By: Areej Ali
This past November marked the launch of “Tax-Free Tuesdays,” an initiative proposed by McMaster Students Union president Ikram Farah during the 2018 presidential election.
The pilot project, created in collaboration with McMaster Hospitality Services, entailed offering students a 13 per cent discount at La Piazza during the month of November.
Farah initially created the initiative in effort to promote food affordability on campus.
“Food insecurity is real. The MSU invests in the operations of the MSU Food Collective Centre to offer immediate food support to students,” said Farah in a Silhouette article about the project from November.
With the winter semester coming to an end, McMaster Hospitality Services director Chris Roberts has confirmed that “Tax-Free Tuesdays” project will not continue in the future.
The aim was to have increased traffic flow in La Piazza, which would offset the financial losses resulting from giving students the discount.
According to Roberts, La Piazza did not see increased traffic in November.
“The data clearly showed that our transactions on the Tax-Free Tuesdays were no different than previous Tuesdays ,which resulted in a significant loss in revenue over the course of the pilot,” said Roberts. “This indicates that students continued their usual habits regardless of the discount.”
He cites Union Market’s elimination of their boxed water, suggesting that McMaster Hospitality Services must continue to operate in a financially responsible manner.
As such, the “Tax-Free Tuesdays” project will likely not resurface next year.
When asked for her comment on McMaster Hospitality Services’ decision, Farah did not provide a response to The Silhouette.
There is a lack of clarity with respect to McMaster students’ feedback from the project, including whether or not they believe there was sufficient advertising from the MSU.
Farah and the MSU have also yet to publicly respond to Roberts’ comments and McMaster Hospitality Services’ decision.
“I believe there are other initiatives that we could look at that serve the needs of students who are financially challenged that will not affect our financials in a negative way,” said Roberts.
An example of one such initiative is Bridges Cafe’s new “Cards For Humanity” program, a pay it forward initiative through which students donate to other students.
According to Roberts, students can expect to see various food accessibility initiatives emerge, but “Tax-Free Tuesdays” will no longer be one of them.
By: Saadia Shahid
On Feb. 27, the McMaster Students Union promoted its three-day education campaign “Compost at Mac” which highlighted several composting bins around campus. The campaign encouraged students to locate areas within the university where compost bins should be placed.
This was done in efforts to reduce the waste produced by students and also to promote composting.
Another table that I came across in the McMaster University Students Centre asked students to make pledges to limit their use of disposable items. I pledged to limit my use of plastic cutlery, but how feasible is that really?
As a student, making sustainable choices is difficult when there are plastic straws and cutlery distributed all over campus. It is hard to make the environmentally-conscious choice when those items are so easily accessible.
It is easy for the MSU to put up boards encouraging students to help combat climate change, but would it not make more sense for McMaster Hospitality Services to abolish the use of plastic cutlery and disposable items altogether? This would probably help reduce the carbon footprint of the entire university.
This may seem like a drastic change, but the ease lies in switching to more environmentally-friendly and sustainable options like steel cutlery and straws. Reusable mesh grocery bags should be also sold on campus to make it easier for students to adopt sustainable habits.
In making these changes, the MUSC eating area could be also revamped into a proper food court with steel cutlery and plates given out in La Piazza. Students can then return to these items to workers stationed at the food court.
A system like this is already implemented at plenty of malls with food courts and helps to reduce waste due to the availability of reusable cutlery. The cost may seem a little high, but it is not higher than the one we will have to pay due to the effects of climate change.
This initiative can start during Welcome Week with new students introduced to the green changes.
Speaking from a student’s point of view, these changes would make things easier for us and also be more beneficial for the Earth. An institution equipped with the funding makes a bigger difference than opposed to individual students struggling to find sustainable alternatives.
The MSU has done a lot of things that students didn’t vote for, such as starting the composting initiative. They encourage us to follow along as it is a change for the better, but they must at least make it easier for students to adopt.
CW: Islamophobia, violence
On March 19, hundreds of students, faculty and staff filled the McMaster University Student Centre courtyard to mourn the victims of the Christchurch massacre.
The terrorist attack was committed on March 15 by a white supremacist who opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing a total of 50 people and injuring 50 others.
The attack was considered the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s recent history.
The vigil was organized by the McMaster Muslim Students Association in collaboration with the McMaster Muslims for Peace and Justice and the McMaster Womanists. The three groups brought 15 speakers from various parts of the community to speak.
