Waterloo Public Interest Research Group
Organization profile published 1980

Publisher:  University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Year Published:  1980
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2042

The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) is a non-profit, student funded and directed research and educational organization. The group attempts to analyze and expose social and environmental issues in a manner that reaches both university and community audiences.

WPIRG sees racism as a major factor in both national and international social issues. The social, political and economic segregation of black South Africans by apartheid is a prime example of one racial group's exploitation of another. WPIRG believes that racism is not only the other country's problem, but a Canadian problem.

WPIRG points to inadequate housing among Ojibway Indians in Ontario as only one instance of racism in Canada. Further, the economic self-sufficiency of these Indians is made almost impossible partially due to rivers full of mercury-poisoned fish.

WPIRG also points to hidden examples of racism. They refer to the economic, social and political implications of a can of Dole pineapple to a Phillipino, or a pound of coffee to a Latino. Racism, they argue, is practised by multinational food corporations which monopolize foreign labour, land, and capital.

WPIRG has created what they describe as "popular education programs" in which they try to bring out these problems in order that the public may better understand the implications of attitudes of prejudice and superiority. Through supermarket tours, lectures, films and presentations WPIRG has discussed such things as food and transnationals, foreign aid and world development, native rights in Canada and third world liberation issues.

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1980.
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