Equitas re-launched its programming in Canada in 2004 with a focus on education programs for children and youth.
The Play It Fair! program, for children aged 6-12, aims to promote diversity and harmonious intercultural relations by addressing discrimination based on grounds such as race, ethnicity, culture, gender, disability or sexual orientation with the active participation of children and youth. Equitas, in collaboration with municipal authorities and community based organizations, is integrating Play It Fair! into existing programs for children.
On October 21, 2010, Equitas launched Speaking Rights, a new program that engages 13-17 year olds in exploring human rights issues and identifying strategies to combat discrimination and exclusion while promoting respect for diversity. The program centers on the active participation of youth by developing their ability to discuss issues that are important to them, to work collaboratively on community-building activities and solve conflicts peacefully.
Play it Fair! was awarded the Prix de la citoyenneté (Ann Greenup) in May 2009, recognizing exceptional efforts in the struggle against racism in Quebec. See the news release here.
In 2010 alone, over 2,000 summer camp day camp personnel were trained in the use of the Play it Fair! Toolkit and over 65,000 children across Canada learned about the importance of respecting cultural diversity.
Play it Fair! is in use in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, Fredericton, Moncton and Dieppe. New partnerships are being formed with other cities and with a number of First Nations communities in Canada. At the international level, Equitas has successfully delivered pilot training sessions on the Play it Fair! approach and toolkit in Jordan and in Haiti and is developing a similar initiative in Indonesia.
Speaking Rights was pilot tested in five boroughs in Montréal and will now be offered to organizations serving youth across the city of Montréal.