Presentation on theme: "BEST PRACTICES IN THE ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION."— Presentation transcript:
BEST PRACTICES IN THE ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Outline Introduction to the CRRF Some Best Practices Definition of racism Strategies to Combat Racism Approaches to Anti-Racism Strategy Conclusion
Who we are Ce que nous sommes Founded as part of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement Established in 1996 with a $24 million one-time endowment, negotiated by the Japanese Canadian community A Crown Corporation, operating at arms length from the federal government and a portfolio corporation CIC Un organisme né de lEntente de redressement à légard des Canadiens japonais Mis sur pied en 1996 grâce à un fonds de dotation de 24 millions de dollars négocié par la communauté canadienne dorigine japonaise Une société dÉtat, exerçant ses activités indépendamment du gouvernement fédéral, faisant partie du portefeuille de CIC
Who we are (contd) Ce que nous sommes (suite) Operation is funded primarily from the interests on the investment of the endowment fund Has registered charitable status The Chairperson, Board of Directors and the Executive Director are Governor-in- Council appointees Un organisme dont les activités sont principalement financées par les intérêts générés par notre fonds de dotation Un organisme de bienfaisance enregistré Un organisme dont le président, les membres du conseil dadministration et le directeur général sont nommés par le gouverneur en conseil
What we do Ce que nous faisons We work towards the elimination of racism and racial discrimination by, among other things: Undertaking research, collecting data and developing a national information base; –Being a clearinghouse for information about race relations; –Facilitating consultations –Promoting effective anti-racism training and education –Raising public awareness of the importance of eliminating racism –Supporting and promoting the development of effective policies and programs for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination Nous nous efforçons déliminer le racisme et la discrimination raciale : –en effectuant des recherches, en recueillant des données et en établissant une base d'information nationale –en servant de centre d'information dans le domaine des relations raciales –en facilitant la consultation –par la promotion d'une formation et dun enseignement efficaces dans le domaine de la lutte contre le racisme –en sensibilisant le public quant à l'importance de l'élimination du racisme –par lencouragement et la promotion de lélaboration de politiques et de programmes efficaces pour lélimination du racisme et de la discrimination raciale
How we do it (examples) Par quels moyens AWARD OF EXCELLENCE –Recognizing outstanding initiatives in anti-racism work –Symposium to share information and facilitate networking among organizations and agencies PRIX DEXCELLENCE –Reconnaissance dinitiatives exceptionnelles dans le domaine de la lutte contre le racisme –Colloque favorisant le partage de linformation et létablissement de réseaux entre les organismes
How we do it (contd) Par quels moyens (suite) EDUCATION & TRAINING –Develops and delivers diversity, equity and human rights education within an anti- racism framework WEBSITE (www.crrf-fcrr.ca)www.crrf-fcrr.ca –Working toward providing the most comprehensive information in anti-racism ÉDUCATION ET FORMATION –Préparation et prestation dun enseignement en matière de diversité, déquité et de droits de la personne ainsi que de la formation sinscrivant dans le cadre de la lutte contre le racisme SITE WEB (www.crrf-fcrr.ca)www.crrf-fcrr.ca –Centre de ressources le plus complet en matière de lutte contre le racisme
Best Practices in the Elimination of Racism Succeeding in the elimination of racism and racial discrimination takes time and commitment. The true cultural shifts happen when a number of best practices from different sectors in society are in place. A best practice is a technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result.
What is Racism? In looking at some of the conceptual challenges associated with defining racism, it is important to keep in mind that the definition is not a matter of semantics. It is an essential and fundamental step in the development of strategies and approaches to eliminate racism. Estable, Alma; Trickey, Jean; Tobo-Gillespie, Lulama, and Meyer, Mechthild (1999). Transforming Our Organizations. A Tool for Planning and Monitoring Anti- racism/multicultural Change. Ottawa: ACCESS Committee of Ottawa-Carleton.
There is no consistent and agreed-upon way within, and much less across, social research disciplines and literature to define racism. There is also no agreed-upon operationalization of the concept. The challenge is two-fold. Should we: 1) establish a definition of the different segments of the population who are impacted by racism--racial groups, ethnic groups, linguistic groups, visible minority groups, Aboriginals, First Nation, Status Indians, etc., or 2) develop definitions of the social processes through which inequality between groups is created or perpetuated?
Albert Memmis The Colonizer and the Colonized, notes that Racism gives generalized and definitive value to real or imaginary differences, for the benefit of an accuser and to the detriment of its victim, in order to justify aggression or privilege. Memmi, Albert, The Colonizer and the Colonized, Orion Press, 1965, reprinted, Beacon Press, 1984.
