June 2, 2020
ETFO Statement on Anti-Black Racism
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario stands in solidarity with communities in Canada and the United States protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota and the suspicious death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto when police were called to her home for assistance. ETFO recognizes the multiple and systemic ways that anti-Black racism is reproduced and enacted every day including through targeted policing, in our public education system, health care system and in many other institutions.
ETFO is deeply concerned about the ongoing systemic and individual forms of anti-Black racism in our communities and beyond.
It is a fatal destructive force in our society and local communities, affecting students, adults and families here in Ontario. While individual acts of anti-Black racism occur daily, systemic anti-Black racism within institutions oppresses entire Black populations on an ongoing basis.
Education systems are not immune. In the past two years, several school boards have come under intense scrutiny for allowing and perpetrating anti-Black racism in their practices. We need to hold school boards, and the provincial government, accountable to existing anti-Black racism policies and push for more such policies to be introduced.
ETFO is committed to working with its educators to stop anti-Black racism and teach ways to unlearn it. From our ground-breaking workshops on white privilege introduced several years ago to our continuing professional resources in response to the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, ETFO has called its members to action to fight anti-Black racism.
As a union dedicated to equity and social justice, our goal is to empower educators with the tools and resources they need to make schools and classrooms welcoming and inclusive. Addressing and challenging anti-Black racism and supporting Black students and others demands our dedicated efforts if we are to help shape a society where the human rights of every individual are respected.
ETFO extends its deepest condolences to the families of Regis Korchinski-Paquet and George Floyd and those of others who have felt the impact of police violence and anti-Black racism.