VICTORIA – British Columbia has appointed the first members of the Anti-Racism Data Committee, a key part of B.C.’s recently enacted Anti-Racism Data Act, focused on dismantling systemic racism in all provincial government programs and services.
Nearly 160 people applied to join the Anti-Racism Data Committee and 11 were selected. The committee will be chaired by June Francis, a professor at Simon Fraser University, whose work focuses on equity, diversity and inclusion for racialized groups.
Other names include Shirley Chau, associate professor, school of social work, UBC Okanagan; Donald Corrigal, cultural wellness manager, Métis Nation BC; Marion Erickson, research manager, Health Arts Research Centre; Daljit Gill-Badesha, instructor, BC Institute of Technology, guest lecturer, Simon Fraser University
With more than 25 years of senior leadership in the non-profit and public sectors; Jessica Guss, manager, cultural safety and humility, First Nations Health Authority; Ellen Kim, equity and inclusion consultant; Zareen Naqvi, director, Institutional Research and Planning, Simon Fraser University (SFU); Smith Oduro-Marfo, lead author and researcher, Black in B.C. report; Jacqueline Quinless, CEO, Quintessential Research Group; Sukhi Sandhu, co-founder, Wake Up Surrey; master’s student, diversity, equity and inclusion, Tufts University.
“We had overwhelming numbers of qualified and passionate people apply. It just shows how determined people are to dismantle systemic racism across B.C.,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “We’ve selected 11 members who will help us identify how we can improve government services for racialized people. I look forward to the committee’s work as we build an anti-racist B.C. that works for everyone.”
As an action to implement the Anti-Racism Data Act, the committee has been created to identify and break down barriers in government programs and services for Indigenous, Black and other people of colour. It is the first anti-racism act in Canada to be co-developed with Indigenous Peoples.
Committee members represent the diversity of B.C. and will provide input about how demographic data will be collected and used safely in order to illuminate gaps in government services and dismantle systemic barriers to government programs. The committee will recommend priorities for research, and review statistics prior to their release to prevent future community harms.
The committee’s work will be supported by a voluntary population survey, conducted by BC Stats and built with Indigenous, Black and other people of colour. Once this data is collected it will be linked with existing program data and used to analyze key sectors, such as education, policing and health care.
“This groundbreaking Anti-Racism Data Act seeks to ensure that B.C. is a province where all people, regardless of race, can flourish,” said Francis. “The anti-racism data committee will be critical to realizing these aspirations. The committee is constituted to ensure the representation of Indigenous and racialized communities and will work hard to ensure the promises made to address systemic racism and gaps in service in the public sector are realized. This will involve a continuous process of working with communities, including their perspectives, and maintaining cultural safety as we collaborate with government to establish key research priorities. The primary focus will be to gather and monitor data to close the racial equity gaps that exist in the public service.”
For more information about the Anti-Racism Data Act, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/antiracism/