Canadas Action Plan Against Racism defines racism as...a complex issue which has social and economic consequences for both victims and beneficiaries. Moreover, racism takes many forms. It can be direct and overt; referring to attitudes, actions, policies and practices that openly embody the assumption that one ethno- racial group is superior to, or more deserving than, another. A Canada for All: Canadas Action Plan Against Racism (Department of Canadian Heritage, Ottawa:2005), pp. 7-8.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation defines racism as A mix of prejudice and power leading to domination and exploitation of one group (the dominant or majority group) over another (the non-dominant, minority or racialized group). It asserts that the one group is supreme and superior while the other is inferior. Racism is any individual action, or institutional practice backed by institutional power, which subordinates people because of their colour or ethnicity. CRRF, Glossary (Toronto: 2005) The CRRF will be revising this definition to reflect the evolving nature of racism
The Ontario Human Rights Commission notes in its Policy and Guidelines on Racism and Racial Discrimination (2005) that terminology is fluid and what is considered most appropriate will likely evolve over time. As for a definition of racism, the Commission indicates that there is no legitimate scientific basis for racial classification....It is now recognized that notions of race are primarily centred on social processes that seek to construct differences among groups with the effect of marginalizing some in society. To avoid the pitfalls of a narrow definition, the Commissions Policy and Guidelines on Racism and Racial Discrimination include reference to how racism operates, types of racial discrimination, and systemic (institutional) dimensions of racism. Ontario Human Rights Commission, noted in its Policy and Guidelines on Racism and Racial Discrimination (2005)
Several key themes may be identified from the Commissions Policy, which have a direct impact on the definition. Racism is a socially constructed way of judging, categorizing and creating differences among people; it operates at several levels, including individual, systemic or institutional and societal; Racial discrimination can be impacted by colour, ethnic origin, and place of origin, ancestry and creed. Race can overlap or intersect with factors such as groups such as sex, disability, sexual orientation, age and family status to create unique or compounded experiences of discrimination. There is interrelationship between economic status, marginalization and social exclusion and racism and the intersectional nature of racial discrimination. Ibid., p. 3.
The Commission also recognizes the evolving nature of racism. For example, in its Policy, the Commission defined Islamophobia as A contemporary and emerging form of racism in Canada. It can be described as stereotypes, bias or acts of hostility towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia leads to viewing Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level. Ibid., p. 7. We may also add anti-semitism as an example. Although anti-semitism has been with us for centuries, it continues to manifest itself in many forms. The Bnai Brith audit of anti-semitism for
Writing on Multiculturalism vs. Anti-Racism, Augie Fleras notes: Most Canadians are no longer racists in the classic sense of blatantly vilifying minority women and men. Yet racism continues to fester in unobtrusive ways, deliberately or unconsciously, through action or inaction. Racism is rarely experienced in an immediate and obvious manner, but through constant and cumulative impact of demeaning incidents that quietly accumulate into a ton of feathers. He outlines the contrast that while Canada remains at the forefront in fighting racism at individual and institutional levels, there is mounting evidence that racism is an everyday reality for many Canadians of colour, that racism is not some relic from the past. Fleras, Augie, Multiculturalism vs. Anti-Racsim, in Canadian Diversity, Vol. 5:2, Spring 2006.
United Nations International Convention to Eliminate Racial Discrimination. Conceptually, racism is accepted as a social process which results in racial discrimination and inequality. The term racial discrimination shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedom in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. In conclusion: –racism is an evolving social construct; –It targets the other; –it intersects with other variables, such as religion, language, and ethnicity.
Some Best Practices BMO-Financial Group (2005 AoE recipient) In 1990, BMOs president took an industry leadership role in sponsoring the Task Force on the Advancement of Women. The Task Force indicated that work needed to be done in the advancement of four groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities, and visible minorities. The Task Force produced its report, which laid the groundwork for addressing barriers to employment. The report marked a turning point in BMOs history towards achieving an equitable workplace, a diverse workforce, and meeting the needs of a culturally and geographically varied customer base.
The Task Force Report identified three main barriers to womens advancement at BMO: (1) false assumptions regarding ability to advance to senior level positions; (2) lack of encouragement about, and access to, opportunities in senior level positions, and (3) the need to balance multiple commitments. These barriers were identified as applicable to all groups, including visible minorities. Best Practice: senior management commitment; institutional value; policy; implementation.
SaskTel (2005 AoE Recepient) In 2004, SaskTel developed a comprehensive Representative Workforce Strategy (RWS) by building upon and expanding its existing diversity initiatives, such as its Aboriginal Participation Initiative, which was developed in The overall goal of the strategy is to increase representation while addressing workplace readiness that supports an inclusive work environment.
