Anti-Asian racism and discrimination is not a new phenomenon. It has deep social, political and institutional roots in Canada’s history. The outbreak of COVID-19 has seen an increase in racist violence towards Asians and people of Asian descent and has affected the health, well-being and safety of educators, students, families and communities in which we serve. It is a timely and necessary event to raise awareness, confront and push for action in addressing issues of discrimination that Asian communities and people of Asian descent living in Ontario.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) have collaborated to develop a resource entitled, Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators. With a focus on utilizing an equity and anti-oppressive framework, this resource supports members in deepening their own knowledge, re-designing curriculum, shifting classroom conditions and creating school spaces to address anti-Asian racism during COVID-19 and beyond.
Multi-faceted in its content, the resource provides learnings on historical and current manifestations of discrimination specifically and uniquely experienced by Asian communities, centres Black lives and Indigenous voices in the fight against racism and takes up an intersectional approach in recognizing the diversity and complexity of identities.
On February 9th, 2021, Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators was released through a webinar event. This event happened at an opportune time to both acknowledge and celebrate Black History Month, and to highlight Lunar New Year.
While the webinar addressed the increase of anti-Asian racism in the current reality of the pandemic, this form of racism was also placed within a historical, social and systemic context and backdrop, centring Black and Indigenous identities and liberation as a necessary positioning when understanding anti-Asian racism, in order to disrupt white supremacy, colonialism and capitalism.
“The anti-Asian discrimination resurfacing today has deep historical, colonial roots in this country and this is an urgent time to ensure we end this troubled history of racism,” noted Hammond. “At the same time, we must recognize that to enrich students’ knowledge and understanding of Canadian history, we must go beyond the curriculum to also affirm and value Black and Indigenous Peoples’ lives.”
The following link is a (closed caption) recording of the event:
In the upcoming months, ETFO would be looking to develop and implement webinars and workshops to support members in both building awareness of the issues of anti-Asian racism and to be more effective in addressing and disrupting inequities and discrimination at individual and systemic levels.
Addressing Anti-Asian Racism Resource Booklet:PDF |
WordView the Media Release page.
For more information, please contact Alice Te at