Ontario Unveils a 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategy
On March 7, 2017, The Anti-Racism Directorate released the Province of Ontario’s 3 Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan titled “A Better Way Forward.” The launch was held at the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office in Toronto. A number of Urban Alliance on Race Relations members were in attendance, including Malika Mendez, Vice President of UARR’s Board of Directors.
In his speech, Minister Michael Coteau touched on highlights of the plan including the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan and commitment to race-based data collection across multiple sectors.
A significant commitment of $47 million in funding over a four year period is allocated to the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan. According to Minister Coteau, components of this plan will provide culturally relevant programs and services to help Black students stay in school.
Questions and comments from the audience tackled issues facing specific communities including French-speaking Black communities, and the Somali community which has faced significant challenges including over-representation in the criminal justice system. One community member asked the Minister to speak to the future of the Strategy as the province moves into an election period. Click here to watch the address by the Minister and other speakers.
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations congratulates Minister Coteau and his team for this bold step. UARR was pleased to see a number our recommendations included in the strategy. The collection of race-based data Province wide, the population-specific measures to be undertaken by the Government through the Directorate to address anti-Black racism, Islamophobia and the racism facing Indigenous Peoples in Ontario, and the development of measurable targets, public reporting and mandated community engagement through renewable multi-year strategic plans are an important start to addressing systemic racism in our society.
UARR looks forward to working with the Minister and his team to effectively roll-out the strategy and ensure we are closing the equity gap for the First Peoples and people of colour in Ontario.
For more details and to download the strategy visit: www.ontario.ca/page/better-way-forward-ontarios-3-year-anti-racism-strategic-plan
Vice-President, Urban Alliance on Race Relations
A highly dedicated volunteer, Malika Mendez has served in a variety of volunteer organizations in several capacities. Most recent commitments include Board member of BNPHC, Chair, DMV Fundraising Committee at the Royal Ontario Museum, and the DMV Board of Directors.
Photo credit: Lumina Photography luminaphotography.ca