Cities Against Racism

“…By taking action to combat racism and multiple forms of discrimination, municipalities are able to build respectful, inclusive and safe societies where everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in the economic, social, cultural, recreational and political life of the community.” -—Call for CCMARD, 2005

The Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) is one of the seven coalitions that compose the International Coalition of Cities Against Racism. 

The coalition, launched in March 2004 by UNESCO, consists of networks of cities interested in sharing their experiences to improve their policies against racism, discrimination, exclusion and intolerance.

CCMARD is based on a common desire among municipalities to achieve two key goals:

  • Share experiences and lessons learned
  • Strengthen policies to counter all forms of  discrimination to achieve greater social inclusion

Why get municipalities involved?

Because municipalities:

  • Share the responsibility to protect citizens from racism and discrimination
  • Have the ability to bring together a broad range of stakeholders
  • Are often a first point of contact for citizens
  • Can be key players in efforts to foster equality and respect for all citizens

How do municipalities benefit?

By investing time and resources to create more inclusive communities, municipalities may see:

  • Improved community life
  • An improved economy
  • Better efficiency
  • Improved responses to discrimination

What do municipalities do?

Participating municipalities rely on Ten Common Commitments to achieve their goals. The commitments relate to the municipality as a guardian of public interest; the municipality as an organization in the fulfillment of human rights; and the municipality as a community that shares responsibility for respecting and promoting human rights and diversity.

Key initiatives include partnerships; engaging community stakeholders at all stages; and access to a national and international network of cities interested in acting on anti-racism and anti-discrimination policies locally.