It needs to have teeth: B.C.’s anti-racism data committee readies to release priorities, stats

The chair of the B.C. Anti-Racism Data Council said she was looking for very specific guidelines for the government to make sure they were “forced or compelled” to do something about the systemic gaps that have been illuminated over the past year.

Dr June Francis and the rest of the committee are preparing to release statistics and present research priorities this June based on the work they have done over the past six months. She said the commission has been collecting data in a “safe but effective way to illuminate issues of racism” and address racial inequality.

“We wondered if there would be teeth,” explained Francis, a professor at Simon Fraser University whose work focuses on equity, diversity and inclusion in racialized groups. “We collect the data, we show the gaps, but where are the teeth? Where is the funding coming from? These are big questions. We need more funding to actually implement.”

The Anti-Racist Data Act was issued about a year ago, while Committee members to be elected in September 2022 And starting with communities around the Lower Mainland, meet monthly to develop plans for the rest of BC

Asked if the committee was moving at a pace she was comfortable with, Francis said it “can only move at the pace of confidence”.

That, she said, was the most important thing identified six months ago.

“We come from many different communities that have been divided by racism, because racism really works to divide and subjugate Indigenous communities,” she said. “We have to get to know each other first. We have to make sure there is space so that we can have honest conversations and other difficult conversations.”

Francis said the committee must be anti-racist, decolonizing and safe before it can do its work.

“I think every racialized community has had the experience of raising issues and being hurt.”

B.C. Attorney General Nikki Sharma said working with the commission has been a “very profound and transformative process.”

“The ultimate goal is to remove the systemic racism that exists in our system, and that’s a very important job.”

However, Sharma pointed out that this is work that needs to be done “in the next few years”.

“We were a colonial government built on a lot of destructive policies,” she explained, referring to Japanese Canadians who were forced from their homes and sent to internment camps in World War II, the committee said on Monday. Five (April 14) Downtown Vancouver.

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