Calgary Human Rights Committee Meeting Minutes (April 29, 2021)

Calgary Area Human Rights Committee


April 29, 2021


Lindsey Sparks- PSAC Staff

Kathy Ajram- Chair UTE (30022)

James Huang- Treasurer CEIU (30856)

Ade Fayemiwo- AGR (30048)

Mayfred Gyamfi- Secretary UTE (30022)

  1. Call to order @ 18:03 upon meeting quorum
  2. Land acknowledgement 
  3. Review and adoption of agenda
    1. Unanimously agreed
  4. Approval of last meeting minutes 

Ade noted that his last name was misspelled in previous draft minutes. To be amended for posting. 

  1. Unanimously agreed 
  • Report from the chair
  • There has not been much activity since last meeting, however annual reporting package was submitted by the due date to Regional office. PSAC Prairies website has been updated and there was a slight hiccup in last draft minutes being posted, however this was corrected by our admin before the meeting. 
  • The REVPs office held an all committee meeting last month which was informative. We were advised that reporting packages should be approved before convention commences. No budgets will be allotted at this time due to the anticipation of not being able to hold events at this time, but if there is something we are interested in, we just need to consult with the office of the REVP to establish if approved and if so and we require funds, they will be sent. 
  • Report from the Treasurer 
  • James advised that the current account balance is $51.00. The cheques ordered cost $175.00, -James advised that we are currently paying 1.95/month of bank fees which is an improvement from previous bank fee expenses. James suggested that even after Covid-19 we continue with virtual meetings to keep expenses such as food and parking low. Kathy advised that we will have to see what PSAC would like to do at that time. In person meetings are extremely valuable at creating connections.

–Kathy advised that the bank sent a letter out advising that the new bank was missing some information and they were threatening to close the account. Kathy contacted the bank manager and was advised that everything was fine and the required information had been received. The manger informed Kathy that the letter was generated due to timing.

-Kathy advised that there is one outstanding cheque that we have. A member was paid for parking in 2020 and they lost the cheque. It is an outstanding cheque but it is linked to our old bank account. The member has been advised that once we have access to the new cheques we will issue a replacement for what she did not receive in 2020, which was about 7.35

  • New Business: Asian Heritage Month
  • The month of May is Asian Heritage Month. The world right now is seeing a lot of hatred and xenophobia when it comes to individuals of Asian descent. Every week we hear a story about someone being attacked because of their ethnic origin due to Covid-19, terrorism or overall intolerance and ignorance.  In our committee meeting last month it was discussed how the women’s committee had a virtual event called “kitchen conversations” and had a lot of positive feedback and a good turn out. Kathy asked the group, considering our turn out, if we could do something similar, and have members drop in and tell us their stories, and what they would like to see for the purpose of making meaningful change. Kathy also asked the group for any ideas to commemorate Asian heritage month that does not require any expenditure.
  • Ade stated that due to the committees current financial constraint, the best we can do are programs or events to highlight the month of May and also promote awareness regarding the increased violence and harassment towards individuals of Asian descent since the onset of the pandemic; doing so will help us not loose touch with the main objective of the group. Kathy advised that PSAC has sent communication along those lines and predicts that they will be doing something similar throughout the month of May as well. 
  • Kathy asked the group if the Asian heritage month should be left in national’s hand: Ade advised that we can help with the distribution of the information or amplify it. 
  • Kathy informed the group that she reached out to the Winnipeg human rights committee, as they are great source for innovative ideas, however they did not have anything planned this time around, as they and many other committees are scaling back virtual events to avoid zoom fatigue. So it appears that everyone is leaving things in the hands of PSAC who had several events during BHM and Asian Heritage Month will likely not be any different. 
  • May suggested doing a virtual greeting card to commemorate Asian Heritage, which could include a message of kindness and inclusion. Kathy advised it could be done by using the email distribution that Tom has, so that once it is completed it could be sent to all the locals and it will be up to the locals to distribute it to their people.
  • Kathy asked the group if they agreed with the idea of the virtual greeting card: Ade advised that it is a good idea since we are limited financially, and if it gets to one or two people it will circulate. Kathy suggested doing two greeting cards throughout the month of May. The first commemorating the end of Ramadan for our Muslim members and the second card with a messaging of kindness with respect to some of the things we’ve been hearing in the media addressing xenophobia and hatred. 
  • All agreed to have 2 virtual greeting card, one the second week of May to celebrate the end of Ramadan, and a second card to address the issue of racism, xenophobia as it relates to Covid-19. 
  • Next Meeting: Tentative- June, a date will be set closer to the time