The vigil began with a recitation from the Quran.
In a particularly poignant moment following the recitation, the organizers honoured and read out the names of the 50 who died due to the attack.
A theme echoed throughout the vigil was that the attack reflected a larger movement of white supremacy, Islamophobia and bigotry across the globe.
“White supremacy exists, toxic masculinity exists, misogyny exists. Xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia exist. These things exist in New Zealand, in the United States. They also exist right here in Canada, in Ontario, in Hamilton,” said Khadijeh Rakie, a staff member of the McMaster Equity and Inclusion Office.
Rakie encouraged Muslim people to grieve freely.
“I don’t think our strength or grief must be looked at in one way, or need to be performative or palatable or always available for public consumption,” said Rakie.
Speakers pointed out the connection between Christchurch and the 2017 Quebec mosque attack, completed by a white supremacist, which killed six people in prayer.
“Far-right populist leaders around the world and false media narratives have stoked the fires behind the dehumanization and demonization of Muslims worldwide, causing events like the one in Christchurch,” said one student speaker.
Many speakers also expressed appreciation for other faith groups who have supported and stood in solidarity with them since the attack.
Other speakers encouraged Muslim and non-Muslims alike to actively stand against discrimination in all its forms.
“As different societies face all forms of prejudice, persecution and rhetoric against immigrants, refugees, visitors and worshippers of all kinds of faith, backgrounds, and communities, we must all stand together against all forms of violence, ignorance and hatred,” said another student speaker.
Mahmood Haddara, the president of McMaster MSA, called for compassion and unity.
“We need at times like these to build those connections with each other, to turn towards each other, to remind ourselves of that love and that connection, to look at the person next to you regardless of their skin colour or their belief and remind yourself that they are your brother or sister in humanity,” said Haddara.
Following the speeches, the organizers held an open prayer in the MUSC atrium.
Gachi Issa, one of the organizers of the vigil, said she is grateful for the support from the McMaster community and hopes the vigil will also spark discussion about discrimination and Islamophobia in Hamilton and on the McMaster campus.
“The message is first and foremost to mourn these  and counting victims in New Zealand, but it’s also to localize it,” said Issa. “The same thing that has killed them affects us here.”
By: Anastasia Richards
Our lifestyles tend to be disposable. Many of us are prone to throwing things away and replacing them without thinking twice about it. We reach for simplicity and convenience, regardless of the consequences.
The Repair Café, a grassroots organization based in Toronto, will be hosting their first event in Hamilton at the Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre as part of the ongoing Division of Labour exhibit. Set to take place on March 30 from 1 to 4 p.m., the workshop will gather community members to learn how to fix things together and address sustainability.
The Repair Café launched in Amsterdam in May 2009. The philosophies of the event are all linked to promoting sustainability, helping out your neighbours and getting to know others in the community. In 2013, there was a small group of citizens in Toronto that heard of the event in Amsterdam and wanted to bring it to the greater Toronto area.
“Whether it be… electronics, sewing and mending, small motor repair, carpentry. Individuals that have the skill set come to the café, usually held in public spaces such as libraries or community centres and they teach people how to repair on their own,” explained Suzanne Carte, curator of the Division of Labour Exhibit at the Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre.
Not only does the Repair Café provide you with the opportunity to learn to be handy, it provides an opportunity to meet people in your community. While you wait on your repair or even if you just want to stop by and see what it’s all about, you can get to know your fellow neighbours.
“With that, there may be some intergenerational conversation…talking about an object will lead to one’s life, uses for said object, storytelling and all of that. It's about building community and skill sharing too,” said Carte.
We live in an age where disposal and replacement are all too easy. Many of us are far too keen on replacing things once they’re slightly damaged. The Repair Café workshops aim to challenge this notion by facilitating an opportunity for people to learn how to be handy, as part of a community and on their own.
The workshops also aim to challenge gender roles that are present within the context of the work associated with repairs. The Repair Café creates an environment where preconceived notions about gender, such as who can sew and knit or do small-motor repairs, can be addressed and broken down.
The Repair Café wishes to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere so that even those who do not want to come and get something fixed can still feel compelled to attend and be a part of the community. As an example, Carte will be bringing her iron.
