By now, we’ve all seen the headline.
We are approaching the one year anniversary of a Maclean’s article dubbing Winnipeg the most racist city in Canada.
It was published on January 22nd, 2015.
A tearful Mayor Brian Bowman held an impromptu event at city hall that day. He says we have made real progress in the 365 days since.
“We can debate whether or not the headline was fair or not but how this community has rallied and has risen to the challenge has been something that has been noted nationally and something I am very proud of,” he says.
“One of my proudest moments so far in my time serving as your mayor has been how the community came together.”
Bowman calls it a “change in tone” around the city. He’s formed an indigenous council at city hall and held a successful two day summit at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Now, he’s organizing another event for city hall on Friday, to mark the official anniversary.
“Bringing together many of the people that have been engaged and have been asissting in this collective effort to assist with reconciliation and greater inclusion in this community. We’re going to be taking stock of what those efforts have been over the last year and charting a course forward over the coming year,” he says. “To really show the nation what we’re made of.”
Bowman says he’s even invited the author Nancy Macdonald to come out.
“I know there are many that are going to be coming in from outside of Winnipeg to attend. I hope and expect Maclean’s will take of the response this community has made this year.”
The mayor admits he re-read the article recently and calls it a tough read.
“There are heart-wrenching stories that are chronicled in that story,” he says.
The story cited the murder of Tina Fontaine and attack on Rinelle Harper as examples of a racial divide.
You can read the full article on the Maclean’s website.