This event is meant to be a space to disseminate, analyze and present the learnings we have encountered thus far, related to racial equity in education. We hope to provide tools/roadmap for parents and students to navigate equity related issues within the Ontario school boards. Sessions will include information on issues such as diverse hiring, impacts of COVID-19, and legal rights within the school system. Various sessions are focused on developing particular skills, such as policy writing workshops.
Dates: June 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th
Morning Session: 10am
Afternoon Session: 2pm
Session 1: Summary of Project Research & Exploration - A review of the various research findings, academia, analyses, and project insights that we have compiled while examining racial equity in Ontario school boards.
Session 2: Culturally Competent Mental Health + Best Practices - Culturally competent mental health services respond to the particular needs of members of minority populations, while recognizing the scope of the systemic inequities that influence an individual’s mental wellness.
Session 3: Reflective & Diverse Hiring: Numerous studies have shown the benefits of diverse hiring in educational institutions - whether that’s developing a community-reflective workforce, improving student engagement, driving conversations of inequity, or otherwise. But are Ontario schools being truly intentional about recruiting, hiring, and retaining teachers that are diverse in background, education, experience, and knowledge? We bring the experiences of racialized teachers together in conversation with Ontario’s hiring practices to question how our schools can better serve their communities.
Session 4: Policy Writing Session: #workshop: Education systems are highly complex and require policies to enforce structure and change. Policy writing is just one of the effective ways to successfully achieve advocacy mandates, this interactive workshop is designed to provide participants with a guide for creating the best practices in policies that can successfully lead the transformation of equity in education.
Session 5: Know Your Rights Legal #explainer: No parent should have to face the legal system alone. This public legal education session will cover the basics of navigating and engaging with the education system as well as understanding your legal rights as an advocate.
Session 6: COVID-19 Impacts: COVID-19 has continually impacted communities in many ways. This session will focus on the key impacts that COVID-19, as well as the pandemic overall has had on communities in order to provide insight on better ways to support communities in need.
Session 7: Ontario’s secondary curriculum: Historical overview of what is represented in the curriculum, analyzing current curriculum: This session will focus on the Ontario secondary school curriculum, and specifically examine representation within the curriculum. This session will also analyze whose narratives are and continue to be included and whose narratives are excluded and/or misrepresented in the curriculum.
Session 8: Differences between Catholic and public boards;
Session 9: Funding models; how Ontario's budget changes the possibilities for public education: The recent shifts in funding for public education has had numerous impacts on students, families, and school programs. This session will focus on how the current budget and funding model affects the future of public education in Ontario.
Session 10: Parent involvement: This session will focus on parent involvement in accountability, racial and equity-related concerns with their children’s schools and the school boards.
Coalition for Racial Equity in Education (CREE) Project Description
With funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations will be working with Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators (ONABSE), Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto (CCNCTo), and Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action (TCCCA) to engage in two years of groundwork for systemic change in education policy, while engaging with organizations of racialized communities.
Our project aims to bring together existing work, those already doing the organizing, and those eager to be involved in activism in the hopes of increasing the efficacy of anti-racist advocacy in the Ontario education system. We will spend the next two years working towards specific goals selected by our community partners. We hope to engage regional school boards and the provincial government as a part of our work.