#Winnipeg; #CMHR; #Racism
Winnipeg Aug 5 (Canadian-Media): The interim report of the independent third-party review into allegations of systemic racism and other forms of oppression within the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) has been released by CMHR on Aug 5.
Image credit: Facebook page
"The Board of Trustees welcomes the review’s findings. It is clear many people have been adversely impacted by racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination within the Museum, and we apologize unreservedly,” said Board Chair and Interim CEO Pauline Rafferty. “We are taking immediate and decisive action to build an anti-racist and anti-discriminatory workplace.”
"The report is troubling. It's concerning. It exposes all of the worst things," Pauline Rafferty, the museum's board chair and acting CEO said in an interview Tuesday, CBC News reported.
Systemic racism had been identified in Harris’ report within the Museum which has had a negative physical, emotional and financial impact on employees who are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour. Instances of sexism, heterosexism and homophobia within the organization were also identified in the report.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I apologize that it took a public crisis for the organization to seriously reflect on the issues of systemic racism, homophobia and other forms of oppression,” Rafferty continued. “We need to focus our attention on our hiring practices, our policies and our workplace culture. We will recommit ourselves to the values upon which the Museum was founded, of human dignity and respect, and make this a priority. How we work will be as important as the work itself.”
A Diversity and Inclusion Committee led by Trustee Julie Ja was recently formed by the Board of Trustees. The Museum’s five-year strategic plan to prioritize diversity and inclusion goals and developing metrics to measure progress will also be reviewed by the Board.
“We will create and implement policies and procedures that cover all aspects of the Museum’s work,” added Julie Jai. “We have an opportunity to transform the Museum into a workplace that practices anti-racism and rejects all forms of oppression, including sexism, heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia. With sustained effort, the Museum will emerge much stronger for it.”
The Museum is closed today and tomorrow (August 5 and 6) to provide staff an opportunity to review the report and meet with Laurelle Harris.
the Board of Trustees of the CMHR received on July 31 a report entitled “Rebuilding the Foundation,” which provides an external review into systemic racism and oppression within the Museum.
The Board welcomes the findings and is taking immediate action to implement the five recommendations pertaining to the Board, which are presence of not fewer than one Black person, one Indigenous person and one person who identifies as LGTBQ2+ at all times, in addition to members of additional equity groups at Diversity and Inclusion Committee; thorough analysis of past and future policies for bias and to ensure that board policies promote, and support equity; Anti-racist and anti-oppression education, both by way of self-learning and through scheduled training sessions should be provided to all members of the Board of Trustees; The Board of Trustees set goals for the Chief Executive Officer to promote a culture of equity, inclusion and accountability within the Museum; Chief Executive Officer required to to engage in meaningful community relations with Black, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities, transgender/gender diverse and Two-Spirit communities in particular.
The Board and Museum leadership have also agreed to review the Museum’s five-year strategic plan to prioritize diversity and inclusion goals and developing metrics to measure progress; Supporting a comprehensive external review (phase two) which will expand on the findings of the first phase to provide a framework for long-term action; Launching mandatory sexual harassment training for all managers, staff and volunteers in the coming weeks. This training is to be completed by the end of September 2020; Management reporting annually to the Board through the Diversity and Inclusion committee on action and progress on equity initiatives as well as on any complaints of racism, homophobia, sexual harassment and other forms of oppression;Developing and implementing a new policy to ensure the practice of censoring any Museum content is strictly prohibited; Investing a minimum of $250,000 of the Museum’s 2020-21 budget to support training for all staff and managers at the Museum; and collaborating with staff to support the creation of staff-led groups to provide input on Museum policies, practices and decisions.
Finally, the management is being encouraged by the Board to immediately create a senior role within the Museum focused on diversity and inclusion, review recruitment and hiring practices, including a complete analysis of the Museum’s employment practices in Phase Two, and roll out an institution-wide education and learning plan, including working with staff to redevelop mandatory respectful workplace training.