Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


Navigate Up

ETFO commemorates March 21st International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Fighting Racism in the classroom and on the streets - click to view shareable graphicIn 1960, Sharpeville, South Africa a group of mainly racialized anti-apartheid activists marched to their local police station to protest against the country's Pass Laws which were enacted in the 1800's to curtail movement of non-white citizens.
The Pass Laws required all Black Africans and racialized people to carry a pass card in order to travel within the country. As the activists marched, police opened fire and killed 69 people, including 8 women and 10 children. An additional 180 people were injured. In 1966, this event officially became known as the the Sharpeville Massacre and the United Nations declared March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The pass card requirement was lifted in 1986 as South Africa moved towards the dismantling of Apartheid. South Africa held their first democratic election in 1994 and elected Nelson Mandela as President.  

As in 1966, the world continues to be shaken in 2018 by the many forms of racial discrimination occurring on a daily basis. In Canada, we are collectively acknowledging the decades of discrimination faced by the First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples of Canada, Muslim Canadians, immigrants past and present and more recently refugees seeking a safe harbour within our boarders. Activist organizations like Black Lives Matter and Murdered and Missing Women are calling for the eradication of discrimination based on race.

International Decade for People of African Descent - 2015-2024. ETFO demands that the Human Rights of People of African descent be protected.

In addition, the United Nations announced the International Decade for People of African Descent beginning January 2015 and ending on December 31, 2024 to highlight the contributions made by people of African descent to society and offer concrete ways to fight racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. 

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
Nelson Mandela –from his essay Working towards Peace

The United Nations 2018 theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is: Promoting tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity in the context of combating racial discrimination. "Everyone is entitled to human rights without discrimination."

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is committed to addressing issues of racism and all forms of discrimination in our schools, communities and workplaces. As educators, we recognize that the path towards social change and equity includes supporting our members' understanding, participating in courageous conversations and participating in action-oriented solutions.
This page provides key resources that ETFO offers in addressing issues of racism, racial equality, white privilege and race-based harassment.  Highlighted are also community and government organizations that are focused on addressing these issues.

ETFO Statement on Social Justice and Equity

ETFO's Constitution clearly states its commitment to social justice and equity. ETFO has shown its commitment to social justice and equity through a variety of statements.  For more information please visit this web page.

ETFO Human Rights Statement

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario's is committed to providing an environment for members that is free from harassment and discrimination at all provincial and local Federation sponsored activities. Harassment and discrimination on the basis of a prohibited ground are violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code and are illegal.

ETFO provides a structured and delineated process for Racial and Ethnocultural Harassment. Please visit this web page for more information.

ETFO Programs and Resources

ETFO offers its members focused training workshops, conferences, curricular units and programs addressing the topics of racial equality, anti-racist education, white privilege and racial diversity.

  • 365 Black Canadian Curriculum
    ETFO's latest project is part of a compilation of equity resources for elementary educators. These resources, which support Black Canadian history in Ontario schools on a daily basis, include: a calendar; primary, junior and intermediate lesson plans; a workshop for staff; and a poster. This comprehensive resource offers educators historically factual information to support the learning of issues concerning race and discrimination.
  • Black Canadian Women – A Legacy of Strength
    This resource offers a poster and curriculum materials that feature five Black Canadian women whose legacies celebrate the diversities and cultures of Canadian Society. 
  • Re-Think, Re-Connect, Re-Imagine: Thinking About Ourselves, Our Schools, Our Communities. Reflecting on White Privilege
    This resource offers reflection and concrete suggestions for grappling with the issues of privilege and racism in our practices as educators. Free posters, buttons and postcards are also available upon request from Equity and Women's Services.  Available through shopETFO: PDF | Word.
  • Social Justice Begins with Me
    This literature-based resource kit for Early Years to Grade 8 provides year-round resources built on a number of equity and social justice concepts. Booklists focusing on addressing Antisemitism, Racism, Immigrant experiences, First Nations, Métis and Inuit issues are provided on the web page.
  • FNMI Education Resources and Professional Learning Opportunities
    This web page highlights ETFO’s professional development workshops, initiatives and resources focused on FNMI identities and issues.  Included in this link are upcoming ETFO events, booklists, and supporting curricular materials for the elementary classrooms.
  • Black History Month – February
    Black History Month exists to remind us all of the rich contributions within our society from people of African and Caribbean decent, and of their ongoing struggle for equity and social justice. ETFO encourages the focus on Black history all year as an integral part of learning about Canadian history and current issues. The web page features resources, events and helpful websites in support of teaching and learning about African Canadian issues.
  • Asian and South Asian Heritage Month – May
    The month of May in Ontario is dedicated to celebrating the contributions of Canadians from over 30 countries that make up the Asian and South Asian diaspora. ETFO encourages integrating Asian Heritage as a part of learning about Canadian history and current issues. The  web page features resources, events and helpful websites in support of teaching and learning about Asian history and Asian Canadian issues.

Helpful Links To Government And Community Organizations

Suggested Hashtags