YRDSB develops anti-black racism strategy

York Region District School Board has selected Turner Consulting Group to develop its Anti-Black Racism Strategy.

Tana Turner, principal consultant, is a researcher, consultant, and advocate for social justice and systems change.

In the early 1990s, Tana worked within the provincial government to develop employment equity legislation, and to implement employment equity within the Ontario Public Service. Since 2002, she has worked as a consultant to support organizations in the non-profit and public sectors to understand and respond to the increased diversity of the labour market, employee population, and population served.

She has supported a number of school boards on their equity journey, including Durham Catholic DSB, Thames Valley DSB, and York Catholic DSB, among others. Turner Consulting Group has worked with YRDSB previously, supporting an Equity Audit in 2018.

“We look forward to reviewing the strategies identified by the new Anti-Black Racism Strategy and implementing the recommendations,” said Louise Sirisko, Director of Education. “York Region District School Board is dedicated to enabling all students to achieve personal excellence. Our priority of championing equity and inclusivity has a focus on addressing incidents of anti-Black racism.”

“Community voice is an essential part of this work,” said Clayton La Touche, Associate Director of Education and Co-Chair of the Anti-Black Racism Steering Committee. “We know that Tana Turner will be reaching out to the community to ensure their input is an integral part of our strategy.”

“We continue to work on addressing anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination,” said Cecil Roach, Coordinating Superintendent of Education, Indigenous Education and Equity and Co-Chair of the Anti-Black Racism Steering Committee. “This important work will continue while the strategy is developed. We look forward to 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:
• 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

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