TORONTO, Monday, August 14, 2023- The Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators (ONABSE) continues to call for urgent action from stakeholders in education in the wake of targeted attacks on anti-racism work in schools. We are aware of educators, school boards and other education spaces facing demands of “defunding” anti-racism work and we are unequivocally against this.
On August 2, there was a press conference called by a coalition of community organisations, including ONABSE, who issued several demands. ONABSE believes the following pertaining to education are especially paramount:
- All stakeholders in public education (including the Ministry of Education and all members of provincial parliament, members of the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA), the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), all education unions (AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OECTA, and OSSTF), and all public school boards should publicly reaffirm their commitments to anti-racism, equity and anti-oppression work in Ontario and simultaneously denounce all efforts to associate this work with bullying and harassment.
- The Ministry of Education should engage in continued consultation with anti-racist Black-led community organisations to enhance and strengthen the fight against anti-Black racism in education in Ontario.
- The Government of Ontario should allocate increased resources to support the implementation of anti-racism curricula, initiatives, and programs in educational institutions across all sectors (K-12 & Post-secondary).
MPPs should pass Bill 16 The Racial Equity in the Education System Act, 2022
Anti-Black racism affects students, educators, parents, families, and all stakeholders in education. Numerous reports have shown the negative impact anti-Black racism has had on the mental and physical, health, well-being, socio-economic status of Black people and their overall quality of life. It is for these reasons and more that anti-racism and anti-oppression initiatives, particularly those centred on dismantling anti-Black racism on individual, institutional and systemic levels are so important.
We need this work now more than ever.
ONABSE remains committed to partnering with all stakeholders in education in the service of our members, our community, our children and all the residents of Ontario.