SaskTel strategy embraced business development, employment, education, marketing, and corporate citizenship initiatives through partnerships with the Aboriginal community. SaskTels Aboriginal Recruitment Strategy increased the hiring of permanent full-time Aboriginal employees by thirty-one percent over the previous four years (representing 11% of total permanent hires). In order to reduce organizational resistance to change, SaskTels initiatives were phased in slowly and comprised educational components relaying the importance of a diverse work force; this strategy resulted in a smooth transition. Best practices: commitment, policy, managing diversity and implementation.
Canadian Pacific (2008 AoE Recipient) Canadian Pacifics (CP) diversity strategy focused on providing Aboriginal and Chinese Canadians equal employment opportunities. CP launched a number of initiatives acknowledging and commemorating Chinese Canadian culture and their contributions towards Canadian history, highlighting those made during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
CP contributed to the production of a documentary entitled Chinese Grit, released a two coin commemorative set to recognize the 120 th anniversary of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It took various measures to reach out to the 107 First Nations reserves that neighbour the CP railway in an effort to develop solid, collaborative relationships with those First Nations. Since 1999, CP negotiated property tax jurisdiction agreements with B.C. First Nations. The property tax agreements recognize the First Nations property taxation jurisdiction over portions of the CP railway running through their reserves.
Aboriginal employees currently account for over 3% of CP Rails Canadian employee population and in 2004, Canadian Business Magazine named the company as one of the highest ranking employers of Aboriginal peoples. Various departments within the company, including the Real Estate Group, Environmental Services, Safety & Regulatory Affairs, HR and the Canadian Pacific Police continue to work regularly with the First Nations Band Councils and committees.
-In November 2007, the official signing of an agreement that proposes a new Canadian solution to CPs need for disposing of scrap railway cross ties took place between CP and leaders of the Aboriginal Cogeneration Corporation. -Working with First Nations and the Government of Canada to address historic claims related to railways. -Best Practices: legal, administrative, public affairs.
CMARD The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, along with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and a number of provincial human rights commissions across the country, joined forces in 2005 to establish the Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism (CMARD). The objective of CMARD is the elimination of racism and racial discrimination.
Municipal governments, along with local and national organizations, have an important role to play in combating racism and discrimination and fostering equality and respect for all citizens. Local communities function at the most practical level and are most involved in the lives of their residents. They are an ideal place to develop policies, programs and strategies, and take meaningful action toward eliminating racism and discrimination. Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination promotes human rights through coordination and shared responsibility among local governments, civil society organizations and other democratic institutions. By taking action to combat racism and multiple forms of discrimination, municipalities are able to build respectful, inclusive and safe societies where everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in the economic, social, cultural, recreational and political life of the community. Best practices: promote awareness of anti-racism; provide platform for exchange of best practices; act as source of information.
The CBA implemented several changes within its political and administrative systems and structures to both advance racial equality within the legal profession (legal education and practice as well as within the judiciary), and within Canadian law and society. These changes were reflected in by-law amendments, committee structures, and allocation of resources in the CBA. (AoE 2003) Canadian Bar Association:
Consistent with changes to legislation, the increasing recognition of the rights to self- determination of Aboriginal peoples, and the increasing racialization of Canadian society, the CBA initiated several changes such as the establishment of CBAs committee and section structure to address equality issues impacting on Aboriginal people and racialized groupsthe Aboriginal Law section, the Citizenship and Immigration section, the Standing Committee on Equality, and the Racial Equality Implementation Committee.
The CBA adopted numerous resolutions, presented briefs to governments, and convened many educational sessions on equality issues. The CBA faced numerous challenges in addressing issues of racial equality: Members of the legal profession have a strong belief in the objectivity of the rule of law and, as such, do not generally adhere to notions that the law is inherently flawed, betraying biases that have negative impact on socially subordinate groups. The CBA addressed this issue within its governing structure and membership as well as in taking on its advocacy and public education work. Best practices: introducing a new institutional culture; adopting governance strategy of diversity; adopting a new committee structure.
Community Builders, Youth Leadership Initiative (AoE 2003) The Youth Leadership Initiative is a community-based program developed in partnership with elementary schools that aims to make sustainable change in school cultures. It is based on a leadership model that empowers students (grades 5- 8) to educate their peers about how racism and other mistreatments/exclusion affect us all. The goal is to make schools more inclusive.
Community Builders purpose is to empower young people with the vision, skills and confidence to be leaders in the building of caring and equitable school communities. It takes elementary students through three years of leadership development in the areas of inclusion, non-violent conflict resolution, and peer support listening. Each year, the students attend a four- day leadership institute with students from other schools. Once completed, the students return to their schools and participate in workshops and special projects to impact other students. Best practices: empowerment; education and training; awareness.
