The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is March 21, 2021.  The past year has cast a strong light on the discrimination still faced by people who are Black, Indigenous, people of colour or otherwise identify as racialized.

Being anti-racist is not a static state: to be anti-racist, we must actively work against prejudice and inequality when and where we see it. These are often hard conversations that make people uncomfortable. But it is through that discomfort that we can learn and grow.

The call to action from Ian Shugart, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet states:

“As we focus on combatting racism, it is not sufficient to simply equip ourselves with knowledge and tools. We must take action in ways we know will be meaningful in addressing all barriers and disadvantages. Being a leader means taking an active role in ending all forms of discrimination and oppression, consciously and constantly challenging our own biases, and creating an environment in which our employees feel empowered and safe to speak up when they witness barriers to equity and inclusion. Inaction is not an option.”Arms interlaced to support each other

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has been advocating for years for the implementation of anti-racist policies in the government. Current changes and priorities are a direct result of recommendations from the Joint Union/Management Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion in the Public Service. The PSAC continues to call for unions and public-service employees to be consulted in a meaningful way on policy changes that will affect marginalized workers.

The JLP will soon be launching a new guided discussion entitled Anti-Racism: Let’s Talk. This facilitated virtual discussion will bring public service employees and their managers together to define racism, discuss how it is manifested and to identify ways to individually and collectively stop racism and promote racial justice. Watch for its release in the coming weeks.

The JLP is proud to be taking part in the conversation around addressing and preventing racial discrimination in the federal public service though its workshops and guided discussions.