One of the mandates of the IAC is to advise the Board on Intercultural concerns facing the Lester B. Pearson community. On January 29, 2018, the Council of Commissioners so affirmed, by resolution, that all forms of racism, hate, xenophobia, bigotry, including but not limited to Islamophobia, is not tolerated within the Lester B. Pearson School Board, and asked that the IAC make recommendations to them on an annual activity to counter all forms of hate and racism in our communities. On May 2, 2018, the Intercultural Advisory Committee hosted Andrea Sterzuk for a talk on race, belonging, and schools in Canada, with a particular focus on Quebec. This event was open to all members of the LBPSB community.
Andrea Sterzuk is a teacher educator and educational researcher. Prior to her academic career, she worked as an elementary school teacher in rural Saskatchewan and in the Northwest Territories. In 2007, she received my PhD in Education from McGill University.
Since that time, she has been a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan where she is also currently the Acting Dean.
Her research projects and teaching focus on issues of power, identity and language in education, particularly as they relate to settler-colonialism: spending a lot of time thinking and teaching about how to address issues like: Racism, colonialism, discrimination, inequity and marginalization in and through schools.
She believes that countering hatred and eliminating racism involves changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices and attitudes. These are collective goals which are made more achievable through the support of citizens and institutions.
This presentation drew on the general objective of the Québec Education Program, Social Sciences, for Preschool and Elementary Schools that schools are mandated to help students learn to act as responsible and informed citizens.
She began with the assumption that part of that goal must involve teaching students to become socially aware about historical and contemporary matters like racism, Islamophobia, and colonialism in Quebec society and Quebec institutions.
IAC member and LBPSB Parents' Committee Rep, Natasha Drysdale attended this special event and wrote the following:
What is white privilege?
White privilege is not having to worry about your résumé finding its way to the bottom of the pile for no other reason than your name is too ‘foreign.’
White privilege is not having to give up your customs, cultural or religious, for fear of being declared ungrateful, or worse: the enemy.
White privilege is not having to defend your every accomplishment or prove that it wasn’t handed to you.
White privilege is... read more