Edmonton to build plan to put an end to racism and hate

A recent racial slur captured on video in Edmonton has spurred the #MakeItAwkward social media campaign. Global News

In light of recent events sparked by racism in Edmonton over the past few months, city council hopes to come up with a plan to eliminate racism in the city.

At a meeting Tuesday, council passed a motion asking city administration to prepare a framework to guide, facilitate and coordinate efforts to support inclusion and eliminate racism in Edmonton.

“The Edmonton we aspire to is a city that embraces and welcomes diversity,” Mayor Don Iveson said in a Facebook post.

In his post, Iveson said the framework should incorporate:

  • The ways the City of Edmonton currently supports, and in the future could support, grassroots and citizen-led anti-racism initiatives
  • The actions and results of the work being done within the City, its Boards and Commissions, to support broader inclusion and community participation
  • Recommendations for how the City, and its Boards and Commissions, should work to eliminate systemic racism and discrimination through its policies and strategy implementation
  • Information on how the City currently supports staff who experience discrimination and recommendations to enhance safe disclosure.

In September, Iveson and fellow Edmontonian Jesse Lipscombe came up with an initiative called #MakeItAwkward to help combat racism. It came after Lipscombe was the target of racial slurs in downtown Edmonton over the summer.

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Lipscombe, who’s an actor, was filming a PSA about the great attributes of downtown when a car pulled up at an intersection in front of him and someone inside the vehicle shouted, “The n*****s are coming! The n*****s are coming!”

READ MORE: Racial slur captured on video in Edmonton spurs #MakeItAwkward social media campaign

Alas, the Make Something Awkward campaign was born.

“If you have someone in your workplace, someone in the locker room, someone around the campfire who is even casually being racist or derogatory to any group or individual, it’s time to stop the conversation; it’s time to make it a little awkward and talk about it,” Iveson said.

“This is how we make it awkward. You say, ‘you know what? We do not say things like that in this day and age. I’m sorry, uncle, that’s not cool and it’s not very funny anymore. You can’t say that.'”

Watch below: An Edmonton man now has city hall standing behind him in his campaign to push back against hate and intolerance. On Wednesday night, Jesse Lipscombe was the target of a shocking incident of racism. As Jennifer Crosby reports, video of the incident has now sparked a movement and a serious question: is Edmonton a racist city?

Click to play video 'Racial slur caught on video in Edmonton spurs #MakeItAwkward social media campaign' Racial slur caught on video in Edmonton spurs #MakeItAwkward social media campaign
Racial slur caught on video in Edmonton spurs #MakeItAwkward social media campaign – Sep 2, 2016

Earlier in the summer, an Edmonton man was cycling in the downtown core when a racial slur was hurled at him.

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“People in a truck honk at me, guy gets out says, ‘get off the f-ing road you N-word,'” Bashir Mohamed told Global News in August.

Following the incident, Iveson reached out to Mohamed and the pair met at city hall to discuss what can and should be done to address racism in Edmonton.

READ MORE: Edmonton cyclist who endured racial slur feels positive after meeting with Mayor Don Iveson

Iveson has previously said Edmonton is not a racist city and the words used by one person by no means reflect the views of the city.

City council has asked administration to consult with community groups to come up with the framework. It’s not known when a report will be brought back to council.