February 23rd, 2022
As we continue to work to ensure our system and learning environments are inclusive, we are aware of the harm experienced by some Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) students and families because of racism, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination. While we continue to address issues as they arise, we want to engage the broader parent and caregiver community in a dialogue with the goal of positive and necessary change.
The WRDSB is offering a series of Listening Forums to engage parents and caregivers in conversation on issues impacting some of the most vulnerable students. We know that what is necessary for the most marginalized students, will help all students in our system.
Who Can Attend
These WRDSB hosted Listening Forums are for parents and caregivers of children who attend a WRDSB school.
The purpose of the Listening Forums is to gain insight from the parent/caregiver community about experiences you or your children have had, to acknowledge the issues and barriers that students and families have faced, and to discuss potential solutions and how we can move forward together.
As a school board, we are committed to creating learning environments that affirm the lived experiences and identities of students and families, especially those most marginalized. Our ongoing commitment as a system is to do better and to create conditions that promote well-being and inclusion. The WRDSB wishes to better understand through these forums, what further actions and considerations should be taken to create safer and more inclusive spaces for students and community members in the WRDSB now and in the future.
How to Register
If you are interested in participating, please sign up to attend the meeting that corresponds with your social identity or that of your child(ren). We recognize that some people have multiple identities, and we invite you to register for any of the sessions that you feel best applies to you and/or your child. While we will endeavour to provide an intersectional approach at all sessions, having a specific identity gives us the ability to focus the conversations. Please click the “Register” link to sign up for the session(s).
If you are not able to attend, or if there is not a forum that you identify with, but would like to share your thoughts and feedback, please use the Parent and Caregiver Sharing form.
The session for Indigenous parents/caregivers will be co-facilitated by Indigenous Community Educator Clarence Cachagee and Deepa Ahluwalia, Human Rights and Equity Advisor. All other sessions will be co-facilitated by Deepa Ahluwalia and Cayla Charles, Senior Consultant at Credence and Co.
Indigenous Community and anti-Indigenous Racism
When: Thursday, March 3, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
African, Caribbean and Black People and anti-Black Racism
When: Wednesday, March 9, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Racialized People/People of Colour and Racism
When: Tuesday, March 22, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Muslims and Islamophobia
When: Wednesday, March 30, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
People with Disabilities and Ableism (eg. physical, mental health, neuro-diveristy)
When: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Asian People and anti-Asian Racism
When: Monday, May 2, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Jewish People and anti-Semitism
When: Wednesday, May 18, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
2SLGBTQIA+ Community and Heterosexism/ Homophobia, Cissexism/Transphobia
When: Wednesday, June 8, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
The virtual meeting link will be sent by noon on the day of the Listening Forum to those who have registered. In the meantime, please put the Listening Forum date(s) in your calendar.
this is not a forum to have personal experiences that are in violation of our Human Rights Policy addressed. Anybody who would like to have those incidents addressed are asked to complete the Incident Reporting Form and a member of the Human Rights Branch will follow up upon receiving the form.
After the completion of the Listening Forums, we are committed to taking the feedback we receive and report back to the community on what we have heard and what our next steps will be in order to improve student and family experiences with the WRDSB.