On October 26, 1966, the United Nations declared March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year, March 21 falls on a Sunday.

The purpose of this day is to serve as a reminder to us all about our rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

When racial harassment and discrimination do take place in our classrooms, schools and places of work, it is our responsibility to act, to name what took place, and to address the situation.

The recently established Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights (IEHR) Department engages with students, staff, and community partners. As a department, its role is to provide support, informed advice, and monitoring for the development of an equity focussed culture that is rooted in human rights and recognizes Indigenous perspectives. The IEHR Department fosters equity consciousness and nurtures inclusive practices across the organization to promote positive student outcomes.

Through a decolonizing, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive lens, the IEHR Department will cultivate capacity across the WRDSB to address systemic barriers and build a community culture that is safe, equitable, and just for students and staff.

We value respect for all. We acknowledge the diversity of lived experiences based on our social identity and privilege. Through compassion and collaboration, we will be innovative in how we address systemic oppression.

Members of the WRDSB community, including staff, students, parents/guardians and other stakeholders, are reminded that they can file a complaint of discrimination and harassment based on a protected Code ground by completing this Human Rights Incident Reporting Form. Questions or inquiries about human rights can be emailed to the Human Rights Branch of the IEHR Department at human-rights@wrdsb.ca.

We are committed to the work of anti-racism, decolonization, and continuing our focus on the development of a system where Human Rights and Equity promote a culture of social justice and anti-oppression. We aspire to be a system where every stakeholder has access to the full spectrum of opportunities, services and outcomes, regardless of race, ethnic origin, creed or religion, socio-economic status or any other personal identity.