“I could probably go and find out how to do it via a digital platform, but I really want to be able to sit down with a person who can take me through the steps, answer any questions that I have in how to better care and serve this object that then services me,” said Carte.
Attending the Repair Café will provide her with an opportunity to collaborate with others in her community, share stories with them, exchange knowledge and extend the lifetime of her appliance.
The Repair Café hopes to change people’s mindset. Every contribution helps to improve our sustainability practices and it can all begin by learning how to fix the little things.
By: Neda Pirouzmand
One of the key issues that the MSU points out in the “Health and Wellness” policy paper is that referrals from the Student Wellness Centre are not tailored to the needs of students.
The MSU suggests that the SWC neglects to account for how students will reach community referrals or how much it will cost them.
The policy paper brings forward a number of recommendations to combat these issues, proposing the SWC connect with MSU peer support services to provide support for McMaster’s diverse student population.
The MSU also recommends that the SWC offer harm reduction services and feedback opportunities to students.
The policy paper also includes recommendations for other university stakeholders, suggesting that professors and teaching assistants be required to undergo mental health first aid training.
According to this policy paper, McMaster off-campus resource centre resources are underused by students. The OCRC has not posted on Facebook since April 2017.
Another issue is that demand is overtaking supply in the student housing market. The quantity and quality of available housing opportunities is on the decline.
In light of these issues, the MSU recommends the city of Hamilton to proceed with its proposed investment of $347,463 to hire three full-time employees for a two-year rental licensing pilot project beginning in 2019 to annually inspect buildings in Hamilton.
The MSU also suggests that McMaster seek more public-private partnerships to improve the supply of nearby student housing.
This policy paper first notes that McMaster has a ten year plan to make its campus “car free,” which would reduce accessibility by moving the HSR bus stop from University and Sterling Street to the McMaster Go bus station.
According to the paper, another accessibility concern lies in the fact that most McMaster professors neither consider nor actively incorporate strategies and recommendations outlined in McMaster’s accessibility resources.
The paper also points out that learning materials are often inequitable and the university has significant work to do when it comes to promoting and implementing accessible pedagogy.
The MSU puts forward a number of recommendations to improve the university’s accessibility practices.
The paper argues that all professors teaching in rooms fitted for podcasting should post podcasts and use accessible formats for supplementary class material.
In addition, the paper suggests that intramurals reduce their pre-playoff participation requirement from 50 to 30 per cent, as students with disabilities may not be able to make all games.
According to the paper, student accessibility services should have an open catalogue for student notes, where students in need would not be limited to resources from one student.
The dominant issue highlighted in this policy paper is the fact that faculty staff and many student groups do not receive mandatory anti-oppressive practices training.
In addition, according to the paper, McMaster Security Services has been involved in the excessive carding and racial profiling of students.
Another issue concerns the fact that there exists no record-keeping system of student demographics in relation to enrollment and dropout rates by faculty.
Students are also largely unaware of the McMaster Religious, Spiritual, and Indigenous Observances policy.
Some recommendations in the paper call for McMaster to explore alternative enrollment application streams for underrepresented groups.
The paper also suggests that applicants looking for research funding from Mcmaster identify how their research will appeal to or account for marginalized populations.
According to the paper, McMaster should mandate equity and diversity requirements for all undergrads.
Chairs of hiring committees, security staff, teaching assistants and faculty members should undergo mandatory AOP training.
Another recommendation calls for the EIO to investigate carding and racial profiling trends centered around McMaster Security Services.
By: Drew Simpson
The Division of Labour exhibit portrays sustainable ways of creating art while also looking at the difficulties of creating a sustainable art career. Housed in the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre’s main gallery space until April 20 and accompanied by a panel discussion, Division of Labour warns of the scarcity of resources, labour rights and living wages of artists.
Division of Labour also serves as an educational tool to communicate and start discourse around the issues regarding sustainability. The Socio-Economic Status of Artists in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area discussion, which was facilitated by Divisions of Labour curator, Suzanne Carte, and included panelists Sally Lee, Michael Maranda and Angela Orasch, encouraged artists to be vocal and seek action.
“People want to be around artists, but they really don’t. If they were living in the reality that a lot of artists are living in, it would not be favourable. What they want is the pseudo creative lifestyle. They want to be around beautiful things and smart people, but they don’t really want to be assisting with making sure artists are making a living wage and that artists are being supported financially,” explained Carte.
