Oct. 01, 2020
The message below was sent to all CBE staff members from Chief Superintendent Christopher Usih on Thursday, Oct. 1.
In June 2020 the CBE introduced CBE CARES: Collaboration for Anti-Racism and Equity Supports (CARES) to advance equity, anti-racism and inclusion within the CBE. Every student should have the opportunity to succeed personally and academically regardless of background, identity or personal circumstances.
While some of the initial planning for CBE CARES was delayed due to the re-opening of schools this fall, I am proud to announce that CBE CARES is commencing its work. This initiative will engage multiple strategies to address racism, equity and inclusion in CBE schools and workplaces.
I have selected Dr. Marie Delorme to support me in this important work. Dr. Delorme is well respected in leadership and organization, and her research focuses on inter-cultural leadership. Dr. Delorme will work with the recently established CBE CARES! Advisory Council and facilitate sessions with students, families and community about their experiences with racism, inclusion and equity in CBE schools. CBE is also conducting a literature review with support from the University of Calgary.
The overall mandate of the Advisory Council is to offer suggestions and advice on strategies to address racism and discrimination in CBE schools and workplaces. The Advisory Council’s work will be informed by CBE policies, programs and practices as well as research gathered on other school boards and organizations that may be helpful to address racism and equity at the CBE.
The Advisory Council will include a wide representation of stakeholders including CBE staff and students. The purpose of the CBE CARES Advisory Council is threefold:
- Participate in discussions on emerging issues related to equity, anti-racism and inclusion within CBE and its school communities and work sites;
- To gather information, ideas and suggestions for promoting anti-racism, equity and inclusion in CBE schools and workplaces; and
- To offer advice and recommendations on strategies to advance anti-racism, equity and inclusion within the CBE.
Thank you to the many of you who have reached out to express interest in sitting on the council. I will provide further information about the application and selection process in the coming weeks.
CBE will hear from students, staff, families and school communities through “listening sessions” that allow for participants to share their lived experiences with racism, equity and inclusion at the CBE. Dr. Delorme will be facilitating these sessions and the information gathered will inform her report to me.
Advice and guidance will also be sought from Indigenous Elders through the Chief Superintendent Elders Advisory Council facilitated by CBE staff.
CBE, with the support of University of Calgary, will conduct a literature review related to anti-racism, inclusion and equity in school jurisdictions across Canada and elsewhere to ensure that CBE is informed of current and emerging issues that are relevant to our local context. The information will help shape our strategies to advance anti-racism, equity and inclusion within the CBE.
Based on all the feedback, advice and recommendations gathered, Dr. Delorme will report back to me with recommendations for moving forward by March 2021. As an organization we will then consider actions arising from the report to enhance equity, achievement and well-being for all.
Until then, we will continue to listen with open hearts and open minds. We will continue to work with our communities to foster inclusive work and learning environments, and for families, students and staff to know they will be treated fairly.
Chief Superintendent of Schools