The Anti-Racism Community Building Working Group (or ARC for short) of the Western Québec School Board was formed in September 2020 with a vision of educating, recognizing and celebrating diversity in our school communities. It has already launched its three first conferences/workshops aimed at sharing life experiences and educating our students.
To ensure we make this important educational content available as easily and widely as possible, all three conferences/workshops have been recorded and can be viewed further below.
Use of Slurs, Epithets in our School and Centres
The Western Québec School Board’s Policy C-14 “Safe Schools” states:
The Western Québec School Board is committed to safer schools and centres by fostering an atmosphere of respect, understanding and encouragement between all who teach, work, and learn in its schools and centres, so that the development and contribution of every individual can be acknowledged, and all can work together to benefit personal growth and the common good.
The Western Québec School Board recognizes that its schools and centres must be physically, psychologically, and culturally safe and secure for all students and staff and that it is the right of students and staff to work and learn in a safe environment.
The Western Québec School Board believes that the use of slurs (racial and other) and disparaging epithets creates an unsafe environment, causes harm, and diminishes the experiences of students and staff. The Western Québec School Board has a responsibility to address the use of language to prevent harm.
The use of slurs and disparaging epithets is not permitted by students or staff, including for example (but not limited to), uttering or writing, gestures, videos and visual or graphic representations such as on materials and attire. This also includes when reading aloud texts, quoting, or teaching content.
It is the responsibility of all Western Québec School Board staff to intervene and respond appropriately if they witness slurs or disparaging epithets being used or are made aware that slurs and disparaging epithets are being used.
The Western Québec School Board will develop guidelines and provide support for:
- The teaching of content and use of teaching resources
- Responding appropriately to situations where slurs and disparaging epithets are used
Slur: A pejorative term used to describe attributes based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability
Disparaging Epithet: A disparaging or abusive word or phrase used to describe certain identities
Carlos Brown – Cross Training the Minds of our Students
The Importance of Representation in Schools and on the Fields of Play
In his talk titled “Cross Training the Minds of our Students – The Importance of Representation in Schools and on the Fields of Play”, former head coach Carlos Brown talks about how to recognize and overcome racism, using his life experiences in sports and the school system as a model.
Drew Wapachee McDougall – An Indigenous Voice
The Roots and Branches of Misconceptions about Anishinaabe People
In her talk titled “An indigenous Voice: The Roots and Branches of Misconceptions about Anishinaabe People”, Western Québec student turned teacher Drew Wapachee McDougall explores the historical truths of Indigenous peoples, and how gaps in information have led to a single narrative and misrepresentation through biases and stereotypes.
Sheridon Baptiste – Let’s do our part one kind act at a time
In his talk titled “Let’s do our part one kind act at a time”, three-time bobsleigh olympian Sheridon Baptiste shares what racism has looked like and continues to look like for him, as a highly successful Black man.
Baptiste attended Queen’s University in the late 80s, is a member of the Track & Field Hall of Fame, was a member of Canada’s national track team for many years, and is now the Healthy-Living Coordinator at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre here in Ottawa.
For questions, suggestions and ideas, or to contact Western Québec’s Anti-Racism Community Building Group, please reach out to Secretary General George Singfield.