The STA ad hoc Members’ of colour committee has been created to provide a safe space for people to discuss their life experiences, ideas, concerns, as teachers and people of colour, and to work towards concrete actions designed to raise awareness, bring unique cultural, linguistic, and racial diversity assets to make the STA stronger as it becomes a more diverse and inclusive space/union.
- Objectives may include:
- review existing STA policies and structures concerning teachers from teachers’ of colour/visible minorities/racialized;
- to identify the needs of teachers’ of colour/visible minorities/racialized within STA;
- to facilitate a consultative process between STA and BCTF concerning structures and policies in place for teacher of colour/visible minorities/racialized.
- to identify changes to STA policy and structure to ensure that the needs of e teacher of colour/visible minorities/racialized educators are met
- to strengthen the STA with more robust involvement by members
The Concept of Racialization
“Visible minority” refers to “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour” (Statistics Canada 2015) . It is the term used in Canada’s human rights legislation and in Statistics Canada data. There is significant debate about the use of the term “visible minorities” (See Definitions) because “visible” is used to denote the difference in skin tone, and the word “minority” to denote numerical smallness or weakness in power relations (Pendakur 2005) . Some of us prefer to be called people of colour, while others prefer more specific language (e.g., Black, Chinese, Somali). The term racialized is preferred by some because it acknowledges the fact that the barriers we face are rooted in the historical and contemporary racial prejudice in society and are not a product of our own identities or shortcomings.