Grand Erie Shares Anti-Racism Video Series Created for Professional Development
TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2023
rand Erie is shedding a candid light on issues of racism, discrimination, unconscious bias and systemic barriers to inclusion by sharing a series of videos featuring conversations with students, staff and families. Originally created as an internal tool for professional development, the videos are part of a larger strategy to take a decisive anti-racism stance in policies, practices and leadership.
"The conversations in this series of videos are necessary, often uncomfortable, and are meant to directly confront our beliefs and biases. They are also intended to be a springboard to action – to connect our hearts and minds as we work together to foster equity and inclusion in our schools."
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
“The conversations in this series of videos are necessary, often uncomfortable, and are meant to directly confront our beliefs and biases,” said JoAnna Roberto, Director of Education. “They are also intended to be a springboard to action – to connect our hearts and minds as we work together to foster equity and inclusion in our schools. In that regard, they have the potential to be a powerful, transformative tool for professional development.”
Created last year through a highly collaborative process led by Grand Erie’s Safe and Inclusive Schools team, the five videos feature students, family members and staff reflecting on school experiences involving racism, microaggressions, prejudice and bias, and systemic barriers to inclusion and belonging.
“The courage of the participants, sharing their truths so candidly, shows us that we can and must do better,” said Susan Gibson, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Each video sets the stage for those deeper conversations that can challenge and dismantle attitudes and practices that exist in institutions like school boards to build safe spaces for racialized students and staff, and more equitable, inclusive environments for everyone.”
A separate version of the videos was shared with staff members this winter for contextualization in professional practice, and features a series of questions for reflection at the conclusion of each. The video series is part of larger efforts in Grand Erie, which last year launched an equity advisory group, and has since released an equity action plan. The board’s multi-year strategic plan includes goals and priorities supportive of building a culture of belonging to support an equitable, inclusive and responsive environment for each learner.
The videos were produced by Brantford-based production company Atomic Spark, and were created through consultation with DAYO Media & Communications. They can be viewed at the Anti-Racism Project, and on Grand Erie’s YouTube channel, with each video exploring specific themes.