We have continued our work for equity in education and have joined forces with Social Planning Toronto in monitoring the progress of the Model Schools for Inner Cities Program, the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Program, the Equity Programs and other issues at the Toronto District School Board. We wrote letters as well as made deputations at the TDSB.
In the fall 2011, the Toronto District School Board invited the Urban Alliance on Race Relations to present at its 2012 Equity conference on the topic: Who’s got the power: Rethinking anti-racist policy and pedagogy.
Additionally, workshops on anti-oppression were presented to groups of students by the UARR, and our project staff was invited to participate at the Toronto District School Board African Heritage Educators Network meeting and panel on closing the racial achievement gap in education.
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations also has an advisory seat/membership on the TDSB Community Equity Advisory Committee, and Sharon Simpson has been our representative on the committee.
Additionally, three of the directors on the board of the UARR are in the educational sector. Gary Pieters, president, is a vice principal in the Toronto District School Board; Kirk Mark, member-at-large, is the coordinator of race and ethnic relations for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and Nigel Barriffe is a teacher in the Toronto District School Board. Our vice-president Tam Goossen served as a trustee in the former Toronto Board of Education in the 1990s.
Toronto Coalition for Equity in Education
The Toronto Coalition for Equity in Education is composed of a diverse range of community groups and individuals, aiming to address racism in our public education system. It is our goal to support all ethno-racial, religious and cultural communities to get more involved in the school system.
This coalition is based out of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, which is a community organization that has worked to promote racial and ethnic harmony by challenging barriers to equal access opportunity through educational programming, research and advocacy.
There are 4 areas that we are looking at as major priorities:
- Development of an inclusive school curriculum at elementary and secondary levels
- Employment Equity
- International Languages, ESL, Black Cultural programs
- Safe Schools Act
- Go to site: http://www.urbanalliance.ca/RacismInPublicEd/index.html