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Anti-Racism Policy

SIA Anti-Racism Policy

* Saskatchewan Intercultural Association Board Approved *

1.0 Preamble

This anti-racism policy serves as a framework for SIA to address concerns or incidents of racism at personal, inter-personal, organizational and structural levels should they occur. This policy will further ensure respect and equity for all involved with SIA as an organization. SIA is an organization dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and the retention of cultural identity and language to fully include Newcomers and Indigenous Peoples in Canadian society. SIA recognizes the importance of naming racism in all its forms and committing to the elimination of racism, discrimination and barriers for all people.

SIA aims to undertake an anti-racist approach which will be to identify, challenge, prevent, eliminate and change the values, structures, policies, programs, practices and behaviours that perpetuate racism.

2.0 Purpose

SIA acknowledges that it has a role to play in creating a community that is free from racial discrimination and racism. This policy is intended to demonstrate SIA’s commitment to conducting day-to-day operations and governance in an anti-discriminatory and anti-racist manner. The implementation of this policy is a commitment that SIA will continue to ensure that all who work and interact with the SIA are able to do so in an environment free of racism and racial discrimination.

3.0 Policy Statement

SIA’s anti-racism policy challenges racism and actively changes the policies, behaviors, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas and actions. SIA is committed to identifying, preventing, and eliminating systemic racism in all aspects of our work and to lead by example in the advancement of racial equity.

4.0 Definitions

Allyship: an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group.[11]

Anti-Racism Approach: Anti-racism is a process, a systematic method of analysis, and a proactive course of action rooted in the recognition of the existence of racism, including systemic racism. Anti-racism actively seeks to identify, remove, prevent, and mitigate racially inequitable outcomes and power imbalances between groups and change the structures that sustain inequities. [5]

Anti-Racist Education: is based on the notion that race and racial discrimination is embedded within the policies and practices of institutional structures. Its goal is to help students understand the nature and characteristics of these discriminatory barriers, and to develop work to dismantle them.[4]

Bias: is a subjective opinion, preference, prejudice, or inclination, often formed without reasonable justification, sometimes subconsciously, which influences the ability of an individual or group to evaluate a particular situation objectively or accurately.[4]

 BIPOC: refers to those who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.[4]

 Cultural safety: A culturally safe environment is physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually safe. Culturally unsafe environments diminish, demean, or disempower the cultural identity and well-being of an individual. There is recognition of and respect for the cultural identities of others, without challenge or denial of an individual’s identity, who they are, or what they need.[5]

 Diversity: refers to acceptance and respect of other people across various dimensions including race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, age, visible and invisible disabilities, political beliefs, or other ideologies.[4]

 Equity: refers to a condition or state of fair, inclusive, and respectful treatment of all people. Equity means treating people differently with regard for their individual differences.[4]

 Inclusion: is the extent to which diverse members of a group (society/organization) feel valued and respected.[4]

 Indigenous Peoples: are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Despite their cultural differences, Indigenous Peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples. [8] Indigenous People identify as being descended from the Original Peoples of what is currently known as Canada. In this context, Indigenous Peoples include people who may identify as First Nations (status and non-status), Métis and/or Inuit and any related identities. [5]

Islamophobia: is fear, hatred of, or prejudice against the Islamic religion or Muslims.[4]

Leadership Team: at SIA this refers to a team of the managers and the Executive Director.

Prejudice: is a state of mind; a set of attitudes held, consciously or unconsciously, often in the absence of legitimate or sufficient evidence.[4]

Race: is a term used to classify people into groups based principally on physical traits (phenotypes) such as skin colour. Racial categories are not based on science or biology but on differences that society has created (i.e. “socially constructed”), with significant consequences for people’s lives. Racial categories may vary over time and place and can overlap with ethnic, cultural or religious groupings.[5]

Racism: is a system that produces social and physical barriers based on ethnicity and ethnic heritage, real or perceived, normally by an ethnic group who has historically dominated in all levels of society.[1]

Structural Racism: refers to cultural values in a society that have become so ingrained in daily life that they are seen as “the way things are.” [9]

Systemic Racism: consists of organizational culture, policies, directives, practices or procedures that exclude, displace or marginalize some racialized groups or create unfair barriers for them to access valuable benefits and opportunities. This is often the result of institutional biases in organizational culture, policies, directives, practices, and procedures that may appear neutral but have the effect of privileging some groups and disadvantaging others. [5]

Xenophobia: attitudes, prejudices and behavior that reject, exclude, and often vilify persons, based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to the community, society or national identity [10]

5.0 Roles & Responsibilities

The Board of Directors are responsible for:

  • Promoting and supporting SIA’s anti-racist efforts and this policy in conducting the work of the Board.
  • Ensuring that the Executive Director complies with and implements this policy.
  • Participating in the anti-racist education workshop for Board members if a Board member has not previously attended this workshop.
  • Actively searching for and encouraging BIPOC candidates to apply when hiring an Executive Director or when recruiting new board members.
  • Assessing the annual review of anti-racist activities and this policy conducted by the SIA Leadership Team and making recommendations for improvements if necessary.
  • Investigating any complaints of anti-racist behaviours on the part of the Executive Director.
  • Handling all matters related to this policy with dignity, respect, and confidentiality.