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For emerging artists, this exhibits presents a valuable learning experience as it informs them of community issues. This topic is particularly important since emerging artists are often asked to work for free, often under a pretense that the work will add to their portfolios or lead to exposure. However, Carte argues that asking artists to work for free devalues the work they do.
“Because you are emerging, and because you’re new to the practice does not mean that any institution, organization or individual business, whatever it might be, can take advantage of you and use it as exposure… it’s not about gaining experience — I can gain experience on the job. I can gain experience while being compensated for what I do,” explained Carte.
While Carte encourages individuals to stand up for themselves, she understands that many artists may not be in a position to be able to reject sparse opportunities. She, alongside the panelists at the discussions, further discussed ways emerging and established artists can fight for their rights.
Lee gave an overview of organizations and advocacy groups that focus on bettering labour and housing situations and are making communities aware of gentrification and the living experiences of artists in Hamilton and Toronto.
Maranda added that lobbying for bigger grants or funding is not enough. The community also needs to be advocating for the improvement of artists’ economic status through establishing a basic or minimum hourly wage, affordable rent and transportation.
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Recently, Maranda was a quantitative researcher for the Waging Culture survey. The survey investigated home ownership in Hamilton compared to Toronto. Maranda concluded that Hamilton artists are less reliant on the private market and contribute more to the public art community.
The survey also suggested an artist migration from Toronto to Hamilton due to Hamilton’s lower rent and higher artist home ownership. This leads to a domino effect as real estate agents and developers follow the migration and aid gentrification.
Orasch stated that real estate agents and developers have secretly attended similar panel discussions. The panelists speculated they do so to learn how to market housing to artists. However, the overall sentiment was that they crossed into an artist-designated space to further exploit artists.
“Developers are taking advantage of the language that we have been able to construct for ourselves, to be able to be attractive to other artists or other individuals who feel as though they want an “artsy” experience out of life,” explained Carte.
Lee emphasized how all these surveys and discussions need to reach key decision makers. The Division of Labour exhibit and the panelists at the discussion have repeatedly stressed that talk is merely educational, the true goal is action and change.
Statistics Canada data suggests that persons with disabilities, Indigenous and racialized identities are vastly underrepresented in workforces in Canada. To help marginalized students and alumni seek employment, the Student Success Centre launched the Career Access Program for Students, a suite of services offered in collaboration with the Student Accessibility Centre and Maccess.
CAPS focuses on skill building and career development through career advising, strategic goal setting and personal branding. Students also work on creating an employment action plan that is customized to meet their needs.
The program is for students and alumni that identify as persons with disabilities, First Nations, Metis and Inuit persons, members of racialized communities, First Generation students and LGBTQA2S+ students.
Students and alumni can book one-on-one appointments through OSCARPlus, participate through events, or utilize online resources to learn about financial accommodations for students with disabilities, wellness support services, a transit accessibility initiative and campaigns to promote diverse practices.
The SSC also introduced a new position.
Katherine Hesson-Bolton started her position as the diversity employment coordinator in July 2018.
Her initial goals were finding her way around campus alongside first-year students, reading reports, developing a network with faculties, students, campus services and partners and identifying service gaps and needs.
Hesson-Bolton’s role places her in a unique position as a connecting link between McMaster and the greater community.
She regularly meets with employers in hopes of coming away with jobs and opportunities for students while also having conversations around diversity hiring and removing barriers.
She then is able to provide employers with on-campus and external resources, such as ones coming from Pride at Work Canada, to help them address diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
“It’s really about having a conversation with the employer to hear what their needs are, what McMaster students’ needs are, and then finding that fit… So it’s really about relationship building on both sides,” said Hesson-Bolton.
“It also comes back to reaching back to those campus partners, whether it’s student accessibility services or Indigenous services,” said Hesson-Bolton. “I also work a lot with and involve students on campus because it’s really important to get students’ perspective and their feedback.”
Hesson-Bolton also strategizes with employees on branding. Some employers have identified that they want to focus on inclusion, but do not know how to identify and address the needs of new employees.
“You may have employers who will want to hire students with disabilities. And the question back is ‘have you thought about how your workplace is set up? What are your policies, procedures, your staff education, so that the new employee feels included?’,” said Hesson-Bolton.
