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 they serve.
It is timely and necessary to raise awareness, confront, and push for action to address issues of discrimination that Asian communities and people of Asian descent living in Ontario.
ETFO recently collaborated with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) on a resource on combatting Anti-Asian Racism. ETFO will continue to develop and webinars and workshops to support members in building awareness of the issues of anti-Asian racism and being more effective in addressing and disrupting inequities and discrimination at individual and systemic levels. Read the Media Release.
February 9th, 2021, a webinar was held for the release of Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators[link to resource in publications section]. 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 ETFO president Sam 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.”