Diversity and Inclusion Resources - Anti-Racism and Diversity Resources
As a district we’ve made significant commitments to building diversity and engaging in anti-racism work. That’s happening at the level of our Board of Education through the commitment they made in the Spring of 2020, continuing to what’s happening inside our classrooms.
One of the questions we’re hearing in relation to this work is: what does it mean to be anti-racist?
Our district’s new Principal for Equity and Inclusion, Ravinder Johal, framed it this way, “We all know we don’t want to be racist. But as we look at the barriers to equity and inclusion that people, including our students, are still facing, we also know we need to do more. We need to listen, to seek those barriers out and work to dismantle them or stand against them. It’s about actively fighting the racism that harms those around us … and that can be a very personal journey, an uncomfortable one as we dig into the systemic roots of racism and privilege, and it can also be a very collaborative experience as we work together to raise the profile of the realities we’re trying to change.”
We are currently in the process of doing some significant work around anti-racism … under the leadership of our anti-racism committee and in partnership with consultants who will help us review where we are, build policy going forward, and drive educational opportunities that will support staff, students and families in doing more.
How can you start to be more aware of the issues and barriers the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) community face? Start by listening and learning. Below are some resources to help you do that.
(Please note, we’re working on building this resource out for parents and the community, and we will continue to expand this to be more inclusive as we do so!)
Here are some resources that may help parents and older students, as they look for greater understanding of what the big-picture issues are:
- From CTV News: “Five Charts that Show What Systemic Racism Looks Like in Canada”
- Another from CTV News: “In Their Words – Canadians’ Experiences of Racism”
- With only 1% of BC’s population identifying as Black, this article shares perspectives of 4 individuals living in BC, produced by CBC News: “You’re Always Alone”
Understanding BIPOC experiences and history
- Racism can be experienced and understood differently for our youngest learners. This video shares some thoughts on what that might look or feel like: A Kids Book about Racism
- From Jimi Hendrix visiting his grandma to the stars at Vie’s Chicken & Steak House: Hogan’s Alley was a thriving black community in Vancouver. Watch this video to learn how a freeway cut through it & the recent effort to recognize this history: Secret Vancouver: Return to Hogan’s Alley
- For middle and high school students, the Black Strathcona website shares stories of early Black immigrants to Vancouver over six decades: http://blackstrathcona.com
- Here is a short CBC Video and post geared towards Canadian kids and what they should know about the Black Lives Matter movement: https://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews/post/watch-what-canadian-kids-should-know-about-blacklivesmatter
- Looking to add some books to your elementary or middle schooler’s home library? CBC Kids put together this list, in honour of Black History Month: 11 Canadian books for kids and young adults to check out
- The story of the Komagata Maru marks a significant moment in Canadian history that is not always told. The impact on South Asian communities in British Columbia was profound. Learn more here: https://humanrights.ca/story/the-story-of-the-komagata-maru
- The Royal BC Museum has partnered with other institutions to create the Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project (PCLP) “to preserve, explore and share the contributions that Canadians of Punjabi descent have made to the history of BC and Canada”. https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/about/explore/centre-arrivals/punjabi-intercultural-history-project
Organizations you may want to follow
There are more organizations than we can track who are doing good work in this space. But here are a few you might want to look into as you continue on your learning and growth journey:
- The Learning Centre of the BC Black History Awareness Society: https://bcblackhistory.ca/