Malikca Lawrence: A historical analysis into anti-Black racism within Ontario's education system

Malikca Lawrence's historical analysis delves into the persistent issue of anti-Black racism within Ontario's education system. The examination of the school-to-prison pipeline, academic streaming practices, and resistance against Critical Race Theory reveals systemic challenges disproportionately affecting Black students. Lawrence advocates for transformative educational changes, drawing on Angela Davis's abolitionist mindset. This approach underscores the importance of collective efforts to redefine education, promoting an anti-racist and anti-oppressive system in line with societal ideals. The analysis serves as a call to action for social responsibility, emphasizing the urgent need to address entrenched racial injustices and create an educational environment that prioritizes equity, justice, and humanity.

ETFO Action on Anti-Black Racism

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is committed to addressing anti-Black racism in colonial systems, institutions, and society through policies, professional learning, and curriculum resources through their brochure. ETFO's Anti-Black Racism Strategy focuses on systemic changes, creating a more inclusive environment for Black members and promoting allyship at provincial and local levels.

10 Tips and Resources to Develop an Anti-Racist Classroom: George Brown College

George Brown College emphasizes the responsibility of instructors to address racism in the classroom by recognizing the widespread impact of racism on students' lives. It highlights the emotional challenges students face and underscores the need for educators to actively commit to an anti-racist approach. The suggested tips provide practical strategies, such as starting with a land acknowledgment, creating community agreements, incorporating an equity statement, and ensuring diverse representation in course materials. George Brown College also addresses the importance of providing tools for anonymous feedback, being mindful of trauma, encouraging active listening, checking instructional materials for bias, and seeking input from students about their identities and learning preferences.

Professional Advisory on Anti-Black Racism

This document explores the extensive historical context of anti-Black racism in Canada's education system, tracing back over 60 years to segregated schools. It emphasizes the urgent need for action, focusing on the crucial role of Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) in combating anti-Black racism and addressing associated legal considerations. The advisory recommends self-reflective practices, ongoing professional development, and the creation of inclusive learning environments. It highlights anti-oppressive approaches employed by school boards and underscores the importance of collaborative efforts to eliminate systemic racism and promote positive outcomes for Black students.

Peel Schools: Anti-Black racism resources and supports

Peel’s effective approaches involve validating their feelings, using open-ended questions, and encouraging creative expression to support Black-identifying students. Additional resources include tips for managing emotional reactions to traumatic events and specialized support for Black youth and families. Tools like National Geographic's guide on talking to kids about race and Teaching Tolerance's toolkit offer comprehensive assistance. Educational books such as "A Kids Book About Racism" and "Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You" are valuable resources. Common Sense Media highlights the use of media to foster anti-racist education for children.

Asians Against Racism and Hate

The Toronto Chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNCTO) offers an excellent starting point for individuals interested in exploring various subjects, including but not limited to racism, oppression, intersectionality, colorism, and the histories of Chinese Canadian and Tamil Canadian communities. Their resource page is designed to cater to a diverse audience by providing content in Chinese, Tamil, and English, ensuring accessibility for everyone within the community.

Educational Resources On The History of Anti-Asian Racism 

The webpage includes resources covering topics such as racial segregation faced by Asian Canadians, the history of the Chinese head tax in Canada, and the amplification of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also features reporting platforms for incidents of racism, alternatives to calling the police, and various donation opportunities to support organizations combating racism. Additionally, the page provides access to petitions against racism, mental health resources, legal aid through the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, and other helpful anti-Asian violence resources.

Asian Heritage Month: Anti-Asian Racism

The information emphasizes the prevalence of anti-Asian racism in Canada, defining it as historical and ongoing discrimination rooted in stereotypes and injustice. It encourages collective action against xenophobia and racism, offering suggestions such as learning about pan-Asian diversity, challenging stereotypes, supporting local Asian communities, being an ally, and addressing unconscious biases. The resource list compiled by Canadian Heritage and the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat provides further support, offering educational materials, anti-racism toolkits, and initiatives to combat anti-Asian racism across Canada

How 3 Teachers Bring Anti-Racist Education to Young Learners 

The event of George Floyd's murder has inspired educators like Curtis Dardaine, who uses a student-centred, anti-racist approach, integrating students' experiences into lessons. Monica Noakes focuses on empathy and advocates for diverse literature, while Halifax art educator Robin Jensen encourages personal perspectives in art creation, fostering inclusivity in education.

