Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

September 18, 2008 10:07 ET

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Helping to Build Relationships Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Community Leaders

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2008) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is funding a workshop for Ontario Indigenous and Non-Indigenous community leaders through the auspices of its Glassman Tools for Tolerance® program. Following the recommendations of the Ipperwash Inquiry (a provincial public inquiry investigating the death of Dudley George, an Aboriginal man shot by an OPP officer during an occupation of Ipperwash Provincial Park Sept 6, 1995), this workshop will bring together members of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities from across Ontario to build relationships, learn, share and obtain tools for more effective communication. The group entitled 'Neighbouring Communities' will work to form a proactive approach to reduce racism and hate crimes. The 2-day intensive workshop will take place in Los Angeles, California next week.

An initial meeting was held at FSWC's Toronto office in August to begin the one-year commitment to this project. Alan Farber, a member of the FSWC Board of Governors who will be joining the group, commented that, "The group's dedication is evident in the level of dialogue and respect shown at this initial meeting. I applaud FSWC, the MAA and all participants for caring so deeply about moving forward in their goal toward relationship and awareness building." The communities involved are: Stony and Kettle Point-Forest/Sarnia area, Tyndenaga-Deseronto area, Six Nations-Caledonia as well as strategic personnel from the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) and the Ontario Provincial Police/Aboriginal Relations Team.

In a letter to FSWC and Neighbouring Communities workshop participants, Michael Bryant, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs said, "Thanks to your organization (FSWC) and its supporters, programs like Tools for Tolerance enable Ontarians to work towards building bridges between communities, promoting greater understanding and awareness."

"FSWC acknowledges the Government of Ontario and all the participants in this landmark workshop. We are proud to be part of such an encouraging and positive Ontario-led initiative," said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. "It reinforces the tremendous value the Tools program delivers in building stronger communities through cultural understanding."

Glassman Tools for Tolerance offers transformational workplace learning and leadership development. Set in state-of-the-art training facilities - both at the Tom and Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Centre at the Toronto headquarters of FSWC and at the UN recognized, award-winning Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, Calif. - the program bridges personal, local and global issues, challenging participants to redefine their professional roles in today's increasingly complex and changing world. The programs are experiential and learner-centered, and integrate a combination of innovative learning technologies, guest speakers, workshop formats and advanced curricula to ensure participants achieve personal and professional growth in a results-oriented group process.

New Tools for Tolerance workshop dates, information and application forms are now published on the FSWC (www.fswc.ca) web site.

About Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies is a Canadian human rights organization dedicated to fostering tolerance and understanding through community involvement, educational outreach and social action. It has 25,000 members across Canada, and confronts important contemporary issues including racism, antisemitism, terrorism and genocide. The Center is affiliated with the world-wide, Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, an accredited Non-Government Organization with status at international agencies, including the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE and the Council of Europe. With over 400,000 members of all faiths around the world, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has offices in New York, Miami, Paris, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires and Toronto. Simon Wiesenthal died in 2005 after devoting his life to preserving the memories of the victims of the Holocaust, while simultaneously seeking justice for the war criminals. Visit: www.fswc.ca.

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