Hesson-Bolton starts the conversation by discussing meeting the needs of new hires, whether that be identifying the accommodations that would allow persons with disabilities to work, establishing prayer spaces or recognizing that always having social events in establishments that serve alcohol may exclude some individuals.
Hesson-Bolton also has important conversations with students and alumni around disclosure in the workplace and accommodation plans.
She also provides a space for students to talk about their frustrations, experiences with discrimination, while also connecting them to mentors and peers with similar lived experience.
There is a strong need for university services to support students entering the workforce and address the barriers to diversity and inclusion. The CAPS program and the role of the diversity employment coordinator are just getting started.
The month of March is an exciting time for Canadian university sports. Varsity teams across Canada spend most of March battling it out in arduous tournaments to bring national recognition to their university.
Especially during this time of year, it is easy to get swept up in the action, focusing solely on medals won or opportunities squandered, and the human side of the athletic community can be quickly forgotten. While all student-athletes at McMaster grind it out over the school year to bring home another banner, many members of the McMaster athletic community also dedicate their time to another important cause.
McMaster Athletes Care is a volunteer program whose vision is to “utilize sport as a tool to teach valuable life skills and empower youth to believe in their dreams”. In addition to community events such as January’s annual Think Pink Week, the program gives Mac athletes an opportunity to volunteer in the Hamilton community.
From hospital visits and bringing kids to Marauders home games, MAC hosts weekly volunteer visits to the Living Rock Youth Resources program, the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton, and the Routes Youth Centre. During these weekly visits, volunteers will utilize gym space to get kids active.
“It’s a really easy way to get volunteer hours to just sign up and go play sports, which is not really volunteering — it's a lot of fun,” said MAC’s Living Rock coordinator Mike Cox. “It’s a productive procrastination where, if you watch two hours of Netflix, I feel like I don't really get anything done and I feel kind of bad about that. But if you go and volunteer, you're giving your time and it's a nice break.”
Mike Cox has been involved with MAC for the last few years, initially volunteering as a member of the men’s lacrosse team to earn volunteer experience in pursuit of a teaching career. Cox eventually found himself making the weekly visits to Living Rock, a program for at-risk youth, and it became more than just a fun way to give back to the community.
“It's a reality check too, to go out and to do all that stuff,” Cox said. “It just kind of makes your bed a little warmer and your food taste a little better and all that stuff, so I know that it puts things into perspective. I started out doing it because I needed volunteer hours but like once you get out there, it kind of sucks you in and obviously I've been there ever since.”
Upon returning to Mac for a master’s degree in mathematics last year, Cox took over as MAC’s Living Rock coordinator. Enthusiastically organized by McMaster’s Coordinator for Community and Alumni Engagement, Nicole Grosel, the executive committee is full of members like Cox, each committed to coordinating the various events of the program.
Living Rock focuses on an older age group compared to the other weekly visits, so while it can be a challenge to get the older kids to participate in physical activity, which is the program’s main focus, the quality time spent with the members of these programs is still important to them.
“It feels good to see these people who stop coming for good reasons, like they don't have to be there because they found an apartment or because they've found a better job or they moved on,” Cox said. “It's a cool feeling to kind of see them through all that stuff and see where they started and see where they ended up.”
In addition to giving kids an outlet and an additional support system, getting varsity athletes to interact with kids in the community serves MAC’s goal of inspiring and motivating kids. In addition to showing them the importance of living a physically active life, student-athletes can share opportunities that can come from playing high-level sports, like scholarships and important relationships.
“Volunteering is always important and all of those kids they appreciate it, and I know they do. It's just good for McMaster and it's good for your soul,” Cox said. “To show that the athletes do have, amongst their busy schedules, that we can give back a little bit and show that McMaster Athletics isn't just about winning championships, it's about showing that we can give back and that we can recognize that we're very fortunate people.”
Not only does MAC help student-athletes appreciate their position, but it also allows some of the lesser-covered sports to gain some recognition as important parts of the Marauders community, such as the women’s lacrosse team who brought in a sizeable donation for a clothing drive and logged the most volunteer minutes for Think Pink Week.
Giving student-athletes from any sport a fun and easily accessible way to give back to the community, MAC continues to be a great service that deserves to be recognized as an invaluable resource for the Hamilton community. While giving student-athletes an opportunity to appreciate their own lives, MAC is helping to inspire a new generation of athletes.
