2008 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: March 21

illust. Wenh-In Ng
2008, 2 pp
On March 21, 1960, police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire on a peaceful group of young students demonstrating against the apartheid laws, killing 69 people. In 1966, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed that date to be the “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.” In Canada, the Day has been recognized annually since 1989, supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage of the Government of Canada. The government of Canada has released an Action Plan Against Racism and participated, along with Canadian churches, in the United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism held in South Africa in 2001. In proclaiming the Day, the United Nations condemned “all policies and practices of apartheid, racial discrimination and segregation, including the practices of discrimination inherent in colonialism.” It is good for Canadians to remember this as we acknowledge the ongoing impact of Canada’s heritage of colonialism. We invite Canadian churches to mark The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by using this prayer and hymn on one of the Sundays close to March 21, 2008.

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