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Systemic racism permeates all sectors, including that of international cooperation. The Canadian international cooperation sector has the responsibility to recognize the privilege of Canadian organizations, based in the Global North and in a position to advocate for global and national sector-wide shifts to ensure anti-racist principles in institutional, operational and programmatic areas of work. While especially addressing anti-Black racism, the oppression of Indigenous peoples and imperialist mechanisms of our societies, Cooperation Canada aims to help coordinate sector synergies alongside a range of anti-racist initiatives. Cooperation Canada recognizes the importance of strategic collaboration in efforts to dismantle systemic racism in Canada and abroad.
Over the past months, Cooperation Canada has been leading a diverse advisory group that has developed a comprehensive framework for anti-racist efforts of Canada’s international cooperation sector. The Framework outlines key commitments towards anti-racist efforts in shifting institutional structures and processes, as well as the work of sector organizations, particularly relating to partnerships, program design and implementation, advocacy, story-telling, and communications more broadly. To ensure accountability and forward-looking approach, the Framework will be facilitated by a Task Force for Accountability and a Working Group for strengthening sector capacity. The Task Force will produce annual reports and inform the priorities of the Working Group, whose activities will aim at strengthening the institutional and collective capacity of signatory organizations to make progress against the commitments outlined in the Framework.
This “Action for Change Workshop” has the objective of promoting scholar-practitioner engagement on the way forward in institutional, sectoral and individual anti-racist change. The facilitated discussion will allow for participants to share strengths, problem-solve challenges, and plan collaborative actions with a view on considering action for change.