City council approves new Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre board

A new, 13 member board will oversee the Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre (HARRC). Will Erskine / Global News

City council has approved a new 13-member board, as it relaunches the Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre (HARRC).

The members were recommended by a community advisory panel, with a focus on lived experience, connections to diverse communities and skills in finance, human resources and fundraising.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger believes they’ve arrived at a “good format to build on.”

He says it’s a requirement that we understand and appreciate that there is racism in our community, there are racists in our community, there is systemic racism that exists and we need to do everything possible to work against the forces that would create those kinds of divisions.”

Read more: Hamilton anti-racism resource centre gets closer to re-launching, seeks additional funding

The original HARRC project was paused in 2019, to pursue an approach that would allow it to operate independently from the city.

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Ward 3 Coun. Nrinder Nann agreed during Wednesday’s council meeting that they’ve put the centre on a “path to success.”

Nann says that path recognizes that “the type of race-based hate that our residents experience, need very deeply informed services and those that are both harm-reductive, as well as trauma informed.”

Approved Board Members include:

• Alice Mendelsohn – executive board member of the Hamilton Jewish Federation
• Amber Dean – founding member of Big Susie’s Sex Work Advocacy Organization and academic at McMaster University
• Ashleigh Montague – entrepreneur and founder of Sisters4Sisters
• Cassandra Belasco – founder of workplace inclusion network
• Desire Yamutuale – post-secondary instructor and Secretary General of the Amitié Canado-Congolaise
• Farhanna Khan – teacher and member of the Hamilton Mountain Mosque
• Jordan Carrier – works in Indigenous student support at McMaster University and a Board Member of the Niwasa Aboriginal Education Program
• Kassia Johnson – healthcare professional and a past board director at YWCA Hamilton
• Kudzie Chasosa – Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
• Rodrigo Narro Perez – works in instructional design at McMaster University and is a member of the McMaster President’s Advisory Committee
• Roshney Kurian – social worker and youth member of the Hamilton Malayalee Samajam
• Sandi Bell – community leader and directorships at multiple organizations
• Yvan Brochu – school principal and member of the Ontario Principal’s Council

City council also approved $50,000 to be used to operationalize the new board, in addition to $200,000 that the city is providing to assist the organization in its first few years of operations.

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