This is the 75th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The theme for this year focuses on the urgency of combatting racism and racial discrimination. This day is observed on March 21st after police in South Africa open fired and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid laws.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all people are entitled to all of the freedoms and rights. No one is exempt for distinctions such as colour, and race. Yet, discrimination still happens, worldwide.
The United Nations General Assembly emphasizes that, “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies…any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.”
Covenant House Vancouver is committed to serve all youth with relentless support, absolute respect, and unconditional love; to help youth experiencing homelessness; and to protect and safeguard all youth in need.
Marginalized communities such as BIPOC, Indigenous, and 2SLGBTQAI+, are overrepresented in the homeless community. There is insidious disinformation out there that problematizes and pathologizes youth from these communities. This can lead to discrimination that makes it difficult for youth to secure housing, obtain employment, and receive the supports that they need.
Covenant House Vancouver provides a safe space for youth to explore and express who they are, while receiving the support that they need to work towards the life that they want. In addition, our frontline staff work with youth to celebrate who they are through various dinners and events.
Covenant House Vancouver also works with organizations in the community, as part of our wraparound services. We have seen so many youth go from being profoundly unwell when they arrive here, to flourishing out in the community.
Today, let’s acknowledge that racial discrimination is still a problem worldwide, and let’s work together to end it.