Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


The Center for Research-Action on Race Relations is a Montreal-based independent, non-profit civil rights organization that was founded in 1983 with the mandate to promote racial equality and combat racism in Canada. It is considered as one of the leading non-profit race relations organizations in Canada. As an issue-based organizations, CRARR works with all sectors of society that share its values of equality and diversity, especially equality-seeking groups.

CRARR receives technical and financial support from a wide range of public and private institutions, unions, educational institutions and individual donors.

CRARR is a partner of different stakeholders, including the Court Challenges Program of Canada, the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes du Québec, Pinay, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Concordia Student Union Legal Information Clinic. It is also part of national networks, hate crimes and employment equity.

CRARR activities and services include:

  • Support for for victims of discrimination based on race, religion, ethnic or national origin, citizenship status and related characteristics: Since 2000, CRARR has represented and assisted more than 1,000 persons in different cities before administrative and common law tribunals, regulatory bodies and statutory human rights agencies.
  • Charter research and litigation on racial equality issues: Since 2000, CRARR has been involved in litigation related to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, on a wide range of issues including employment discrimination, labor misrepresentation, media racism, racial profiling in law enforcement and retail business, biased judicial conduct and hate crimes.
  • Awards: The bi-annual Frederick Johnson Award to honor an individual or a non-profit organization that has achieved outstanding results in fighting racism. Its 2002 recipient is Mr. Hank Avery, an African Canadian teacher in St-Armand-Phillipsburg, Quebec who mobilized local citizens for the recognition of a Black slaves' cemetery in that region. Its 2005 recipients include the Hon. Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice of Canada; the four Black farm workers who won a landmark civil rights case against their employer, and Mothers United Against Racism. New awards of recognition will be created in the name of CRARR members and supporters who have passed away.
  • Conferences, consultations and seminars on different race relations and civil rights issues: Key CRARR conferences and seminars addressed hate crimes (2002), racial profiling and civil rights (2003), media, racism and civil rights (2004), the criminalization of youths of color in Montreal (2005), public-private-community partnerships in crime prevention (2006),internet hate (2007), Ontario's model of fair recognition of foreign credentials (2008), domestic workers and civil rights in Quebec (2012) and the Quebec Charter of Quebec Values (2013).
  • Training: CRARR provides private training to public and private institutions, including the judiciary, on diversity and civil rights. Contrary to other trainers, CRARR's training focuses on how to prevent and remedy discrimination. CRARR also focuses on intersectional discrimination issues, providing conceptual linkages to other forms of discrimination.
  • Research-action projects on systemic racism and intersectionality: Recent research-action projects include systemic racism in cultural funding and Charter strategies on media discrimination (2004); race and electoral districting (2006); ITAR (the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations that imposes racial discrimination on Canadian aerospace companies receiving military contracts) (2007); race and suspect description (2008) and systemic racism in the Quebec police ethics system (2009)
  • Interventions and advocacy before legislative, administrative, regulatory and other agencies: Interventions include testimonies before legislative committees on private security legislation, immigration, racism, racial profiling in video camera surveillance, and antisemitism. Recent advocacy work includes support to Mothers United Against Racism (2003) a campaign against racial profiling in Montreal (2003-2006); reforms to labor arbitration to ensure greater responsiveness to racial discrimination in unionized workplaces (2009-2010), and systemic racism and intersectionality (2012-).