The Vancouver School District supports a safe and positive school and community environment, recognizing the varied lived experiences of students, their families and our staff.
In December 2019, the Board passed a motion directing the superintendent to create an anti-racism and anti-discrimination strategic plan for Vancouver schools.
A number of steps have already been taken, including policy changes, the addition of a district resource teacher, staff training and student-led forums. This next phase represents a significant step forward with the conclusion of a comprehensive RFP process and awarding of a contract to experts in communications and anti-racism community engagement.
Urban Matters will seek input from Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPoC) students and their families, staff, members of Vancouver’s IBPoC communities along with those of other District stakeholder groups and partners. These conversations are deeply important and personal to many and Urban Matters will speak with those who have directly experienced racism and resulting acts of discrimination, when in school, during off hours or off-site school-related activities, or in any other circumstance involving a Vancouver student.
The outcome of the community engagement will support the development of a District vision and yearly goals to address racism and it’s resulting impacts. This work will also provide the District with an equity assessment framework to make systemic change that purposefully addresses racism and discrimination.
This engagement is one of several underway in the District as part of its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
About Urban Matters
The Urban Matters team consists of professional facilitators and community engagement specialists who apply a decolonial and anti-racism lens to engagement and facilitation. They have extensive community engagement experience with diverse communities across British Columbia to advance social equity. They seek to continuously address barriers to participation and amplify those voices who have been historically marginalized due to systemic discrimination and racism. Some of the most prominent recent examples of engagement with diverse communities that align with the stakeholder engagement sought by the Vancouver School Board Anti-Racism engagement include: City of Surrey Housing Needs Report – Community Ambassadors Engagement (2020), Rural and Indigenous Overdose Action Exchange (2019), and Algonquins of Pikwakanagan – Summer Student Environmental Consulting Training (2019). Learn more about Urban Matters.