Clarington launching survey on racism and discrimination in the community


Published June 5, 2023 at 3:46 pm

Clarington's Rainbow Crosswalk - defaced by skid marks before it even opened in 2019

The Municipality of Clarington wants to hear from people who have experienced or witnessed racism and discrimination in the community to help create an evidence-based Anti-Racism and Discrimination strategy.

The survey, part of Clarington’s ongoing commitment to promoting equity, inclusivity, and social justice since signing on with the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities in 2022, is expected the form the “foundation” of the strategy that will outline recommendations for the Municipality to implement.

The goal, said Clarington Diversity Advisory Committee chair Tenzin Shomar, is to foster an environment that “actively opposes racism, discrimination and inequality” in Clarington.

“It is not enough to simply acknowledge the existence of inequality; we must actively dismantle the systems and biases that perpetuate it,” Shomar said. “True progress begins when we listen to those most affected by racism and discrimination in our community, allowing us to commit ourselves to learning and acting upon their experiences.”

Shomar hopes the survey will help the committee capture the “lived experiences, insights, and perspectives of those who have encountered racism and discrimination across various aspects of their lives.”

Clarington can cultivate a comprehensive strategy that addresses systemic issues and leads to meaningful change within the community only by understanding and acknowledging those experiences, she added.

“We look forward to hearing from residents throughout the consultation process so we can develop a strategy that will help ensure everyone has an equal opportunity in Clarington.”

The survey will focus on collecting information about the various forms of racism and discrimination experienced, including but not limited to systemic racism, institutional biases, micro-aggressions, and intersectional challenges. It will also seek suggestions for policy changes, community initiatives, and educational programs that can contribute to a more equitable society.

Clarington has partnered with Ontario Tech University’s Social Research Centre to conduct the survey and the Municipality invites community members and organizations to support the initiative by spreading awareness of the survey, encouraging participation, and amplifying the voices of those affected by racism and discrimination.

“Your voice matters in shaping a brighter, more inclusive future. Join us in dismantling racism and discrimination by participating in our survey. Together, we can ignite change, challenge biases, and build a society where everyone is respected, valued, and free from prejudice,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster.

To participate in the survey and contribute to developing a transformative Anti-Racism and Discrimination strategy, visit Inclusive Communities.

The survey will remain open until Friday, June 30. Those who requires the survey in an alternate format can contact the Accessibility Coordinator at (905) 623-3379 ext. 2131 or at [email protected]. Residents can also visit the Clarington Public Library, Museums and Archives to complete the survey.

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