Educator Gary Pieters is the new president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR).
The Toronto District School Board vice-principal, who has been a member of the organization’s board of directors for the past four years, says he relishes the opportunity to lead the organization at this time.
“This is a great chance to re-establish the organization in making race relations relevant in the 21st century,” said Pieters. “Issues of racial profiling and racialization of poverty are still key areas of concern for minorities. Race matters and there is still a lot of work to be done to truly reflect Canada’s vision of a just society.”
A graduate of the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in Political Science & African Studies and a Master of Education, Computer Applications in Education, Pieters has served on several boards and advisory committees, including Sojourn House, Multilingual Community Interpreter Services, San Romanoway Revitalization Association and the Toronto Star Community Editorial Board.
In 2006, he co-founded the Committee to Commemorate & Memorialize the Abolition of the Slave Trade (CMAST), which was a community-based organization charged with raising public awareness and promoting education relating to the bicentenary of the abolition of the British and United States slave trades.
Pieters is a member of DiverseCity Voices, which is a Maytree Foundation initiative aimed at improving the diversity of voices in the media. He also makes guest appearances as a subject matter expert in the print, broadcast and online media and he has written several opinion/editorial page columns for various publications, including the Toronto Star
In 1975, a group of seven that included the late Dr. Wilson Head, established the UARR after a meeting to discuss the increasing frequency of hate-motivated violence against Blacks and South Asians on city streets, subways and shopping plazas.