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When Do We Celebrate Freedom from Racism?

This is the month we celebrate emancipation from slavery, when is the month we celebrate freedom from racism?

Billboard on Yonge-Dundas square with text "When is the month we celebrate freedom from racism?"

The pandemic has dramatically disrupted how we live and operate – from business operations to our personal lives. Gatherings with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues have adapted and taken new forms. 

This year Emancipation Month, also, is different. In past years, the month of August was marked with community gatherings, remembering and celebrating through events like the Caribbean Festival. But this year is unlike others, not only because of COVID-19, but due to the renewed urgency for action on anti-Black racism.

To commemorate Emancipation Month, Public partnered up with the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit at the City of Toronto to acknowledge the legacy and history of slavery in Canada, as well as the continued impact those legacies have on the lives of people of African descent today. 

Together, we launched a video at Yonge and Dundas Square, that calls for Torontonians to join us in commemorating Emancipation Month and encourages continued action to eliminate discrimination in all its forms.

After over 400 years, anti-Black racism is still present in Toronto. This is simply unacceptable. So, our message was clear: If this is the month we celebrate emancipation from slavery, when is the month we celebrate freedom from racism?

To learn more and take action, visit the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism at Toronto.ca/EndAntiBlackRacism.