Educational Resources on Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Practices

This website was created by Umberin Najeeb, the Vice-Chair of Culture and Inclusion in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. It contains a plethora of resources, ranging from tools to help detect your own unconscious biases to engaging peer-reviewed articles that tackle different areas of anti-racism. This includes but is not limited to, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and many more.

Anti-Racism Resources: Inclusive Teaching Practices

This website is an action-oriented guide that contains a list of educational books for educators to use to make their curricula and classrooms safe spaces for all students. The list of books shares the common theme of anti-racism all while incorporating important theories and using various methods of storytelling.

Anti-Black Racism ​Resources and Supports

Peel’s effective approaches involve validating their feelings, using open-ended questions, and encouraging creative expression to support Black-identifying students. Additional resources include tips for managing emotional reactions to traumatic events and specialized support for Black youth and families. Tools like National Geographic's guide on talking to kids about race and Teaching Tolerance's toolkit offer comprehensive assistance. Educational books such as "A Kids Book About Racism" and "Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You" are valuable resources. Common Sense Media highlights the use of media to foster anti-racist education for children.

Anti-Racism Resources

This website contains various articles, books, and papers ranging from how to unpack colonialism in the classroom to learning about how to stand in solidarity with black folks. The variety of resources can be tailored for everyone, whether you are an educator, a student or a parent with questions. Plus, this website also provides different films and Instagram websites to watch and follow whose platforms focus on anti-racism as a whole.


Ontario Human Rights Commission: Tackling Anti-Black Racism in Education

The Ontario Human Rights Commission acknowledges the deep-rooted challenges posed by systemic anti-Black racism in the province's education system, hindering progress for Black communities over generations. The recent surge in visibility of anti-Black racism in Ontario has reignited calls to address this crisis. With over 30 years of reports and studies, the OHRC emphasizes the persistent existence of systemic anti-Black racism in education, deeply ingrained in institutional policies and practices. While heartened by growing community activism, the OHRC stresses the importance of collaboration with communities, schools, educators, and duty-holders to instigate necessary changes for the well-being, achievement, and sense of belonging of Black students.

What We Heard Report: Anti-Black Racism in Education Roundtables

Anti-Black sentiments remain deeply entrenched within Ontario's education system. However, Black students and educators are at the forefront, striving to create an inclusive and equitable educational system. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) responded with the launch of their Anti-Black Racism in Education Initiative, culminating in Phase 2 - roundtable discussions, completed in April 2023 with diverse stakeholders. This report distills crucial insights, including transformative dialogue, and emphasizes the imperative for urgent action towards an inclusive and equitable education system. By incorporating the powerful testimonies of Black students, the report underscores the ongoing need for learning about anti-black racism to cultivate supportive environments.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission: Recommendations 

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has compiled a list of recommendations from 83 anti-racism reports to support the well-being of Black students in Ontario's public education system. This compendium underlies OHRC's guidance for stakeholders in the education sector. The compendium organized these recommendations under the following sections: performance indicators and outcomes; student achievement and black joy; professional development and education; educator support and opportunities, data collection; enforcement and accountability mechanisms; and relationships, policy, and advocacy drivers.

People for Education: A progress report on anti-racism policy across Canada

People for Education provides an overview of the state of anti-racism legislation in Ontario and its implementation in school boards. The organization identifies the percentage of Ontario public school boards conducting various race-based data measurements and implementing specific anti-racism strategies. They conclude that the current state of anti-racism policy needs to be more consistently applied, and provide recommendations to standardize its application.

