This month, we recognize Black History Month. The month of recognition is important as it offers a moment of collective reflection with family, friends, and colleagues.
For the HRPA, we have built celebrating diversity and drawing attention to racial injustice into our ongoing business plans and believe that the only true way to make a difference is to practice this behaviour as a year-round endeavor. It requires persistence and care. Systems that discriminate against people of colour have been institutionalized for centuries, and they will take focus and enduring attention to erode and dismantle.
Our member learning team has been – and will continue to be – hard at work, planning programs that help provide Human Resources Professionals with the resources and training they need to confront and eliminate systemic racism in the workplace.
In September, I announced several Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, and I have been thrilled to see them come to fruition. Below is a summary of the work done and some of what’s to come:
Battling Systemic Racism
- Throughout September to November 2020, the HRPA offered members a free four-part webinar series, led by some incredibly scholarly and notable experts, including Laura Williams, Donna Pascal, and Dr. Wesley Hall, founder of the Black North Initiative.
- The Battling Systemic Racism series was attended by over 2,000 members and on-demand recordings will be available soon.
- In the midst of Black History Month, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we are planning a full-day Diversity & Inclusion Mini-Conference, that builds on that successful program. Laura Williams will moderate the session scheduled for May 20th, and it will again be free for members. I encourage all members to save the date and look for more information coming soon.
- In December 2020, the HRPA announced the results of a Diversity & Inclusion Report conducted with our partner, Diversio, which stressed the urgency to implement D&I programs in Ontario. In conjunction with our work with Diversio, we made additional training and tools available, free to members, including the upcoming Leadership Allyship Training session, which will be held on March 2nd.
- In January, the HRPA hosted our Annual Conference, which featured some incredible D&I focused programming, including a powerful panel hosted by Tracy Moore. Conference attendees who missed this important session – or who wish to watch it again – can access it on-demand in the Chime platform for a limited time. For those who were not able to attend the Conference, session recordings will be available on demand soon.
I also encourage you to check our calendar of events for D&I focused programs, offered on an ongoing basis by the HRPA and our Chapters.
Please do take some extra time this month to learn about and celebrate black history. Additional resources are provided below, compiled by the team at HRPA.
Louise Taylor Green
- CBC Books – 25 books about being Black in Canada
- University of Toronto Library – Anti-Black Racism Reading List
- “The Skin We’re In” by Desmond Cole
- “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo
Additional Links and Resources:
- Government of Canada- Black History Month
- Ontario Heritage Trust- Ontario’s Black Heritage
- Ontario Black History Society- Profiles of Black Canadians
- The Canadian Encyclopedia- Black History in Canada Collection
- Toronto Public Library – Celebrating Black History and Culture
- Deloitte – Black in Canada: Acknowledging our past, owning our present, and changing our future
- National Museum of African American History and Culture- Talking About Race
- LinkedIn Learning Blog – How Allies Can Celebrate Black History Month
- HRPA HR Insights – More Resources for Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace