but what is much less well understood is that the impact of this growing gulf is being much more profoundly felt by racialized group members. The increasing “racialization” of all the major social and economic indicators can be gleaned not only from the statistics on income and wealth, but also from any one of a number of different measures – such as the increasing rate of incidence and ethno-racial differentials with respect to targeted policing, inequalities with respect to health status as well as learning outcomes (eg. higher drop out rates among racialized learners), and the re-emergence of racialized residential enclaves. All of these are products of the growing social and economic exclusion of racialized groups from the so-called mainstream of society.
The growing exclusion of racialized group members in Ontario in particular has in fact led to what some social scientists have described as the racialization of poverty. In the words of Prof. Grace-Edward Galabuzi of Ryerson University in Toronto, we’re creating an “economic apartheid” in Canada, and the trend will continue until and unless action is taken to address and redress the underlying structural and systemic inequity.
The Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change network is working to build concrete strategies, tools, initiatives and community-based capacity through which individuals, groups and NGO’s ( especially those reflective of the affected racialized communities ) can begin to develop coherent shared action plans, including creating effective coordinated strategies for collaborating with mainstream policy analysts and institutions, anti-poverty advocacy groups, governments, funders and the media so as to best work together to address and redress this disturbing and growing structural or systemic ethno-racial inequality.
The Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change Steering Committee membership currently includes Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services, the African Canadian Legal Clinic, the Canadian Arab Federation, the Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto Chapter, the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, the Hispanic Development Council, Karuna Community Services, the Metro Toronto Chinese & South East Asian Legal Clinic, Midaynta Community Services, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants ( OCASI ), Sistering, the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office – together with an academic member – Prof. Grace-Edward Galabuzi from Ryerson University in Toronto.
For more information, contact:
Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change
# 1701 – 180 Dundas St. W., Toronto M5G 1Z8
Phone – 416-971-9676