Labour Media release Racism

PSA: Get ready for the following Equity Watch webinars planned for this Fall and Winter

We’re super excited about these events. (Subject to changes; we’ll inform you soon of the dates so you can mark your calendars.)

·       “The Workplace War Against Women”

o   Speaker: Robyn Doolittle

o   Robyn Doolittle is an investigative reporter for The Globe and Mail. Her first major work was an investigation of Rob Ford’s tumultuous time as Toronto mayor that became the book Crazy Time. She later led a 20-month inquiry which determined that 1 in 5 sexual assault cases in Canada is closed by police as “unfounded.” That led to re-opening and convictions in some cases. Recently she has been probing the gender-based power gap in Canadian workplaces and the maltreatment of women, including Equity Watch’s own Liane Tessier.

·       “We Represented Ourselves at Tribunals and Courts”

o   Speakers: Gyasi Symonds, Liz Cummings

o   Last June, Equity Watch presented Moya McAlister from the National Self-Represented Litigants Project discussing alternatives to the expense of hiring lawyers to represent us at Human Rights and other Tribunals and in the Courts. This Fall, several people who have chosen these alternatives will speak about their experiences.

·       “The Kirk Johnson Case 17 Years On: What Have We Learned?”

o   Speakers: Kirk Johnson, El Jones

o   In 2003, African Nova Scotian and professional boxer Kirk Johnson had had enough. After police stopped his car 28 times in five years, he launched a complaint of racial profiling at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. A Board of Inquiry not only awarded him a sizeable compensation package but recommended a suite of measures designed to address racial prejudice in the Halifax Regional Police, including an order that police keep records of stop-checks, by race. It wasn’t until 14 years later that those records were analyzed and revealed that African Nova Scotians were stopped proportionately three times as often as whites. This statistic rose to nine times for Black males. A judge found that street checks were illegal. And yet. And yet, profiling of black people by police continues. What have we learned, if anything?

·       ” Why the Toxic Misogyny in Command-and-Control Workplaces (e.g. Military, police, fire services?)”

o   Speaker: Julie Lalonde

o   The scandal of sexual assault and harassment in the Canadian military continues unabated, with senior officers falling like dominoes. In the RCMP, a class action lawsuit resulted in a payout of $125.4 million to 2,304 women for gender discrimination. In 2018, Halifax Fire Service admitted to systemic gender discrimination in its ranks and apologized to Liane Tessier for harassment and denial of advancement opportunities and paid her a monetary settlement. Why do command-and-control organizations have such an abominable record? Julie Lalonde is woman’s rights advocate, author, educator and one of the premier Canadian analysts of abuse of women in these organizations.

·       “Trans 101 in the Workplace”

o   Speaker: To be announced

o   Although discrimination on the basis of gender identity has been a human rights offence in Nova Scotia since  2012, transgendered individuals still face great difficulty in the workplace. They suffer from prejudice, harassment, hatred and sometimes violence. A study in Ontario reveals that 71% of trans people have at least some college or university education, but about half make $15,000 per year or less. Why and how does the discrimination continue and what can progressive employers do to accommodate trans workers?

·       “The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation: What the Science Says”

o   Speaker: Dr. Patricia McMullen, retired professor, Dept. of Psychology, Dalhousie University

o   Postponed from March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, we hope to present this live information and guided meditation session to show how mindfulness can help with self-defence in the workplace.

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