June 25, 2020
Hamilton CAS is committed to equity and inclusion and we continue our work to centre equity in our service to families in the Hamilton community and within our organization. We have made progress on our journey, but we still have lots of work to do. We want to continue to support this work as local and global events unfold in relation to anti-Black and systemic racism.
In response to these events a number of our staff as well as community partners have requested information to help them learn more about the challenge and impact of systemic racism within the Black community. We have put together a list of resources to assist with expanding anti-racist learning and knowledge with a particular lens on understanding anti-Black racism as well as resources that help with deconstructing whiteness and white privilege.
As part of our commitment to learning, we have shared this resource with our staff and wanted to share it broadly in the hope that it may also assist you on your personal journey. This is not an exhaustive list, but has a variety of options including novels, movies, television shows and articles for you to explore, read, watch, and learn.
Addressing Anti-Black Racism
The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton recognizes that Black children and families are overrepresented in the child welfare system, including at our agency, and we are committed, now more than ever, to reduce this overrepresentation. We also acknowledge that when Black children do come into care, there can be disparities of service. We have been active in the implementation plan of the Race Equity Framework of One Vision One Voice, a remarkable initiative through the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) that was formed in consultation with African Canadian communities across the province.
In particular, One Vision One Voice has allowed us to better understand the needs of Black children, youth and families and the challenges faced with the child welfare system. Our agency attended the Power Up! Symposium, the first gathering of its kind in Ontario that brought together the voices of Black youth involved in the Ontario child welfare system. The experiences shared by these courageous youth have better informed our services and our plans to reduce disparities of service.
Additionally, One Vision One Voice also hosted the ALL IN Symposium which gave an opportunity to send a large group of Black staff to collectively gather to share insights, experiences as Black employees in the child welfare system. The staff from The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton who attended have been courageous to share these experiences with Senior Leadership at the agency and, as a result, the agency is forming a Black Staff Affinity Group.
There is much work to be done in addressing anti-Black racism and we welcome opportunities to work and learn within the Black community of Hamilton so that we may better serve Black children, youth and families.