Peel's Catholic school board reaches out to Black community for advice on racism and other student issues

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The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) is creating an advisory body that can address racism and improve educational opportunities for Black students.

With the working title of the Black Community Advisory Council (BCAC), the goal is for the committee to advise the board on issues and work to address anti-Black racism in the system.

The council will consist of community representatives from various organizations and agencies, student representatives, parents/guardians, as well as DPCDSB staff.

The Catholic board says the step is necessary as it believes equity and inclusion are valuable contributors to student success. It is hoped the BCAC can help ensure that all students are engaged and included in all aspects of school life.

BCAC members will be expected to identify, address and work collectively to eliminate racism in education, and ultimately improve educational outcomes for Black students.

Earlier this year, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, emphasized the reality of racism in our society. He stated that “Racism knows no boundaries and it remains a present-day challenge that must not be ignored.”

Specifically, the BCAC will focus on the following issues:

* Make recommendations to the DPCDSB and provide strategies to address and eliminate anti-Black racism;
* Identify and examine potential gaps experienced by Black students;
* Review initiatives that support anti-racism within the system;
* Review initiatives that support the achievement of Black students;
* Create strategies and advise system direction that will support the success of Black students;
* Advocate for resources and initiatives to combat anti-Black racism.

Members will be appointed to a two-year term and meet regularly throughout the school year.

The committee will be chosen through an application process. Preference will be given to those individuals who identify as Black and who have a commitment to anti-racism. Application forms are available here.

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