@yonah, Hello! Thank you for your question. Can I clarify if you are asking what we would do as individual candidates or as a collective Board?
I am answering this question within a Deaf, cis-gendered, and a white settler perspective with a spirit of respect and collectivism.
Without the consultation of the current board members, I would venture the following proposals. These proposals were considered with the spirit of learning and relating to form an internal vision and window towards anti-discrimination and harassment.
Possible Actions (keeping in mind the collaborative approach):
To develop an anti-racism framework that will respond to charges of racism within the membership, community, the board and its staff and volunteers. We will strive to develop a system that is free of discrimination and harassment. Such a system will be developed to define the areas of accountability in English and ASL to have its membership and its communities access to such accountability. Also, we will ensure that our language in such policies will encompass the ongoing and challenges of discrimination and harassment in the future.
The board will also actively recruit a working environment that will stand for no tolerance for forms of discrimination and harassment. This will be done through education programs for the board and the membership to engage the board, its membership and its communities to engage in an on-going discussion.
The board will keep abreast of how to address, investigate discrimination and harassment through training based on anti-discrimination and harassment (including anti-racism frameworks) for the board itself and the members.
To include recommendations for developing such a framework based on Mihad Fahmey’s report on the PCRP process such as a) clarifying roles, b) hiring a PCRP professional manager, c) transparent processes, and d) developing provincial representation to address the needs of membership regarding the identification of issues of discrimination and harassment (including anti-racism), and the navigation to address such issues.
To investigate past and current practices in addressing anti-discrimination and harassment in order to develop future policy through the board, its membership and its communities.
To encourage and foster an attitude of learning and relating to create a safe environment to pursue the highest standards as a professional Assocation representing its membership.
Lastly, the process mentioned above will be done with consultation of the board, advise from special committees, the membership, and the Deaf community to ensure that the distance between the vision and reality is not too far off.
In conclusion, what I have mentioned is based on what I have learned through anti-discrimination and harassment training and readings.
(ASL to be posted)
Good to finally see reference to Mihad Fahmey’s report on the PCRP process which CASLI commissioned, but which members have not really had the opportunity to discuss and and act on..
The very first thing I wish to do in response to the Silent No More letter, is to use this platform to publicly thank the brave individuals who stepped forward to call out racism, oppression, discrimination, and systemic barriers. They are heroes to every member of this national community who has ever faced violence in such forms, and they need to be acknowledged for being instrumental in the revolution that is taking place in the Canadian community, albeit slowly.
The second is to state that I unequivocally believe them, and I refuse to permit or perpetuate this behaviour by my own silence or inaction.
While I would love to have a firm idea of how to move forward, I do not. It would be premature to pretend that I have a plan when I still need to get informed on what the past board has done and which avenues have been pursued, successfully or otherwise. I want to convene with the new Board and use this set of fresh eyes to see where changes can swiftly be made, old processes replaced by new non-discriminatory and barrier-free processes, and how we can shake up this very white, hetero-normative association, and greater community, to become more accepting, supportive, and to foster a space where all bodies are respected, valued and counted.
I apologize for failing to identify concrete actions, and I promise that I am very mindful of the intent of your question and have offered my participation on this Board with the mindset to work towards a CASLI that Ayoka, Amy, Tala, Kylie and Marcia would not only be valued members of, but that would be humbled to have them.
Our members are committed to being professional, accountable, and ethical.
AGM: June 8, 2019