Black in Canada
Acknowledging our past, owning our present, and changing our future
The string of killings and police brutality against Black people, including the reprehensible videotaped slaying of George Floyd in the spring of 2020, sparked international outrage and brought attention to the legacy of anti‑Black racism and racial inequity in Canada. This has highlighted the need for Canadian organizations to acknowledge the lived experiences of their Black colleagues, take action toward reconciliation and structural change, and commit to becoming anti-racist organizations.
In order to do this, we must acknowledge that “empty statements do not change systems; collective and compassionate effort does,” as stated by Deloitte Canada CEO, Anthony Viel. To put compassionate effort into practice, individuals must first understand the legacy of anti‑Black racism in Canada and how it manifests in workplaces—through bias, privilege, policies, and power dynamics.
Beginning to address anti‑Black racism in Canadian workplaces
The prevalence of racism at work, the amount of time we spend at work, and the role that workplaces play as a locus of stratification in society, organizational leaders are in a unique position to start addressing anti‑Black racism in their own organizations. These changes could have an out‑sized, positive impact on shifting the trajectory of Black economic and social inclusion, justice, and equity in Canada.
L.E.A.D: A framework for organizations to take action against anti‑Black racism
Dismantling racist frameworks and structures that create barriers to opportunities, growth, and access shouldn’t be the work of Black people alone. Individuals and organizations must flex their allyship muscles to understand the issues and address them head on—while exhibiting the behaviours needed to change organizational culture. Action is needed. So what are your next steps?
The L.E.A.D frameworki—Listen, Engage, Acknowledge, Do—provides a path forward to build an anti‑racist capability and to start making intentional changes within organizations. Learn more in Black in Canada.
There are no shortcuts to finding solutions to the deep‑seated issue of anti‑Black racism in Canada. We all have to do the work.
i “Supporting your Black workforce, now.” Deloitte US. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human‑capital/articles/support‑your‑black‑employees.html