As we turn the page on celebrating another successful African Heritage Month, this year’s theme, Black History Matters: Listen, Learn, Share and Act, was especially poignant.
Reflecting on the past, and demanding a better future, the municipality is committed to taking important steps to address internal and external anti-Black racism related issues with respect to municipal service delivery.
Guided by the Anti-Black Racism (ABR) Project Charter developed based on recommendations by the Anti-Black Racism Working Group, we have been furthering key priorities outlined in the Charter.
One of the first steps included the formation of the ABR Steering Committee last month. This ten-person Committee includes representatives from across the organization including Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency and Halifax Regional Police, and they will be supported by the soon-to-be hired ABR Program Coordinator. Together they have been tasked to manage the development and implementation of a multi-year Anti-Black Racism Strategy and Action Plan – one of five key deliverables under the Charter.
As well, as part of our commitment to improving the representation of African Nova Scotians and those of African descent in leadership roles within our organization, we will be offering a second designated cohort of the Foundations for Aspiring Leaders Program solely to employees who identify as African Nova Scotian and those of African descent. Applications for this designated cohort will open soon.
We know that the active dismantling of structures and norms upholding racial inequity is everyone’s responsibility. Though we will be shown the way by the ABR Steering Committee, Office of Diversity & Inclusion/ANSAIO and others, it’s imperative we remain humble about where we are starting from and each commit to backing up conversations with actions.
A few places to start:
Lastly, I’d like to share a special thanks to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion/ANSAIO, Anti-Black Racism Working Group, ABR Steering Committee and others for your incredible leadership and expertise as we continue to move change forward towards a more inclusive, equitable and safe environment for all.