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Dismantling Racism – Invitation to Engagement Process

As the District continues its journey to support an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment for all, we are reaching out to students, their families, staff and community partners to participate in an Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion Survey. It is available for completion up to and including June 4 and is the start of a fulsome engagement process that will inform action. Click here to learn how to participate.

Why We Need Your Input
Your voice is integral to this work. We know that we have much to learn and are grateful to gain insight and understanding from those connected to the District who choose to participate and share their lived experiences. In particular, the voices of those who identify as part of the BIPOC community are vital and necessary in creating transformational change.

The survey is available in nine different languages in order to reach as many people as possible. What you share in the survey is anonymous and confidential.

Racism is a serious problem, and while the information shared will help the District act, racism cannot be solved with one survey.

Board of Education Chair Jen Mezei:

Addressing systemic racism will be a long process and education has a vital role to play in it. It is a journey we are committed to as a board to support our staff, students and families and to foster safe and caring communities.”

How This Survey Came About
The collaboration on what engagement should look like was done by the District Anti-Racism Working Group, which was formed following a motion passed by the Burnaby Board of Education last June. It directed staff to put together a working group that includes representation from Black, Indigenous and racialized communities and is comprised of all partners (students, elementary and secondary teachers and administration, as well as representatives from the District Parent Advisory Council, the Burnaby Teachers’ Association, CUPE Local 379, the Board of Education and the Burnaby School District). The importance of creating a safe and culturally sensitive space for people’s stories to be shared, honoured and understood was a key part of Trustees’ motion.

Since the working group began meeting in the fall, members have offered their insight and expertise to establish core values for their collective work, a commitment statement, and the framework for a meaningful multi-layered engagement process that will gather input to inform the District’s anti-racism work moving forward.

Superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen:

Racism does exist amongst us. We know this to be true. We have said it exists in our schools, in our workplaces and in our communities, and we have been challenged with an opportunity to do better – and we will do better.”

How the Survey Information Will Be Used and What Comes Next
What you share in the survey is anonymous and confidential. The survey results will give the District a broad view of issues around racism. It is the first of a three-step engagement process that was approved by the Burnaby Board of Education at their March 2021 meeting. The overview gained from the survey will help to shape the next phases of the engagement process. Phase 2 is anticipated to focus on in-depth input, with Phase 3 involving deeper conversations.

The consultation process is intended to inform development of a district anti-racism action plan that respects and honours the voices and lived experiences of those affected by systemic racism, implicit bias and/or discrimination.

Learn More About the District’s Work
Parents Asked for Input on Racism in Burnaby Schools
 (Burnaby Now, May 2021)
Board Chair Report Regarding Safety in Schools, Including Anti-Racism Work (April 2021)
Black History Month: Celebrating & Learning
(February 2021)
Supporting Black Shirt Day (January 2021)
Continuing Our Journey: Supporting Anti-Racism (October 2020)
Action on Racism: Burnaby Board of Education (June 2020)
Anti-Racism: Letter and Resources (June 2020)

Virtual parent information evenings were also held earlier in the month:

  • For Indigenous Parents and Guardians: Information Evening: Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion Survey via Zoom on Tuesday May 11, 7pm
  • For All Parents and Guardians: Information Evening: Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion Survey via Zoom on Tuesday May 18, 7pm


Posted May 20, 2021