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Calgary names anti-racism committee

A City of Calgary employee cleans the glass of an entranceway at city hall in Calgary, Alta., on June 20, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary is one step closer to an anti-racism strategy with the naming of the Anti-Racism Action Committee on Wednesday.

The committee is tasked with identifying systemic barriers to city programs and services, language barriers, ways to address structural racism on a community-wide level, as well as developing the community-based strategy.

Read more: Calgary police provide update on anti-racism, use of force work

“As we begin the difficult work of shifting our policies and systems towards being truly anti-racist, I am humbled by the number of Calgarians who put forward their names to help in that task,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a statement. “It is the leadership of the community, of those who have been unheard for too long, that will establish the set of actions we can take to make sure that Calgary is a city for everyone.”

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Monday, Nenshi said the city received 10 times the applications than spots available in the Aug. 11 to Sep. 11 window.

The city was looking for members who had experience in anti-racism work and an understanding of human and civil rights. Being able to build relationships and community connections was also important.

Read more: Public hearings on systemic racism in Calgary begin Tuesday

Committee members will have a two-year term, or serve until the city adopts an anti-racism strategy.

The public members of the committee are:

  • Nellie Alcaraz
  • Sonia Aujla Bhullar
  • Francis Boakye
  • Eileen Clearsky
  • Nyall DaBreo
  • Sajjad Fazel
  • Christine Giancarlo
  • Kari Giddings
  • Lisa Libin
  • Rishi Nagar
  • Anne-Marie Pham