Common Elements in the Best Practices Currently there are no generic resource books that can be used throughout diverse communities as a framework for developing long- term anti-racism strategies or best practices. One size does not fit all. Regardless of the differences, the various best practices share the following characteristics: Knowing the community Each organization understood the specificity of its community. Each organization identified the needs, deficiencies and problems of the community, and assessed the strengths, resources and abilities.
Education/information sharing A key piece to the development of long -term anti-racism strategy, which is found in the various best practices, is the ability to develop education initiatives, and to share information about the issues. By sharing information, all the stakeholders will have a better understanding of the issues and can begin to develop a common language to express their concerns. Workshops may include diversity, stereotypes, racism, homophobia, sexism. The visioning and Action Plan The above examples developed and promoted not only new linkages and relationships among individuals, agencies, associations and institutions, but also a vision of the type of society that each organization aspired to achieve. Each organization identified its goals, objectives, implementation components and activities, and provided realistic timelines.
D epending on the mandate background and membership of each organization, the various best practices adopted one or more of the following approaches: intercultural legal compliance managing diversity prejudice reduction Valuing differences; Anti-racism *Patti DeRosa, Change Works Consulting, 2001
The intercultural approach The primary focus of the intercultural approach is the development of cross-cultural understanding and communication between people and nations. It examines the ways in which human beings speak, reason, gesture, act, think and believe. It tries to help develop sensitivity to the cultural roots of ones own behaviour, as well as an awareness of the richness and variety of values and assumptions of peoples of other cultures. In this approach, ignorance, cultural misunderstanding, and value clashers are seen as the problem, and increased cultural awareness, knowledge and tolerance are the solutions. Cultural identity and ethnicity are the focus, while racial identity is not often examined. Cultural simulation games, that attempt to provide participants with the feeling of encountering a different culture are fundamental in this approach as are activities that explore the similarities and differences of culturally specific worldviews and values.
The classic legal compliance approach uses words like affirmative action, and equal opportunity. It is based in legal theory, civil rights law, and human resource development strategies. It is primarily concerned with monitoring the recruitment, hiring, and promotional procedures affecting women and people of colour so as to increase representation in the organization and comply with anti-discrimination laws. From a legal compliance perspective, the optimal state of race relations is colorblindness, a state in which people are just people and differences are not taken into account or remarked upon. The problem is identified as individual biases, lack of compliance with civil rights law, and exclusionary procedures within the organization or institution. A main driver is often the avoidance of costly discrimination lawsuits. Training and remedies are found in laws, regulations, and requirements. People are told about goals and objectives.
The Managing Diversity Approach It has a very strong presence nationally, particularly in corporations, and receives much attention in the mainstream media. The driving force is that the demographics are rapidly changing. To survive and thrive in the 21st century, business and institutions must tap into the diverse labour pool and customer base. One hears phrases like competitive edge, and the changing demographics. The term managing diversity itself seems to imply that if diversity is not managed, it will somehow get out of control, begging the question: who is supposed to manage whom and why? This approach targets training of managers of an organization. Conflict resolution techniques are included in the strategy, and racism and sexism are identified as problems to be addressed only inasmuch as they affect the bottom line.
The Prejudice Reduction Approach It has its roots in the re-evaluation counselling movement. Re-evaluation Counselling theory asserts that all human beings are born with tremendous intellectual and emotional potential but that these qualities become blocked and obscured as we grow older, from distress experiences such as fear, hurt, loss, pain, anger, etc. This approach teaches people to help free one another from the effects of these past hurts. As a diversity training model, this approach explores and seeks to heal past hurts caused by prejudice and bigotry.
The Valuing Differences Approach The term valuing differences is sometimes interchanged with managing diversity, but they are not the same. Rather than ignoring human differences, this approach recognizes and celebrates them as the fuel of creativity and innovation. This approach sees conflict as the result of an inability to recognize and value human differences, implying that the solution lies in learning about ourselves and one another. It talks about capitalizing on our differences to help organizations reach their fullest potential. Its core value is to recognize individual uniqueness while also acknowledging different group identities.
The Anti-Racism Approach This approach is at the heart of the diversity movement, for without it, the other approaches would not exist. Based on an understanding of the history of racism and oppression, this expressly political approach emphasizes distinctions between personal prejudice and institutional racism. The goals are not limited to improved interpersonal relations between people of different races, but include a total restructuring of relationships. This approach has a number of limitations, as we need to move away from the self-righteous approach, and the focus on educating White people. It focused exclusively on black-white issues. The struggles of other racial groups are usually not fully included and there was a reluctance to explore sexism and other biases.
In conclusion, our sample of best practices shows that one size does not fit all. Each organization adopted the approach which reflects its mandate, membership, needs and vision. The ideal approach is to rely on the strength of all approaches, and acknowledge cultural dynamics and understand the need for legal support.