People for Education: The inconsistent and under-resourced state of anti-racism strategies across Canada

People for Education's report shows inconsistent and under-resourced anti-racism strategies throughout Canada, particularly underscoring gaps in implementation within Ontario schools. Despite a government commitment of $45 million to a three-year Anti-Racism Strategy in 2019, the report reveals a deceleration in the execution of Ontario's school board equity plans. Persistent issues include a deficiency in disaggregated data collection, the absence of a national strategy, and a lack of implementation framework. To rectify these challenges, People for Education recommends addressing societal taboos surrounding race, enhancing transparency in data collection and reporting, and fostering increased involvement from historically impacted groups.

Report: Peel District School Board approved the most comprehensive Anti-Racism Policy ever announced by a school board in Ontario

The Peel District School Board has approved a comprehensive Anti-Racism Policy, the most extensive ever announced by an Ontario school board, aimed at dismantling racialized education disparities. The policy, developed in collaboration with the community, staff, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission, emphasizes community voice and aims to create an equitable, anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and inclusive learning environment. The policy includes measures such as data collection to address issues like bullying and suspensions, promoting cultural safety and inclusive learning, providing intensive training for teaching staff, ensuring diversity in hiring and leadership, and implementing a transparent complaint resolution process. Additionally, the PDSB introduced the Black Student Success Strategy as a companion document to eliminate anti-Black racism from its operations, resources, staffing, and leadership.

Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019–2022

The 2019-2022 iteration of Canada's Anti-Racism Strategy starts by recognizing the prevalent racism and discrimination experienced by marginalized groups with a focus on Indigenous Peoples. Highlighted in this report, the Government of Canada demonstrates its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion through federal leadership, empowering communities, and promoting awareness and attitude changes. This initiative builds upon existing governmental efforts and integrates lived experiences to create comprehensive and sustainable transformation.

Annual progress report 2022: Ontario’s Anti-Racism Strategic Plan

The 2022 Annual Progress Report outlines efforts to dismantle systemic barriers for marginalized populations. In pursuit of this goal, the government enacted Ontario's pioneering anti-racism legislation, which uniquely gathers race-based data across sectors such as justice, education, and child welfare. The strategic plan delineates five pillars, with the policy, research, and evaluation component specifically addressing the promotion of racial equity in schools. The report highlights initiatives, such as teacher hiring practices, that prioritize representation and reflection of historically underrepresented communities.

Challenging Discrimination through Community Conversations; Season 2, 2021 – 2022

The Centre for Race and Culture published the recordings and infographics developed from their online roundtables with participants from the public, academia, and other organizations. These roundtables sought to create a discussion around inequities faced by marginalized peoples in Alberta. In session 9, the Centre conducted a roundtable on "anti-racism practices in education," which highlighted the inequities of the Albertan education curriculum. Some strategies shared to combat racism in education included understanding subconscious bias, increasing representation in school books, media, and teaching roles; building resilience in students; and ensuring racialized students and parents feel that their perspectives are valued.


Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board addresses anti-Black racism

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) addresses anti-Black racism by prioritizing equity, acknowledging historical impacts, and promoting African descent contributions. Emphasizing inclusive classrooms, diverse staff, unbiased policies, and ongoing professional learning, HWDSB ensures racism-free environments, fosters positive settings, advances diversity, and monitors progress through data analysis, ensuring a commitment to respect and understanding.

Human Rights, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism Policy

The Durham District School Board (DDSB) is dedicated to establishing inclusive, equitable, and discrimination-free environments aligned with legislative acts and Ministry of Education guidelines. The DDSB actively engages the community, applies universal human rights principles, and collaborates to address and combat discrimination. Their initiatives involve fostering safe spaces, championing diversity, and eliminating barriers to uphold high expectations and accountability. The DDSB emphasizes ongoing learning to improve equitable experiences and outcomes for all.

Government Policies

A guide for Canadians seeking information on anti-racism policies, intiatives, and incidents, with a specific focus on anti-Asian racism in Canada. The materials provided are current up to 2022 and earlier, offering valuable resources for understanding community engagement sessions, addressing racism, and exploring incidents related to anti-Asian hate.

