Racial Equity in Education

About this Project

In collaboration with the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Chinese Canadian National Council of Toronto, Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action, and Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators, CASSA launched the Racial Equity in Education project in 2020. The project aims to engage in two years of groundwork for systemic change in education policy, focused on challenging racial discrimination in Ontario’s school system. 

Project Process

Along with these community organizations, we brought together the existing work on racial equity, and launched a volunteer recruiting campaign to establish and train a volunteer team, consisting of high school students and parents. Each organization aimed to put together a team consisting of 10 high school students and 10 parents of students, that would represent their communities within the project. 

Building Capacity

The volunteer teams engaged in various advocacy tools and trainings to build capacity within the communities they represent and tackle racial inequity across regional and provincial school board levels. These trainings were delivered and facilitated by local organizations, such as Tools for Change and Harmony Movement, and included Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppression workshops, Advocacy training, Leadership training, Community Organizing and Action Planning workshops, and Solidarity and Allyship training delivered by CASSA. 

Regional Community Programs

In addition to these trainings, the project launched regional community forums, spanning across Scarborough, York, Peel, and Durham region, designed to determine and understand what educational issues each community was most concerned with, and how we might go about tackling them. To gain further insight from the community, we also hosted community-specific forums in November 2020, which were attended by members of the Chinese, Black, Tamil, and Muslim communities. In November 2020, we hosted the Youth Racial Justice Summit, directed at engaging racialized youth by tackling subjects such as the school to prison pipeline, anti-racist curriculum building, and introductions to policy and advocacy, and in June, we organized the Back to Basics Conference: Addressing Racism in Ontario’s Secondary Schools.

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