The Greater Essex County District School Board is pleased to announce that it has begun the process to develop a strategy to dismantle anti-Black racism.
The board's newly formed Anti-Black Racism Steering Committee, comprised of members of Black community in Windsor-Essex, will guide the work of a consultant who will engage in consultations with students, staff, and members of the school community. Members of the school community can learn more about this important initiative and the ways they can provide their input through the project website at www.GECDSB-ABRStrategy.com.
In cooperation with the Black community, The Greater Essex County District School Board has selected Turner Consulting Group to develop its Strategy to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism. Tana Turner, principal consultant of Turner Consulting Group, is a researcher, consultant, and advocate for social justice and systems change. She works primarily with non-profit and public sector organizations to understand and respond to the increased diversity of the labour market, employee population, and community served. She has worked with a number of school boards on their equity journey, including working with GECDSB to complete our Staff Census and will be conducting an Equity Audit in 2022. In 2020, she worked with the York Region District School Board to develop its Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy.
"We look forward to hearing from GECDSB students, parents, staff, and other members of the school community to understand the issues faced, which will inform the recommendations for change," said Erin Kelly, Director of Education. "The Greater Essex County District School Board is dedicated to supporting the success of all students and removing barriers that undermine student success, including anti-Black racism."
"The members of the Black Council of Windsor-Essex are gratified that our advocacy of the past year has resulted in the Turner Consulting Group taking the lead in collaboration with the GECDSB to conduct a system-wide review of employee and student experiences, towards a strategy that will combat anti-Black racism in our public schools. We stand on the shoulders of our revered elders who have worked for decades to illuminate the inherent racism that has severely affected the educational experience of generations of Black children. We look forward to remaining engaged as a collective, and as members of the Anti-Black Racism Steering Committee, to ensure that this work is done in a manner that protects our community while revealing our truth." said Leslie McCurdy, Chair of The Black Council of Windsor Essex.
"We continue to work on implementing the Ministry of Education's Education Equity Action Plan and recognize that addressing anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination are important if we are to create an equitable education system," said Josh Canty, Superintendent of Education, Student Success, Alternative Education, and Equity. "We look forward to working with the community on this work and implementing Ms. Turner's recommendations."
Turner has also worked on a number of seminal projects to help organizations understand how anti-Black racism manifests itself and to work for systemic change. These projects include:
· Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy, York Region District School Board
· Towards Race Equity in Education: The Schooling of Black Students in the Greater Toronto Area
· One Vision One Voice: Changing the Child Welfare System to Better Serve African Canadians — Research Report; Race Equity Practices
· Adapting the SNAP Program for use in the African Canadian Community — Research Report; Companion Guide
· Fighting an Uphill Battle: Consultations into the Well-being of Black Youth in Peel Region
· Voices of Ontario Black Educators: An Experiential Report
· Race & Well-being: The Lives, Hopes and Activism of African Canadians