Resources Related to Anti-Racism in Canada

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has curated a webpage featuring diverse anti-racism resources encompassing themes such as anti-Black and Indigenous racism, Islamophobia, and Antisemitism. The page additionally outlines their equity action plan, acknowledging systemic barriers encountered by marginalized groups, including OSSTF members. It highlights various programs and initiatives launched over the past decade to address racial inequities, aiming to achieve a discrimination-free public education system for students.

Anti-racism resources for parents/guardians: Upper Grand District School Board

Upper Grand District School board provides anti-racism resources for parents, guardians, and caregivers to facilitate discussions with children about racism, anti-Black racism, privilege, power, discrimination, bias, and oppression. The resources include links to guides for talking to young children about race, articles on prejudice and tolerance, and expert advice on addressing anti-Black racism and police brutality. Additionally, the UGDSB offers a list of recommended books covering various aspects of racism, racial justice, and history, along with podcasts, videos, and films related to anti-Black racism. Parents are encouraged to use these materials to engage in thoughtful conversations and contribute to dismantling racism in their communities.

Across Boundaries 

Across Boundaries seeks to serve racialized communities with mental health services that integrate an “anti-racist, anti-Black, and anti-oppression framework.” The organization employs people in the community they serve in order to work with compassion and cultural understanding. Some of their services include case management for those with serious mental illnesses in Caribbean dialects and African and Asian languages; psychiatric consultation; addiction and wellness management; mental health justice; and support for youth with mental illness.

Ontario Curriculum and Resources

The Ontario Curriculum and Resources website provides in-depth information on a wide range of subjects, with a particular focus on the courses offered from kindergarten to grade 12. It serves as a valuable resource for parents seeking insights into how courses like Geography, Canadian history, Civics and Citizenship, and ASL address issues of equity and inclusion in contemporary society. Developed by the Ontario Ministry of Education, the site offers diverse parental resources to help them navigate subjects and courses, and provide guidance to support their children's learning.

Pathways Model

Pathways to Education is an education program offered to high school students across Canada that seeks to combat barriers associated with living in low-income communities. Through this program, students are provided with numerous supports to assist with advancement in the education system including tailored student plans, after-school tutoring and mentoring, financial support, career planning, and food vouchers.

Tropicana Community Services Organization

Tropicana Community Services Organization, founded in Scarborough, Ontario, has aimed to provide culturally appropriate and supportive programs that predominantly focus on the needs of the Black, African, and Caribbean communities within Toronto. Some of the services they offer include employment services, personal development, education, childcare, counselling, and settlement services.

Roots Community Services

Roots Community Services, located in the Region of Peel, provides programming and services from culturally-appropriate perspectives and anti-oppressive, and anti-racist frameworks geared towards families, children, adults, and seniors. These offerings, referred to as the Pathways to Wellness, aim to help support individuals and families toward leading healthy, well-balanced lives, as well as to encourage increased community engagement and involvement. Pathways to Wellness have been designed to serve children from the age of six to those identifying as seniors.

African Community Services of Peel

African Community Services of Peel, established in 1993, provides newcomer settlement services to the Black and African community in Peel and its surrounding areas. Since its establishment, the organization has developed “effective, confidential, and culturally relevant programs” geared towards “the settlement and integration needs of newcomers, immigrants, refugees, women, youth, seniors, and children from the black/African community.” In particular, African Community Services of Peel offers support, information, and services, as well as facilitates opportunities for development through programs such as the Youth Program, Senior’s Program, Women and Families Program, and the Newcomer Settlement Program. The African Community Services of Peel operate with the overall aim of effectively facilitating a healthy and comfortable transition for newcomers within their new communities, as well as improving the quality of life of the newcomer community in and around the Region of Peel.

