Words matter, but so does action. When it comes to being a truly equitable and inclusive institution, we know we're not yet where we need to be. We have a lot of work to do, including providing more opportunities for employees and students to share experiences and ideas, delivering new anti-racism training and education, and ensuring our community reflects the diversity of the Greater Toronto Area.
Our goal is to eliminate systemic racism at George Brown College. Find out how we plan to do it below.
Confronting the problem
Everyone deserves to learn and work in a fair and inclusive setting. George Brown College recognizes the systemic racism faced by Black, Indigenous and other racialized people in our community and our role in creating an anti-racist environment.
While the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services (formerly Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Services) currently leads this work, we understand that every area of the college must play a role in confronting and eliminating racism.
What are we doing to combat racism?
We’ve created an Anti-Racism Strategy that focuses on the following:
- Annual reporting for divisions across the college outlining anti-racism priorities and goals, and timelines to meet those goals
- Increasing Black, Indigenous and racialized student and employee representation and engagement
- Increasing awareness and understanding of anti-racism
Two departments at George Brown are focused on understanding the experiences of racialized members of the college community: the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.
Click on the tabs to learn about plans we’re delivering and developing.
Anti-Black racism training
Employees and students who take part in this training will learn about the roots of anti-Black racism in Canada, as well as the impact of racism on an individual, institutional and societal level.
Anti-Racism Advisory Committee
This committee will identify systemic racism in our community and provide feedback on related policies and programs.
Committee members will be made up of student and employee representatives from departments across the college.
Coming soon: the Office of Indigenous Initiatives will release a separate framework for the Indigenous Advisory Committee.
With the help of George Brown’s Black Student Success Network (BSSN), we’ll run an anti-racism campaign on our social media channels starting in late August that will highlight the effects of microaggressions directed at Black, Indigenous and racialized people.
We’re also going to include this campaign in our anti-Black racism training.
Black Employee Network
George Brown College will support the Black Employee Network to come together, socialize and share their experiences in a safe space. The group also offers a place for Black employees to support and mentor colleagues.
The Black Employee Network will meet monthly. Stay tuned for more details.
Commitment to the BlackNorth Pledge
In July 2020, George Brown College President Anne Sado signed the BlackNorth Pledge, demonstrating our commitment to tackling anti-Black racism. The pledge, which is part of the BlackNorth Initiative, organized by the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism, contains seven goals that are well aligned with the college's Anti-Racism Strategy.
Employee equity survey
We’ll conduct a survey in fall 2020 to better understand our current equity demographics and to identify gaps in new talent acquisition and retention.
Incident management system
We want to better understand complaints and incidents that involve harassment and discrimination, workplace violence and sexual violence. We plan to put a new incident management system in place. Data will inform our prevention and education activities in anti-Black racism and other important social areas.
We recently reviewed key policies to ensure everyone is clear about community conduct expectations and to promote fair decision making.
The review included the following policies:
- Code of Conduct for Employees —updated policy coming soon
- Conflict of Interest
- Human Rights, Discrimination and Harassment
- Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence
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Reconciliation and Indigenous Education
We have made Indigenization a key priority in our strategic planning. In 2019, we engaged in a consultation process to examine how we’re entrenching the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action into our culture and curriculum.
In spring of 2020, we opened the new Indigenous Student Centre at Casa Loma Campus, and we continue to be guided by the long-standing Sahkitcheway Indigenous Education Council, which works to ensure Indigenous worldviews, needs and issues influence college decision-making.
We remain committed to creating a new Director of Indigenous Initiatives position to oversee college-wide strategies. Upcoming Indigenous initiatives will be identified following the onboarding of the new director.