By Todd Patrick, BCTF Staff, Assistant Director of Social Justice
For many years, the BCTF has made it a priority to explore equity and inclusion within the Federation and work towards systemic change of its structures with the goal of improving accessibility and accountability to all members. It is a slow but steady process that has been successful in many different areas.
To date the BCTF has:
- Hosted two Issue Sessions on Racism that resulted in many successful recommendations. Examples include providing mentorship opportunities for BIPOC members in Federation leadership events, developing resources to support members experiencing racism, and increasing antiracism training for BCTF members.
- Created the Disability Justice Action Group on the Committee for Action on Social Justice in order to focus on the rights of teachers and students with disabilities and provide a voice to this diverse group of members.
- Provided funds for the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee to begin hosting a biannual Provincial Conference, alternating with the Provincial Social Justice Conference.
- Supported the development of affinity rooms at Summer Leadership Conference and the Annual General Meeting. These safe, independent spaces are available for members of equity-seeking groups to meet, discuss issues, and support each other.
- Created a Representative Assembly Task Force in the fall of 2020, which focused on improving the members’ accessibility to one of the BCTF decision-making bodies, the Representative Assembly.
As part of its continued efforts to move forward on advancing equity and inclusion, the BCTF will host its first LGBTQ2S+ Issue Session. This virtual event will take place on May 17 and 18. Day one of the be facilitated by Cicely Belle Blain, a diversity and inclusion consultant, activist, and writer. Blain is the winner of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Youth Leadership Award in Social Movement Building for their commitment to Black liberation and LGBTQ2S+ activism.
If you identify as a member from the LGBTQ2S+ community, we invite you to view the posting on the Opportunities for Members page of the BCTF website. Consider applying to be one of the 20 members selected to come together virtually to build community, reflect, discuss common issues, and provide advice to the BCTF Executive Committee.