Canadian Race Relations Foundation
|Canadian government agency|
|Chairperson Albert Lo 
Executive Director Dr. Lilian Ma (Eff. Aug. 1, 2017)
Canadian Race Relations Foundation is a Canadian government agency responsible to foster racial harmony and cross-cultural understanding and help to eliminate racism. The foundation was opened in November 1997, after the bill establishing it received royal assent on February 1, 1991. The Foundation operates at "arms length" from the government and is a registered charity. The Foundation is led by a board of directors appointed by the federal government as selected by the Prime Minister's Office by recommendations from the Minister of Canadian Heritage, currently Mélanie Joly. Previously, such advice came from the Minister for Multiculturalism, last held by Jason Kenney.
The agency was formed as a result of an agreement between the federal government and the National Association of Japanese Canadians called the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement which acknowledged that the treatment of Japanese Canadians during and after World War II was unjust and violated principles of human rights. The Canadian Race Relations Foundation, CRRF is a charitable organization that concentrates on fostering racial harmony and cross-cultural understanding within the country with the purpose of eliminating racism. The foundation was opened on November 1997 and continues to be an important leader against racism today. CRRF is led by a board of directors and constitutes various staff members as well as volunteers. The foundation was partly founded by the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) who negotiated a contribution of $12 million on behalf of its community. The Government of Canada matched that amount to establish CRRF.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation opened its doors in November 1997, following the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act on October 28, 1996. The Act came about after the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement in which the Government of Canada acknowledges that the treatment of Japanese Canadians during and after WWII was unjust and violated principles of human rights. The foundation’s purpose is to “foster racial harmony and cross-cultural understanding and help to eliminate racism”. The Canadian Race Relations Foundation operates at arm’s length with the government and is registered as a charitable foundation. The CRRF’s employees are not part of the Federal Public Service.
In 2009 the Canadian Race Relations Foundation has confronted many challenges due to the economic downturn. Consequently, the CRRF has had to redesign some of their programs including temporarily suspending the “Initiatives Against Racism” program. The foundation therefore recently redesigned some of its programs to fulfill its mandate and maximize the delivery of its services. The foundation decided to focus on rationalization and streamlining of activities and projects, and increased partnerships with like-minded institutions. One major change was the temporary suspension of the "Initiatives Against Racism" program by replacing it with a series of round table discussions.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation mission entails “providing leadership in the building of a national framework for the struggle against racism in Canada; providing advance understanding of the past and present causes and manifestations of racism; providing independent national leadership and serve as a resource and facilitator in the pursuit of equity, healing, fairness and justice in Canada; contributing to Canada’s voice in the international struggle against racism”.
The foundation aims to be a “leading and authoritative voice and agent in the struggle to eliminate racism in all its forms and to promote a more harmonious Canada”.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation holds various activities in order to bring awareness to racial struggles within Canada.
Public service announcements (PSA)
One current activity is the development of three 30-second public service announcement television spots into eight languages. These spots have been broadcast on OMNI-TV since February 25, 2010. The theme of these PSA is to "see people for who they really are: Unite Against Racism Campaign". The eight languages used for the PSA reflects the linguistic diversity of the increasing Canadian immigrant population and includes spots in Cantonese, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu. The whole production was funded by Rogers OMNI Television. “The impact of making key anti-racism messages available to multilingual audiences is an important step towards building an inclusive and accepting Canadian society,” says Madeline Ziniak, National Vice President of Rogers OMNI Television, which has fully funded the production of the PSAs. "OMNI is privileged to contribute, participate and make a difference in these aspirations." The PSAs are used in the largest multimedia anti-racism campaign in Canada.
In partnership with the National Film Board of Canada, various mockumentaries about racism in the workplace "Work for all" have been released on http://www.nfb.com. Work for All is produced by the National Film Board of Canada with the Participation of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation has partnered with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to hold forums that will focus on “Mobilizing Municipalities to Address Racism and Discrimination”. The forums’ purpose is to bring together many municipal officials and community and university representatives to introduce a manual to confront racism and discrimination.
With the collaboration of Images Interculturelles and the CRRF, the Conseil des relations interculturelles of Quebec developed the EDIT project. The EDIT project is an audit tool for organizations who desire to foster, stimulate and increase their growth. The project uses a Human Resources participation point system for organizations to measure at various levels their business model, their ethnocultural diversity management and equity capacity practices.
The CRRF has established a niche for research projects that are not traditionally funded by the government. The Foundation has a program that provides funding of up to $7,500 for Initiatives Against Racism to support projects aimed at a broad public audience. Funding support for anti-racism initiatives is provided through the CRRF's Research and Initiatives Against Racism programs. The CRRF does not provide core funding to any organization but will support specific outreach/education initiatives. The CRRF is also consulted by officers from the Multiculturalism program at the Department of Heritage Canada as a key community resource in the national effort to address racism.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation offers education and training services with their ET Centre (Education and Training Centre). This centre provides diversity and human rights education and training within an anti-racism agenda. The services provided through the center can be either public or private and works through a variety of workshops and other activities. The CRRF has partnered with the Equity and Leadership Institute to provide experimental training with issues regarding emotional intelligence and conflict resolution.
The organization also sponsors the "Policy Program" whose purpose is to develop and analyze policies in regards to the CRRF’s strategic direction. This direction concentrates on being a leader in the struggle to eliminate racism in all its forms, both nationally and internationally. The policy development program also prepares briefs to their partners and facilitates stakeholder engagement in the organization.
Current organization features
The CRRF holds an Awards of Excellence Program who recognizes public, private or voluntary organizations whose "efforts represent excellence and innovation in combating racism in Canada". This award recognizes best practices and is part of an educational program sponsored by the CRRF.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation is administered by a Board of Directors consisting of a Chair and up to eleven other directors appointed by the federal government. The selection process is coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office, based on recommendations by the Secretary of State (Multiculturalism).
The day-to-day operations are managed by the Executive Director, who serves as a non-voting member of the Board. All of the foundation’s Directors come from all areas of Canada and bring a diversified cultural heritage and expertise.
The CRRF hires staff from time-to-time, but has a small staff and therefore few hirings. The Canadian Race Relations Foundation also takes student placements and volunteers on a case-by-case basis.
In order to establish the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) negotiated a contribution of $12 million on behalf of its community. The contribution was matched by the Government of Canada to create a $24 million endowment fund to the CRRF.
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- Canadian Race Relations Foundation website Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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- The Canadian Race Relations Foundation, 2010 http://www.crr.ca/content/section/12/243/lang,english/
- Canadian Race Relations Foundation, FAQ’s, 2010, http://www.crr.ca/content/view/163/249/lang,english/
- Canadian Race Relations Foundation, Education and Training Centre, http://www.crr.ca/content/section/18/393/lang,english/
- Canadian Race Relations Foundation Policy Program 2010
- Ontario Human Rights Commission Official Website http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/news/vaughn/view
-  Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- Canada, Government of. "Organization Profile - Canadian Race Relations Foundation". www.appointments-nominations.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-06-16.