The Association for Canadian Studies, Metropolis Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO held an online conference entitled Understanding Systemic Racism in Canada: Concept and Data.
The online conference featured some of Canada’s leading experts assessing anti-racist policies and practices as well as present new data on perceptions about systemic racism on the part of Canadians with a special focus on the views of the country’s racialized communities and Indigenous Peoples.
Moderators: Tasha Kheiriddin, Media Commentator / Public Policy Analyst; Mohammad Mousa, Social, Human Sciences & Youth Programme Officer, CCUNESCO
Opening Remarks• Peter Flegel, Director Anti-Racism Secretariat, Canadian Heritage
Panel 1: Exploring Concepts
Panel 2: Presenting Data
The murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis has brought the issue of systemic racism to the centre of the national conversation across North America. In Canada, it has served to remind us of the urgent need for action around systems of policing, the administration of justice and the underlying economic and social inequalities that undermine quality of life, particularly for racialized communities and Indigenous peoples.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated social inequalities and highlighted public policy deficiencies, particularly related to national capacity to collect disaggregated data in the area of public health. This serious gap has hampered capacity to fully grasp the impact of the pandemic on equity-seeking communities and create sound policy to redress the resulting social and economic inequities.