The Leadership Team is responsible for:

  • Implementing all future provisions of this policy and ensuring they are complied with in a timely manner.
  • Providing adequate training for staff pertaining to this policy and its requirements and ensuring staff are knowledgeable of the consequences should there be non-compliance.
  • Offering anti-racism training, education and professional development opportunities for board and staff.
  • Assigning leadership staff to respond to inquiries or concerns regarding the policy and its expectations for workplace conduct.
  • Providing prompt and thorough investigation of all policy breaches and taking appropriate action in relation to the investigation outcome.
  • Ensuring all matters relating to this policy are handled with dignity, respect, and confidentiality.
  • Delegating responsibilities when required to apply this policy within SIA.

Team Leads are responsible for:

  • Ensuring this policy is properly applied within their respective roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensuring that Anti-Racism issues are communicated with staff.
  • Handling information with discretion and appropriate care.
  • Supporting staff through the process and resolution of complaints with this policy.

All Employees are responsible for:

  • Following this policy and ensuring the standards of anti-racist conduct are adhered to in the workplace.
  • Attending and participating in anti-racism education and training sessions where required.
  • Modelling the behaviors and actions that are consistent with a respectful, culturally safe, and anti-racist workplace. This includes but is not limited to respect, inclusiveness, self-reflection, self-awareness, and non-judgmental behavior.
  • Communicating any questions with respect to this policy with supervisors, managers, or human resources.
  • Reporting all work-related breaches relating to this policy.
  • Acting in allyship with initiatives and activities specific to anti-Indigenous racism, supporting Indigenous cultural safety and intervening and/or reporting when they witness racism and discrimination.
  • Advocating for their own and others’ cultural safety in the workplace.

Practicum Students, Volunteers, Clients are responsible for:

  • Following this policy and ensuring the standards of anti-racist conduct are adhered to while being a part of the organization.
  • Attending and participating in anti-racism education and training sessions when required.
  • Modelling the behaviors and actions that are consistent with a respectful, culturally safe, and an anti-racist workplace. This includes but is not limited to respect, inclusiveness, self-reflection, self-awareness, and non-judgmental behavior.
  • Communicating any questions regarding this policy to SIA employees.
  • Reporting all breaches relating to this policy.
  • Acting in allyship with initiatives and activities specific to anti-racism, supporting cultural safety and using their voice when witnessing racism and discrimination.
  • Advocating for their own and other’s cultural safety.

6.0 Applications & Benchmarks

This policy shall apply to all SIA board members, staff, practicum students, clients, and volunteers regarding any SIA business, which includes, but is not limited to, the delivery of programming and services to clients and community members.

This policy:

  • Applies to participants (clients), and community partners while engaged in SIA initiatives and everyone on the SIA team (employees and board members).
  • Aligns with and adds to existing policies that promote equity, fairness, and inclusion for everyone receiving services, partnering with and working at SIA. (Policies should be reviewed regularly to ensure alignment with this policy)
  • Addresses race-based discrimination or harassment that includes patterns of behaviors, policies and practices, trends, or unequal treatment in the social or administrative structures toward BIPOC.
  • Applies to all SIA activities that take place on SIA property or elsewhere including online activities.

6.1 Advocacy and Anti-racism Education

SIA is committed to:

  • Monitoring the implementation and benchmarks of the policy to educate employees and board members on anti-racism.
  • Recognizing and eliminating racism in our story telling, advocacy, fundraising, and knowledge sharing, and using our platforms to support anti-racism initiatives.
  • Forming partnerships with other organizations that are working to address racial inequities in Saskatchewan.
  • Providing anti-racism and intercultural education for clients in all SIA programs and for organizations in the community with the intention of creating more inclusive and safe workplaces for newcomers and Indigenous People.
  • Offering public education and awareness initiatives that focus on anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, biases, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination against racialized groups.

6.2 Communications

In keeping with the SIA’s commitment to anti-racism, the following guidelines are provided in the area of communication:

  • All communications, both external and internal, will be consistent with and promote the organization’s anti-racism policies.
  • The SIA will, in all its publications, policies and communications with members, other settlement and advocacy organizations and the general public, use language and images which are inclusive, reflecting Canada’s racial and ethnic diversity.
  • The leadership team will be consulted on all public communications dealing with issues of racism or where an anti-racism perspective might be required.

