International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21)

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21)
Posted on 03/19/2021
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21)

The OCDSB benefits from and is enriched by the diversity of perspectives, experiences and lived realities of the students, staff and families that make up our community. 

March 21st is recognized as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The 2021 theme is “Youth standing up against racism.” We must take some time to acknowledge the harmful impact of racism and to reflect on the fact that acts of exclusion and hostility continue to be a reality in our local community, in our country and around the globe. 

This past year has highlighted the experiences of discrimination of people based on their identity (race or skin colour, Indigenous identity, ethnicity or culture, age, gender, disability). It may be tempting to think about these things happening someplace else, but in July 2020 Statistics Canada invited Canadians to share their experiences of discrimination during the pandemic. Over one-quarter of the participants reported experiencing discrimination and “Results also indicate that several groups of participants, including gender diverse participants, Chinese, Korean, Southeast Asian and Black participants, and Indigenous women were among those who were much more likely to report having experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly during the pandemic.”

Our commitment to eradicating racial discrimination must equally address vicious acts of hatred, internationally and here at home, and less blatant acts of racism, such as microaggressions that may go unnoticed by many but are extremely hurtful, exclusionary and costly to members of the OCDSB community. 

Let us consider how our daily practices include and engage students, staff and community members who have been historically disadvantaged. What practices must be disrupted in order to ensure that voices previously marginalized are centred and celebrated? As an organization and community, we recognize that the way forward is collaborative and inclusive. 

Sunday’s pause for reflection is an opportunity to make a move, however small, that can make a difference for one person and, in turn, a whole community.

For resources and information, please visit the links below for more information about actions and steps being taken by the OCDSB and some of our other partners in education:

We all need to #StandUpAgainstRacism.

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