Uxbridge residents looking to ban all symbols of hate and racial intolerance

by TMur,

On June 22nd, 2020 a group of concerned Uxbridge citizens presented to Council our collective concerns around a racist incident involving the display of a Confederate flag during a peaceful Black Lives Matter stand-in organized by Zed Pickering and Maggie Finlayson. The attached presentation discussion and powerpoint was co-created by a group of concerned Uxbridge citizens.

We requested the following action be taken at the council meeting:

1. In response to the Uxbridge #BlackLivesMatter stand-in on June 5th, 2020, where our families experienced a hateful act involving the Confederate Flag, we are urging council to immediately prohibit visible symbols of hate and racial intolerance throughout the Township of Uxbridge.

2. We would also like to extend an offer to be part of steps to educate, amplify voice and to commit to action in service of equity for all.

Action taken during this meeting: Moved by Councillor Garrod Seconded by Councillor Pop that the Council of the Township of Uxbridge refer the Delegation of Angela Virgo, Tanya Murray, Michelle Zante and George Wallace to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group; AND THAT the Committee be directed to report back to Council with recommendations regarding prohibiting visible symbols of hate in the Township of Uxbridge.

The Township has taken the following action since the deputation:

  • The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Working Group is meeting regularly to finalize the ED&I Blueprint for the Township
  • Councillor Popp met with Blue Heron Books who confirmed they do not sell books that promote racism or hate
  • Our Library has a policy and mandate to scrutinize books available, ensuring books that promote violence, racism or hate are not available
  • We have been working towards a policy and by-law amendment specifically regarding banning symbols/signs that promote hate. Our lawyer was to appear before council on July 13th however was called away to an emergency and thus has been rescheduled for the next council meeting which is scheduled for Aug 10th. It is our expectation that a resolution will follow at the next council meeting.
  • Uxbridge has recently initiated their own grassroots group of residents who are discussing actionable ways which we as citizens can create a warm and welcoming environment for all, identify and remove barriers, increase accessibility of information, and provide awareness and education opportunities for all ages.

For this Durham Town Hall, we would like to continue asking the following questions of our communities:

Who is welcome? Who might not be? Who decides this?

What opportunities for leadership do we have today not just in our town but in Durham, in Ontario and beyond. How might we show up at this moment? How might we amplify actions that send a strong message that we welcome and support both residents and visitors to be the best version of themselves?

Delegation - Video: https://pub-uxbridge.escribemeetings.com/Players/ISIStandAlonePlayer.aspx?Id=70142865-525b-4929-8bb3-442579060fb5

PDF of Presentation: https://pub-uxbridge.escribemeetings.com/FileStream.ashx?DocumentId=4947

Tanya (on behalf of the delegation presentation group)

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