Black teachers still face racism on the job in Ontario

Interesting study. According the National Household Survey data, black teachers form XX percent in Ontario schools:

Many black teachers across Ontario still face racism on the job, according to a new  study of educators, half of whom said they believe being black has hurt their chance of promotion. Some told of hearing the ‘N’ word used in the staff room and being mistaken for a trespasser.

“I had a supply teacher tell me I am not allowed to park my car in staff parking,” said one of the 148 black educators across 12 Ontario school boards surveyed for a report to be released Friday. “The ‘N’ word was used in casual conversation in our staff room,” said another. “I was introduced as ‘home girl’ to a student teacher.”

The 63-page report, The Voices of Ontario Black Educators, prepared for the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators (ONABSE), calls for Ontario to enact tough employment equity legislation, provide training against anti-black bias, set targets for promoting teachers of colour and cluster black teachers in particular in schools where there are high numbers of black students.

“We’re disappointed, but not surprised at the findings — racism is still deeply ingrained in society,” said Warren Salmon, interim president of ONABSE, which commissioned the report because of concerns expressed by its members.

Of the black teachers, principals and vice-principals surveyed, one-third said they believe they have been passed over for advancement because they are black. Some 27 per cent said racial discrimination by colleagues affects their day-to-day work life and 51 per cent said they believe anti-black bias at their school board affects who gets promoted.

Equity consultant Tana Turner of Turner Consultants conducted the survey, and called for school boards to “set equity goals and timetables — not just have an employment equity office which merely measures the numbers of employees …

“If the government wants to close the gap in racial diversity between students and those at the front of the classroom,” she said, “legislation and other government interventions may be needed.”

Black teachers still face racism on the job in Ontario | Toronto Star.

Does Skin Colour Matter in News and Entertainment? Yes it Does – New Canadian Media – NCM

An inconvenient truth – “colourism”:

It has significant implications as people with darker skin tones are stereotyped, and as a result, treated differently throughout society. For example, various studies have shown that employers prefer to hire Black males with lighter skin tones, less education and work experience over Black males with higher levels of education and past work experience, but with darker skin tones. There are also studies that show that immigrants with lighter skin tones earn more than their darker-skinned counterparts.

Colourism plays out in the school system, with a recent American study showing that school discipline for girls differs by race and skin colour, with girls with darker skin tones being disciplined more harshly than their lighter-coloured counterparts. Similar patterns are also evident in the criminal justice system. One recent study found that women with lighter skin tones were more likely to receive shorter prison sentences than their darker-skinned counterparts.

Charges of colourism also reverberate throughout Hollywood. There is criticism that women with darker skin tones are cast in episodes of police shows dealing with the inner city while lighter-coloured women are cast in roles in which the beauty of the character is important. Lighter-skinned women are also disproportionately featured in People magazine’s annual “Most Beautiful” list. Some fashion magazines have been accused of lightening the photos of Beyoncé and Gabourey Sidibe. Similarly, darker-coloured Black men are portrayed in the entertainment industry in roles that are more violent and threatening.

Does Skin Colour Matter in News and Entertainment? Yes it Does – New Canadian Media – NCM.

Racial Diversity Gap in the Courtroom

Judicial DiversityFurther to recent news articles on the lack of diversity among federal judicial appointments, largely focused on Minister MacKay’s comments regarding women, good commentary by Tana Turner:

Without the data on how racial minorities and women fare in the hiring process, the argument often is that there is no evidence that there is a problem. Some also argue that low representation reflects the lack of qualified people or the lack of interest in the position.  Without an examination of the diversity gap, it is easy to hide behind the argument that “the problem is them, not us.”

When we look at the data we do have, as reported in the Toronto Star, the analysis does show that there is a racial diversity gap when we compare the representation of racial minorities among judges to their representation among lawyers, at least in Ontario.

Using the federal governments own method for analyzing whether this is an equity-related problem, this gives us a Racial Diversity Gap or severity ratio of .15 for federally appointed judges and .73 for provincially appointed judges. The governments own documents suggest that anything less than .80 is significant and requires that further analysis be conducted to investigate where the problem exists and goals be established to address the underlying issues and close the gap in representation.

Sometimes this investigation does find that applications from certain groups of people are low. But the Canadian Human Rights Commission says that this doesn’t let the employer off the hook. The perception that the workplace is hostile or unwelcoming, or that the process is unfair, are issues that the employer needs to address.

But to get to the point of collecting and analyzing diversity data among federally appointed judges, the Government of Canada, specifically the Minister of Justice, Peter McKay – needs to answer one fundamental question: does diversity among the country’s judiciary matter?

If Peter MacKay doesn’t think that having the best and brightest judges or having a judiciary that reflects and understands the diversity of the Canadian population are important, he should say so. If he thinks either of these are important, he should collect and release the data.

Racial Diversity Gap in the Courtroom – TURNER CONSULTING GROUP INC..