Addressing Anti-Black Racism

The City of Vaughan recognizes that anti-Black racism is perpetual, pervasive and systemic in Canada, and that an effective strategy is required to challenge anti-Black racism in all its forms.

Addressing anti-Black racism is a key priority in the City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy and multi-year action plan (PDF).

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Faces of members of the Black community

Addressing Anti-Black Racism Action Plan

Through the development of the Addressing Anti-Black Racism Action Plan, the City is committed to identifying and addressing barriers to the full and meaningful participation of the Black community in services, programs, events and general city life.

 

There is rich diversity within the Black community – with people from different backgrounds, identities and experiences. These different lived experiences and perspectives must drive the Addressing Anti-Black Racism Action Plan. The City will collaborate with Black individuals, organizations serving the diverse Black communities living in Vaughan and community leaders to develop strategies that address the ongoing challenges of anti-Black racism. The process will engage individuals from the Black community, hear their perspectives, and collaboratively develop recommendations for sustainable change. 

Project Scope

The Addressing Anti-Black Racism project, including community engagement, will be exclusively focused on services offered by the City and within its jurisdiction. Matters outside this scope, while welcome as part of any community discussions and recognized as deeply impactful to the diverse Black communities in Vaughan, will be recorded and, where possible, provided to the relevant organizations for any subsequent action. Learn more about the City of Vaughan’s government structure and services.
 

Project Updates

Thank you to everyone who took the survey, which was open from Feb. 13 to April 30, and participated in the series of focus groups and drop-in sessions between March 13 and April 25 to help identify and address anti-Black racism by improving City programs, policies, procedures and services.

 

The City values the feedback and opinions of its residents. The information gathered during the community engagement process will inform the development of a report, recommendations and multi-year action plan to address anti-Black racism.

 

Since the project launched in September 2022, the City has:

  • Reviewed existing Anti-Black Racism Action Plans across cities in Canada to better understand existing efforts, plan components, structures and more.
  • Identified organizations led by and/or supporting the Black community in Vaughan and York Region.
  • Organized an Addressing Anti-Black Racism Special Advisory Committee comprised of Black citizens through a ​public recruitment. The mandate of the Special Advisory Committee is to:
    • provide advice on the project.
    • facilitate community connections.
    • advise on and guide the community engagement process.
    • provide feedback on the reports in each phase of the project.
    • provide feedback on the recommendations and action plan.
  • Organized focus group sessions with organizations supporting the Black community in the city.

 

Project timeline

  • Strategy review and initial outreach – Fall 2022 | Complete
  • Community engagement: identifying key issues and recommended actions – Winter/Spring 2022 | Complete
  • Validation of the draft action plan – Summer 2023 to Winter 2024 | In Progress
  • Launch the final action plan city-wide – 2024 

 

Special Advisory Committee 

The City established the Addressing Anti-Black Racism Community Engagement Action Plan Project Special Advisory Committee is to ensure the project centers the voices and expertise of the diverse Black communities living in Vaughan and the organizations that serve them. 

 

The Special Advisory Committee is made up of seven diverse Black community members and policy leaders with lived experience and/or expertise. 

 

The mandate of the Special Advisory Committee is to:

  • provide advice on the project.
  • facilitate community connections.
  • advise and guide the community engagement process.
  • provide feedback on the reports in each phase of the project.
  • provide feedback on the recommendations and action plan.

 

The committee will exist for the length of time it takes to complete the Addressing Anti-Black Racism Action Plan project, which will be approximately 15 months. 

 

Understanding Anti-Black Racism

Anti-Black racism is historic, pervasive and systemic in Canada. It refers to attitudes, beliefs, prejudices and/or discriminatory practices that are directed at Black people. It is micro (as seen in day-to-day interactions) and structural (as seen in laws and policies). It is entrenched into societal practices that reflect and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and colonization here in Canada. Anti-Black racism can be reflected in many forms, including disparities in health, education, employment and others. These outcomes can vary greatly within the Black community, as Black individuals of different genders, religions, ages, sexual orientations and other identities experience overlapping barriers. This means to address anti-Black racism, the diverse identities and lived experiences within the Black community must be supported.

 

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Contact Information

Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

 

Zincia Francis

Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Phone: 905-832-2281

Email: zincia.francis@vaughan.ca


Location:
Vaughan City Hall, Level 100
2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.
Vaughan, ON  L6A 1T1

Additional Resources