The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Message from the Vice President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) is observed annually on March 21. The day seeks to bring focused attention on the dehumanizing and oppressive injustice caused by racism and racial discrimination that is the lived experience of millions of people across the global daily. The IDERD emerged from the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination through United Nations General Assembly resolution 2106 (XX) December 21, 1965, which came into force January 4, 1969. The March 21 date pays homage to Black resistance and resilience in South Africa and more specifically to the 69 people brutally killed and more than 180 injured by police in a peaceful protest against apartheid in the Black township of Sharpeville on March 21, 1960, that became known as the Sharpeville Massacre.

The fight against racial discrimination and hate is therefore not new and despite some progress over the decades, racism continues to be a global scourge and in Canada and many other countries remain seemingly intractable. In Canada, Indigenous peoples, people who are racialized, religious minorities, English Language learners and people who are racialized who speak with non-Anglo accents, and immigrants, face systematic racism and hate which often is manifested in violence.

One this the 2023 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we call on everyone to commit to taking personal and collective action to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination not just today but every day. To our University of Windsor campus community, let us resolve to making our campus a truly safe and inclusive place to learn and work. Let us end all forms of racism on our campus now.