By: Rida Pasha
It is unsurprising that there is an increase in mental health issues among university students, especially here at McMaster University. Whether it is stress, relationships, family or work, there are numerous factors that can contribute to developing mental health issues.
While professional help is encouraged, such as therapy or counselling, these services can be very expensive for the average student.
Though McMaster prides itself on the mental health resources it provides, such as those at the Student Wellness Centre, it is commonly known that the university has much room for improvement.
One of the ongoing concerns at the SWC is the amount of time it takes to actually see a counsellor.
The lack of counsellors present at McMaster has been an issue for a while and though various students have advocated for the SWC to hire more counsellors in order to meet the demand, it is important that any counsellors hired reflect the student population at McMaster.
The university is home to various groups of people that come from diverse backgrounds and communities. Not only is it important for students to see more representation at the SWC, it is also important to acknowledge that many students feel more comfortable seeking help from counsellors that they can relate to.
For a university that is home to thousands of students of colour and members of the LGBTQA2S+ community, it is essential that the SWC hire more counsellors that are able to relate and provide a sense of understanding to these students’ struggles.
As someone who is an Indian immigrant that grew up in Canada, I personally would feel more prompted to seek counselling if I knew there were Asian professionals that had a similar background to mine.
I would feel more encouraged to discuss details of my life such as my culture and heritage, which is something that my counsellor could likely relate to without misunderstanding.
Additionally, as it can be difficult for international students to adjust to Canadian culture, they may wish to seek counselling. As it stands, there are not many services specified for international students concerning mental health and wellness.
If the SWC were to hire more counsellors aimed at improving the mental health of these international students, more students may be inclined to use their services to improve their mental health and overall experience at McMaster.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 34 per cent of Ontario high school students have indicated psychological distress on a moderate to serious level and these levels are only bound to increase during university.
Though McMaster has attempted to provide services aimed at improving mental health and wellness, it is time the university took active change.
It is vital that McMaster acts to not only increase the number of counsellors, but also to increase the diversity of counsellors available for the numerous groups of students who call McMaster home.
By: Drew Simpson
On Feb. 26, the Green is not White environmental racism workshop took place at the Hamilton Public Library’s Wentworth room. The free, open-to all workshop, garnered intrigue from attendees interested in learning about environmental racism.
Presenters sat on a raised platform and the room was filled with chart easel pads, activist posters and resources. The Green is Not White workshop, which is organized by Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces in partnership with the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Environment Hamilton and the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion started its seven-hour agenda with a land acknowledgement, icebreakers and then laid down foundational knowledge.
Environmental racism is originally defined by Prof. Benjamin Chavis as the racial discrimination and unequal enforcement of environmental policies. The types of environmental racism have expanded since this 1987 definition and currently encompass air pollution, clean water, climate migration, extreme weather, food production, gentrification and toxins in the community and workplace.
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The crust of the issue is that ethnic minorities are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards. Black and Indigenous populations are most affected by environmental racism, yet this makes it no less of a collective issue. Local case studies were highlighted to drive this message close to home.
For example, most of Hamilton’s waste facilities are clustered just north of and within residential areas. This includes a proposed electronic waste processing facility, which can cause lead and mercury exposure, and an existing chemical wastes facility that is known for chemical explosions causing evacuations and serious injury. Loads of biosolids have been trucked through neighbourhoods posing disease risks from pathogens, concerns of terrible odours and ammonia use for steam filtering.
Studies show that Hamilton neighbourhoods with single-parent families and low education are the most exposed to air pollution. Since these neighbourhoods have fewer resources and are systematically marginalized, they are targeted by acts of environmental racism. The hashtag #EnvRacismCBTUACW continually discusses case studies across Canada.
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Along with the extensive examples of Canadians and Hamiltonians living in dire conditions due to environmental racism, as well as the government’s oversight of this issue, various Hamilton organizations have taken it upon themselves to drive change.
This workshop was the third part of a four-phase action research initiative on environmental racism by ACW, which develops tools to better the environmental conditions of jobs and the workplace and CBTU, a coalition that breaks the silence on African-Canadians’ labour issues. While this third stage involves community engagement, the fourth and final stage involves a joint report and video that will be housed on both the ACW and CBTU websites.
The slogan “Green is Not White” highlights that green jobs and environmentally safe conditions should not be reserved for white people. People of colour are most likely to work and live in dire conditions, and therefore deserve economic justice and access to clean water and land.