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Please note, masking is still mandatory at Holland Bloorview. A medical grade mask will be available upon entry.

Black History Month in green text on a green background above the Holland Bloorview logo
Educate. Participate. Celebrate.

This work is led and overseen by IDEAA task force chair, Aman Sium, vice president (interim) experience, transformation and social accountability; and Lorraine Thomas, manager (interim) inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility and anti-racism.

A message from Holland Bloorview’s inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility and anti-racism (IDEAA) office.  

Dear Holland Bloorview colleagues, volunteers, clients and families, February is Black History Month. This year’s theme is “Black Resistance” and is reflective of the Black community’s resilience and determination against all odds to demonstrate and exemplify Black excellence in all areas of Canadian society. 

Throughout the month ahead we will be amplifying Black voices in the Holland Bloorview community to ensure that our community at Holland Bloorview feels recognized, appreciated and valued.  The tone of our participation will therefore be both celebratory and reflective.  While it is important to acknowledge the immense contributions of Black Canadians to this country over the past 400 years, it is equally important to consider how we can further racial and social justice in the work we do each day.

Our anti-racism commitments so far:

Since the evolution of our IDEAA (Inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility and anti-racism) task force in 2019, Holland Bloorview pledged zero tolerance with respect to acts of prejudice, discrimination or racism and signed the BlackNorth Initiative pledge to dismantle anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for the Black, Indigenous and racialized communities.  In 2022, we:

  • Launched a new, independent and confidential process for reporting experiences of workplace discrimination, racism and harassment. These policies and the reporting process were designed in collaboration with the people & culture, the quality, safety, and performance teams as well as the human rights and equity navigator and in consultation with the IDEAA task force.
  • Created a human rights and equity navigator role.
  • Creating a new Workplace Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Policy and updating the Workplace Anti-Harassment Policy.
  • Continuing to provide monthly unconscious bias in recruitment training to all hiring managers and hiring panels.
  • Hired Dr. Notissa Massaquoi to conduct a Black Experience Survey at Holland Bloorview with self-identified Black employees at Holland Bloorview (including the staff who work in food and environmental services employed by Sodexo and employees of the Holland Bloorview Foundation). The report has already been shared with the Holland Bloorview board of directors and will be shared broadly with the organization in the coming weeks.
  • Created EMBARK (Empowering Black Academics, Researchers and Knowledge creators) The first program of its kind in Canada, EMBARK will fill a crucial gap in amplifying diverse Black voices in disability research and aims to address barriers that Black scholars face to set them up for successful academic careers. 
  • The Anti-Black Racism eLearning Module created by Women’s College Hospital and Dr. Notisha Massaquoi, in partnership with the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN) and Ontario Health, will be launched across the hospital at the end of February, starting with the leadership team and then to all staff. This eLearning module will be mandatory training for all new hires.
  • We have archived webinars on anti-Black racism, presenting on topics focusing on intersectionality, the effect of racist structures and practices on Black peoples and how to advocate for anti-racist practices.   

Resources: Please see IDEAA’s guide for staff learning and resources

Virtual events in the community (please check back as events will be updated throughout the month)