Anti-racism is the practice of identifying, challenging, preventing, eliminating and changing the values, structures, policies, programs, practices and behaviours that perpetuate racism. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.
It is an active, daily, consistent, and continuous process of personal and collective change to eliminate individual, institutional, and system racism derived from white supremacy as well as the oppression and injustice racism and white supremacy cause.
Some people think racism is not a problem in multicultural Canada, but racism still exists in many places, including British Columbia. Racism can take many forms and is often implicit in our attitudes, behaviours, beliefs and values. It is up to all of us to take a collaborative community approach to challenge and prevent racism and hate crime.
Anti-Black racism is prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and its legacy. Anti-Black racism is deeply entrenched in Canadian institutions, policies and practices, to the extent that anti-Black racism is either functionally normalized or rendered invisible to the larger White society. Anti-Black racism is manifest in the current social, economic, and political marginalization of African Canadians, which includes unequal opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment, significant poverty rates and overrepresentation in the criminal justice system.
Anti-Indigenous racism is the ongoing race-based discrimination, negative stereotyping, and injustice experienced by Indigenous Peoples within Canada. It includes ideas and practices that establish, maintain and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from the legacy of colonial policies and practices in Canada.
Systemic anti-Indigenous racism is evident in discriminatory federal policies such as the Indian Act and the residential school system. It is also manifest in the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in provincial criminal justice and child welfare systems, as well as inequitable outcomes in education, well-being, and health. Individual lived-experiences of anti-Indigenous racism can be seen in the rise in acts of hostility and violence directed at Indigenous people.
Government of British Columbia, Multiculturalism and anti-racism
Government of Ontario, Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of Systemic Racism
Race Forward, “Race Reporting Guide” (2015).
Ricketts, R. (2021). Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy. Atria Books.