Black Youth Helpline

The Black Youth Helpline, established in Manitoba in 1992 and expanded to Ontario in 2003, originated from a community-based project in Winnipeg where Black youth distributed flyers to encourage out-of-school youth to return to school. A Jamaican Registered Nurse became a crucial resource on the flyer, providing support and intervention that positively impacted the lives of youth. The Helpline, now nationwide, offers services such as multicultural youth support, professional assessments, Stay-In-School initiatives, parent and family support, community development, and systems navigation assistance to address the complex challenges faced by Black youth in Canada. The program's development has been shaped by the voices and needs of its participants.

Woodgreen Org

A hub for the services that Woodgreen provides for newcomers, families with children, houseless people, and other marginalized groups.


edX compiles a list of resources to support children and adolescents' understanding of racism at the various stages of cognitive development. At 6 months, infants are capable of grouping people by race. Therefore it is important for a caregiver to apply these resources to counteract societal stereotypes that children may learn at infancy and to build their sense of empathy. At later stages, edX’s resources allow for giving older children the tools to discuss their identity and their relation to others.

Report: Ontario school boards struggling to implement anti-racism plans

A report from People for Education highlights the lengthy implementation of anti-racism efforts in Canadian schools, attributing the slow progress to insufficient data collection and resource allocation. While Ontario was the first province to pass anti-racism legislation in 2017, the report notes significant inconsistencies in the execution of anti-racism strategies across publicly-funded school boards. Data reveals that 74% of school boards mention racism in equity policies, 40% have anti-racism statements on their websites, and 28% have online anti-racism strategies. The report underscores the importance of identity-based data for understanding disparities and advocates for a whole-of-government approach, emphasizing the need for resources and time in schools to address anti-racism effectively.

Pandemic curbed school boards’ anti-racism work, study finds

People for Education's recent survey reveals a significant lack of diversity among Ontario school principals, with almost 90% identifying as white. This stark contrast to the diverse student population highlights the slow progress in anti-racism initiatives, partly hindered by the pandemic. While some schools offer anti-racism training, only a fraction collaborate with community organizations, crucial for addressing systemic racism due to their expertise, cultural competence, advocacy, and resources. The report calls for collective efforts, stressing the need for representative hiring and ongoing initiatives to establish equitable and anti-racist educational environments in Ontario.

Being Black in School: Peel students open up about the racism they face in the classroom

The students at the Peel District School Board (PDSB) bring light to a harsh reality: a prevalent culture of dismissal and ignorance toward racism and cultural differences within their classrooms. The PDSB's slow response and apparent lack of urgency have intensified students' frustration. Personal experiences of racism, coupled with widespread parental concern, emphasize the need for lasting systemic changes that prioritize inclusivity, respect, and justice for all students.

Ontario Taking Bold Action to Address Racism and Inequity in Schools

The COVID-19 pandemic marked a transformative year, spotlighting numerous systemic barriers within the education system for Black, Indigenous, and racialized students. This page outlines several changes implemented in response, such as the elimination of streaming in Grade 9, addressing the disproportionate impact on outcomes for students in applied courses compared to academic ones. The article also discusses reforms to suspensions for primary grades and the augmentation of anti-racism and anti-discrimination training for teachers and educators, fostering a truly inclusive and equitable classroom environment.

The crisis of anti-Black racism in schools persists across generations

Reports on the experiences of Black students in Toronto schools highlight persistent issues of negligence and racial insensitivity, with students facing adverse treatment, including the regular use of racial slurs. This ongoing problem, documented over two decades, reveals systemic barriers, such as a lack of representation, inadequate curriculum addressing Black history, and discriminatory disciplinary practices. Recent studies echo concerns about streaming practices and a sense of not belonging among Black students, creating challenging learning environments. The call is made for educators to critically assess teaching materials, cultivate culturally responsive learning spaces, and proactively address systemic racism in schools.

How these 3 teachers bring anti-racist education to their elementary school classes

The event of George Floyd's murder has inspired educators like Curtis Dardaine, who uses a student-centered, anti-racist approach, integrating students' experiences into lessons. Monica Noakes focuses on empathy and advocates for diverse literature, while Halifax art educator Robin Jensen encourages personal perspectives in art creation, fostering inclusivity in education.



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