TORONTO — The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is launching community engagement sessions to hear from community members, organizations, and the education sector about solutions to tackle anti-Black racism in Ontario’s public-funded funded education system.
Today, the OHRC is opening registration for 12 engagement sessions across the province that will support the development of an Action Plan to address systemic anti-Black racism in Ontario’s education system. The OHRC will conduct in person and virtual meetings. The sessions will start in October 2023 and are expected to last until January 2024.
In person and virtual meetings will take place in the following locations. Participants can register at each session in the links below:
Greater Toronto Area:
The community engagement sessions are the second step in the OHRC’s work to tackle anti-Black racism in education. The OHRC will publish an Action Plan report in 2024 with calls to action that are informed by input from written submissions, community engagements, and meetings with students. The OHRC will work with community partners to track and monitor the OHRC’s progress and implementation of the action plan.
Interested participants should register at: anti-Black racism in education community engagement
“The OHRC believes that an inclusive and supportive school environment is integral to the well-being, belonging and success of Black students. For too long, Ontario’s publicly funded education system has impeded and stifled their progress. Our earlier consultation with staff, educators and students in the education sector confirms this. The voices of students, communities, and education professionals must be heard to help identify and develop practical solutions focused on Black students’ well-being, achievement, and belonging,” said Patricia DeGuire, OHRC’s Chief Commissioner. "I look forward to attending the sessions and listening to those discussions.”
- The OHRC held roundtable discussions in April 2023 with Black Anglophone and Francophone students and duty-holders in the education sector to hear directly from them on solutions to address anti-Black racism in education.
- In June 2023, the OHRC released the What We Heard report, summarizing the insights and findings of these roundtables. The OHRC also called for written submissions on this report and ideas to address anti-Black racism in education.
- The feedback from the roundtables, submissions, and community engagement sessions will help the OHRC identify concrete actions and solutions to address key systemic challenges in the education system related to anti-Black racism.
- The OHRC also created a Compendium of Recommendations comprised of 83 reports spanning seven decades (1948 to 2023), highlighting the existence and impact of anti-Black racism in education on students, families, and communities. With over 190 recommendations identified, this compendium aims to provide historical context, educate the public, and fuel productive dialogue.
- Backgrounder: Anti-Black Racism in Education: Compendium of Recommendations
- Backgrounder: Anti-Black Racism in Education: What We Heard Report
- What We Heard Report
- Compendium of Recommendations
- Read more about OHRC’s Anti-Black Racism in Education initiatives
Adewonuola Johnson – Issues and Media Relations Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission