ETFO calls for action to address gaps that continue to negatively impact Black Canadians
February 01, 2023
As we begin Black History Month 2023, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) reaffirms its solidarity with the United Nations in demanding the protection of human rights of people of African descent.
Black History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black Canadians, as well as to address the gaps that continue to negatively impact Black Canadians.
Today, ETFO is also renewing its call for a comprehensive plan from the provincial government and school boards to address the lack of representation of Black educators in Ontario. This means many students in the province will never be taught by a Black educator. All students benefit from the experience of having a Black teacher.
Despite efforts to address anti-Black racism that exists in organizational and institutional structures, policies, procedures, and programs, Black people remain disproportionately impacted by discrimination in education, health care and housing. As a society, we must continue to reflect on the impact and the legacies of colonization, and work to confront and eliminate anti-Black racism, while promoting and celebrating Black excellence.
ETFO remains committed to this work both within education and the union. With a focus on creating systemic changes to confront anti-Black racism and provide a more welcoming and inclusive union environment for Black members, ETFO has created several resources, available on etfo.ca. They include a 365 resource educators can use to ensure the lives of Black Canadians are embedded in classrooms throughout the year, and Black History Month resources, including posters. This year’s poster, created by artist Benny Bing, is a visual representation of the beauty that lies within Black features: specifically, hair, nose, and lips, that have been historically criminalized and degraded by white beauty standards.
ETFO is also awarding two Black Educator Bursaries to Black individuals who are entering their first year of a faculty of education in Ontario. More information is available at etfo.ca/awards.