Press Release: City of Toronto and OCASI Launch Public Education Campaign



TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto and OCASI have joined forces to launch a public education campaign to raise awareness about the persistence of anti-black racism socially, politically and economically.

"Racism might not show up as overtly as in previous decades, but it's still present and evident," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre). "Toronto's motto is Diversity Our Strength. The City, as government, has a duty to create a welcoming place for all Torontonians whether they are new or life-long residents, regardless of race, religion or culture, which will allow them to prosper."

"Black people continue to face marginalization, discrimination and racism when it comes to employment, housing, access to services, and in many other areas of daily life," said Debbie Douglas, Executive Director of OCASI. "It's essential for us to create a Toronto For All that dispels any form of discrimination and racism and provides equal opportunities for all our residents."  

Racial profiling persists in many aspects of daily life for Black Torontonians. Black youth continue to drop out from the educational system at higher rates than their white classmates. Black people are over represented among those living in poverty. And, the number of Black youth is alarmingly and disproportionately high in remand, youth detention facilities and jails.

"Anti-Black racism is at the root of the social and systemic disadvantages facing far too many Black Torontonians," said Anthony Morgan, a social justice lawyer and advocate in Toronto's Black community. "This much-needed campaign reminds us that there is no progress without precision. It does so by showing us that multiculturalism, inclusion, equity and diversity can never be truly realized without naming and engaging anti-Black racism head on."

The campaign created by the full service marketing communications firm Public Inc. centres around bus shelter posters with powerful visual images which address anti-Black racism in employment and housing situations. The posters direct people to the campaign website, which provides information and resources to encourage dialogue, and to question and challenge anti-black racism.

This is a continuation of the City's partnership with OCASI. Phase 1 of the Toronto for All campaign ran in the summer of 2016 and focused on anti-Islamophobia. The campaign successfully encouraged dialogue amongst residents and the media in Toronto, nationally and internationally.

OCASI is the umbrella organization for immigrant and refugee-serving agencies in Ontario.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants - OCASI Image with caption: "#BlackinTO: Toronto's anti-Black racism campaign launches today (CNW Group/Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants - OCASI)". Image available at: For further information: Amy Casipullai, OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, 416-524-4950,; Jennifer Wing, City of Toronto, 416-392-5349,