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New CivicAction and BCG report reveals depth of anti-Black racism in Canada

TORONTO, December 14, 2020 – Released today by CivicAction and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), The Pervasive Reality of Anti-Black Racism in Canada, compiles existing data from the municipal, provincial and national level to show how anti-Black racism appears in four important lifecycle areas: education, employment, health care, and policing.

“The report lays bare the pervasiveness of anti-Black racism in Canada. We are calling on Canadian companies, governments, and individuals to deepen their commitment and accountability to addressing this issue,” said Leslie Woo, CEO of CivicAction.

The data, when put together, gives an eye-opening view of the realities many Black people in Canada face, including:

  • Black students in Toronto face assessment bias as 40% of non-racialized students are rated “excellent” by teachers versus 20% of Black students with the same Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) test scores.
  • Black people in Canada earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by non-racialized Canadians, even when both groups have university degrees.
  • Nearly 60% of Black people in Canada experience microaggressions on the job and many feel the need to “code switch”, adjusting their style of speech, appearance, or behaviour to integrate into a non-Black workforce.
  • Black women are nearly four times less likely to have a family doctor than the average Ontario woman.
  • Only a quarter of Black people in Toronto trust police to treat them fairly compared to three-quarters of non-racialized people.

“This report reveals what Black people have known for some time, that systemic racism permeates society at all levels. It also comes at a time when COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on Black people and businesses,” said Nadine Spencer, President, Black Business Professionals Association. “We support the interventions in the report, including the need for more data to understand the needs of Black communities, and believe implementing them is crucial, necessary and important.”

Identified in the report are examples of existing interventions from different jurisdictions that we can learn from in Canada. These include measures like anti-bias and empathy training, sponsorship or mentorship programs, culturally adapted healthcare, and programs aimed at building trust between police and Black communities.

“A foundational principle within the BlackNorth Initiative is its dedication to a fact-based approach to the dismantling of barriers and injustices suffered by Blacks and BIPOC communities in Canada,” said Wes Hall, Chair, Black North Initiative. “Doubtlessly, community leaders and subject matter experts will use findings from within this report as a foundation upon which they can base further work to fully explore and correct the root causes of systemic racism in Canada.”

“CivicAction and BCG saw this research as an opportunity to drive action to address systemic anti-Black racism,” said Nan DasGupta, Managing Director & Senior Partner at BCG. “But it also reinforces the need for more race-based data to truly understand the primary issues impacting Black and other racialized communities in Canada.”

Find the full report The Pervasive Reality of Anti-Black Racism in Canada here.

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Sarah Harris
VP, Partnerships and Engagement
CivicAction
Cell: 416-827-4541
sarah.harris@civicaction.ca

About CivicAction

Complex challenges need an all-hands-on deck approach, and collective impact is what CivicAction does best. A leading not-for-profit in Canada, CivicAction has nearly two decades of experience working to boost civic engagement and build better cities by creating and implementing effective solutions to the most pressing challenges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and beyond. To find out more, visit https://www.civicaction.ca or follow @CivicActionGTHA.

Building on a decade of high-impact and award-winning leadership programming, CivicAction launched the CivicAction Leadership Foundation to deliver world-class programs that inspire, educate and build inclusive civic leadership. The Foundation harnesses the power of diverse leaders and empowers and activates all voices to influence and shape our region. For more information visit https://leadership.civicaction.ca.

About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact.

To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives to spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting along with technology and design, corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, generating results that allow our clients to thrive. https://www.bcg.com/en-ca/

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