6.3 Employment

In keeping with the organization’s commitment to employment equity and promoting anti-racism, the following practices are recommended in the various selection processes and other human resource areas:

  • The hiring committees will seek candidates with diverse representation at all levels of the organization.
  • The leadership team will apply anti-racist and anti-oppressive approaches to recruiting and hiring; benefits and work conditions; assessments and promotions; meetings and social connections; and learning and growth opportunities.
  • The leadership team will ensure mandatory anti-racism training and principles are part of each employee’s life cycle and development with the organization.

6.4 Programming & Services

All SIA programs will incorporate or address anti-racism education and approaches into program and service delivery through the following methods:

  • Integrate and implement anti-racism efforts into the design and delivery of our programs, ensure culturally competent programming and continuously improve the way we design, implement, and evaluate SIA programs.
  • Provide anti-racism education and advisory support to staff, and instructors through consultation meetings, workshops, special events, and discussion groups.
  • Clearly indicate the importance and compulsory nature of these topics with clients as part of the programming experience.

7.0 Monitoring & Accountabilities

We will monitor the implementation of this policy on an on-going basis to ensure that it continues to be accessible, equitable, and contributes to SIA’s goal of eliminating race-based discrimination in the community. One year after the implementation of this policy and every year thereafter, the leadership team will conduct a review of the organization and this policy and provide updates to the Board through the Equity & Anti-Racism Committee. This review will include:

  • An anonymous survey of staff and board members.
  • A review of BIPOC representation throughout the organization, including representation on committees, in supervisor and management positions, and on the Board.
  • An assessment of the timeliness of staff and board anti-racism training.
  • A review of the inclusion of anti-racism education and ideals in SIA programs.

8.0 Complaint Process

All persons to whom this policy applies shall use the following as a guideline for filing a complaint:

  • SIA leadership and/or staff will support complainants in a safe and effective manner and without repercussions to report and respond to racist behaviours.
  • Staff have the responsibility to report culturally unsafe work incidents to human resources and or management.
  • The Leadership team (or referred on to the Board President if the accusation includes the Executive Director) will conduct an internal investigation and address each allegation of racism within the organization. The Leadership Team will ensure the complaint procedure is adapted as required by each specific case and will appropriately respond to the specific circumstances relating to the complainant.
  • SIA will ensure that an appropriate remedy is applied to each complaint. This may include required additional training, employee suspension, or termination.
  • Falsified claims or intentionally misreporting situations will be taken very seriously and can lead to the same repercussions as listed above.
  • Clear procedures for this process are identified in a separate document.
  • If it is deemed that the complaint goes outside the realm of being a race-based issue, SIA will follow its HR policies or consult with external entities such as the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Saskatchewan Labour Standards or Occupational Health &

Saskatchewan Intercultural Association Board and Staff

9.0 References

  1. Anti-Oppression Network. (n.d.). Terminologies of Oppression. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://theantioppressionnetwork.com/resources/terminologies-of-oppression/
  2. Anti-Racism Directorate. (2018, April 2). Ontario Public Service Anti-Racism Policy. https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-public-service-anti-racism-policy#antiracismpolicy
  3. Canadian Council for Refugees. (1996, November). CCR Anti-Racism Policy. Anti-Racism Policy | Canadian Council for Refugees (ccrweb.ca)
  4. Canadian Race Relations Foundation. (2015, February 1). Our Canada Handbook. https://issuu.com/crrf-fcrr/docs/our_canada_handbook
  5. Government of Ontario. (2022, April 13). Anti-Racism Directorate Glossary. Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of Systemic Racism: Glossary | Ontario.ca
  6. Interior Health. (2021, April). Anti-Racism Policy. https://www.interiorhealth.ca/sites/default/files/PDFS/anti-racism.pdf
  7. University Health Network. (2021, January). Administrative: Anti-Racism & Anti-Black Racism Policy 1.20. https://www.uhn.ca/corporate/AboutUHN/Governance_Leadership/Policies/Documents/1.20.019_Anti_black_Racism_policy.pdf
  8. United Nations. (n.d.). Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/about-us.html#:~:text=Indigenous%20Peoples%20at%20the%20United%20Nations%20Indigenous%20peoples,of%20the%20dominant%20societies%20in%20which%20they%20live.
  9. University of Southern California. (2021, October 26). How to Explain Structural, Institutional and Systemic Racism. https://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/how-to-explain-structural-institutional-and-systemic-racism/I
  10. (2001, February 18). Xenophobia. https://wayback.archive-it.org/10611/20171126022534/http:/www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/xenophobia/
  11. Anti-Oppression Network. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2022, from https://theantioppressionnetwork.com/allyship/

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