Ontario’s second annual Racial Justice Summit concludes with key insights and direction
CRRF, UARR successfully conclude one of the province’s largest virtual gatherings on racial justice thanks to broad participation and sponsorship
Over the course of two days this November, advocates, community organizers, and activists from across Ontario shared thoughts, perspectives, and lived experiences on racial justice issues in Canada in one of the largest virtual gatherings on racial justice held in the province this year.
The event was made possible through the efforts of 50 volunteers, 30 speakers, and moderators, 20 financial sponsors, over 700 participants who registered and took part in the Summit.
Through the 2021 Racial Justice Summit, participants learned about key issues and outlooks to help achieve our collective goal of eradicating racism in Canada. Key takeaways included:
- Historically marginalized racialized communities are looking for real change around approaches to policing. For example, using mental health professionals to handle cases where people are experiencing mental health distress.
- COVID-19 has exposed the enormous gaps inequitable access to quality healthcare for racialized people. In addition, the trauma of facing racism in all aspects of life can affect the mental health of racialized people, thus making racism a public health crisis.
- The education sector is in desperate need of reform. This reform must be implemented in the institutions that train teachers and the design of curricula to reflect the diversity of the society we live in today.
- Newsrooms and media executives must do more self-reflection on how they cover news stories about BIPOC communities and other equity-seeking groups and ensure better representation throughout the ranks.
- Labour unions make significant advances to address racism in the workforce. Still, several racial barriers in the workforce remain, making it harder for racialized people to access, navigate and exist in professional spaces, particularly when it comes to decision making and leadership positions.
- Incremental changes are being made at every level of government, with some tiers of government making concerted efforts to invest in racialized communities while working to improve their internal structures to address systemic racism within government institutions.
CRRF and UARR are committed to fostering a society in which skin colour, religion, and culture do not dictate life outcomes, opportunities for success, or the ability to survive and thrive. The Summit’s resounding success is a testament to the broad base of support that exists amongst communities and the tremendous work underway.
Both organizations extend their heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped to make the Summit a success and will continue to look for opportunities to advance policy solutions that address systemic barriers and racism.
Videos of each session will be available for viewing in the coming weeks.