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Ontario Human Rights Commission is Calling for Written Submissions to Develop an Action Plan to Tackle Anti-Black Racism in Education

June 27, 2023

TORONTO — The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has reached an important milestone with the release of its What We Heard Report on anti-Black racism in Ontario’s publicly-funded Education System.

Anti-Black Racism in Education: Call for Written Submissions

The OHRC launched its What We Heard Report on anti-Black racism in education. To continue engaging in dialogue with other key partners and stakeholders in education, the OHRC is issuing a call for written submissions on concrete solutions to address anti-Black racism in Ontario’s publicly funded education system. The goal is to gather additional information including recommendations for solutions and action to empower and hold duty-holders accountable.

Anti-Black Racism in Education Engagement Guide

On June 27, 2023, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its Anti-Black Racism in Education Roundtables: What We Heard Report. The roundtables held in April 2023, provided a space for students and duty-holders in the education sector to share solution-focused and action-oriented recommendations.

For the next action, the OHRC is calling on key partners and stakeholders in education for written submissions on concrete and practical solutions to address anti-Black racism in Ontario’s publicly funded education system. This step is to develop an ongoing dialogue with those key partners and stakeholders, and gather additional information, including actions for implementation, to empower, and to hold duty-holders accountable. 

Anti-Black Racism in Education: Compendium of Recommendations

Recognizing a rise in acts of anti-Black racism in Ontario communities and public schools, in March 2023, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced an initiative to tackle the crisis of systemic anti-Black racism in Ontario’s publicly-funded education system. The OHRC is committed to the development of a province-wide strategy on accountability for, and impact of, anti-Black racism and discrimination in education related to the roles and functions of the education sector, community, and the OHRC.

What We Heard Report: Anti-Black Racism in Education Roundtables

Black leadership and community engagement have been at the forefront of action to address systemic discrimination and advance racial equity in Ontario. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) recognizes that Black individuals, organizations, and grassroots movements have been working on issues of anti-Black racism in education for decades. The OHRC acknowledges and embraces the work of generations of grassroots and community-led organizing and academics and the significant strides toward protecting the safety and well-being of Black children in Ontario’s publicly funded education system. The OHRC has tried to capture and preserve those works in its initiative to address anti-Black racism in Ontario’s education system. We are grateful for those works and honour the people who have contributed to them.

OHRC Policy statement on human rights in COVID-19 recovery planning

November 9, 2021

Engaging the human rights principles contained in the OHRC Policy statement on human rights in COVID-19 recovery planning will result in evidence- and human rights-informed approaches to recovery planning, policy and program design. Rooting the pandemic recovery in human rights principles and proactively taking equity into account will support governments and service providers in meeting their legal obligations to eliminate discrimination and advance substantive equality.

OHRC Policy statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates

September 22, 2021

While receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains voluntary, the OHRC takes the position that mandating and requiring proof of vaccination to protect people at work or when receiving services is generally permissible under the Human Rights Code (Code) as long as protections are put in place to make sure people who are unable to be vaccinated for Code-related reasons are reasonably accommodated.

Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities

The Ontario Human Rights Code  recognizes the importance of creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person can contribute fully to the development and well-being of the community and the Province. The Code guarantees the right to equal treatment in education, without discrimination on the ground of disability, as part of the protection for equal treatment in services.

This Policy replaces the Guidelines on accessible education (2004).

Policy statement on cannabis and the Human Rights Code

September 2018 - Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policies apply to cannabis in the same way they do for other drugs. The Code protects people who use cannabis for a medical purpose related to a disability from discriminatory treatment in employment, housing, services and other areas. The Code also prohibits discrimination against people who have or are perceived to have an addiction to cannabis based on the ground of disability.


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