GECDSB launches Anti-Black Racism Strategy

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The Greater Essex Country District School Board partnered with the Anti-Black Racism Steering Committee to unveil their Dismantling Anti-Black Racism strategy this week. 

Following an audit conducted through interviews, the strategy looks to prompt the conversations of helping staff and students feel comfortable in the community and in school, while also ensuring that Black representation is present in the school systems.

The strategy includes five steps, which includes engaging Black parents and communities and inspiring and supporting Black success in students.

GECDSB Director of Education Erin Kelly explains that there is a lot of work to be done, including training for staff and teachers. 

She says it all begins with an understanding of anti-racist learning environments. 

"We have to foster black affirming anti-racist learning environments, we really have to ensure that people are aware of human rights, we have to ensure that our students are feeling safe, comfortable, and valued. And that teachers and staff believe that our black students can be successful."

Kelly says that change begins in the classroom and in what educators teach their students.

"We really do need to examine the kinds of materials that we're using, and talk about the why, and why these things should be changed if we're going to dismantle assistance from those structures that we've had in the past."

She says that this strategy is a stepping stone to having other inclusive conversations.

"This is about creating a more equitable world, and more inclusive and respected diversity, and so I think all of those things will be critical for all of us in our learning."

 The five year strategy will begin action in the coming months to work at combating racism.

More information on the strategy can be found on the GECDSB website.