People participating in a symposium in Halifax Oct. 17-19 will look at what causes racism and how to eliminate it so everyone is treated equally. Over the three days, people will share ideas and success stories on fighting racism to benefit people now and in the future. This will include panel discussions and workshops on celebrating differences, multiculturalism, education, employment, policing and treaty rights. It is the 7th Award of Excellence and Symposium and the theme this year is Race, Faith and Belonging: Strengthening Citizenship Engagement. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is partnering with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to present it at the Nova Scotian Westin Hotel. “By meeting and discussing human rights issues we can generate ideas that provide us with better understanding of why racism exists and strengthen our efforts to eliminate it,” said Minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission Ross Landry. “Conferences like this educate all of us and provide wonderful opportunities to develop unique ways to address discrimination and improve the lives of people everywhere.” There will also be keynote addresses and presentations by Mr. Landry, Minister of Education Ramona Jennex, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs Percy Paris, director and CEO of the Human Rights Commission David Shannon, Jean Augustine, Ontario Fairness Commissioner, and Senator Don Meredith. “The relationship between race, faith and belonging is the issue of the hour. It will stay with us for years to come,” said Canadian Race Relations Foundation senior executive vice-president Ayman Al-Yassini. “Our challenge is how to shape a Canadian identity that includes everyone, while recognizing our diversity. We will address this from the human rights angle, and participation by everyone. We will also celebrate the accomplishment of Canadians to fight racism.” The Award of Excellence, presented by the foundation, recognizes public, private or voluntary organizations whose efforts represent excellence and innovation in anti-racism in Canada. The six award recipients have been selected from 32 entries in the following groups: Aboriginal, Education, Community, Corporate, Government and Youth. The winners will be announced Thursday, Oct. 18. Other partners include the Atlantic Metropolis Centre, James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. For more details go to www.crrf-fcrr.ca.