The Limestone Lens

Focusing In On Equity and Anti-Racism

Understanding the Language of Equity

This month, K-12 Limestone students will be completing a See Yourself in Limestone: Student Census. We are collecting identity-based information to guide our programming, policies and procedures, as part of our commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive environment.

Like the students, as employees of the LDSB, we too need to have a clear idea of what frequently used words really mean.

So, let’s iron out some differences...

What Is The Difference Between Race and Ethnicity?

Race is a social construct where people are grouped together based on physical features (i.e. skin colour).

Ethnicity refers to the shared identity, heritage, ancestry, or historical past of a group of people.

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What Is The Difference Between The Terms Non-Racist and Anti-Racist?

It is the difference between non-action and action. Think about canoeing on a river. Being non-racist is like being on a boat, and not paddling. You are still moving with the current.

However, being anti-racist is taking "action against" the system of prejudice and bias based on race. Effectively, pushing against systematic norms.
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Something To Think About...

“Subtle acts of racism can often be just as hurtful as more overt ones. Whether it be allowing a relative's offensive comment to go unchecked, or laughing at a racially insensitive joke in a TV show, or clutching your purse a little tighter when a person of color approaches on the sidewalk, seemingly small manifestations of racism contribute to keeping systematic racism in place.”

- Christina Capatides, CBS News, 2020

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So How Do You Talk To Your Friends and Family About Racism?

DO… Start the conversation from a place of curiosity and care. Try framing your questions with sentences like “How might we…” or “I’d be curious to know…”

DO… Lead with “I” statements. Sharing your experience can help others understand their own experiences. Avoid telling your conversation partner how they should feel about what’s going on.

DO… Ask open ended questions. Try something like “How have you been feeling about what is going on in the news right now?”

DO… Stay on topic.

DO... Consider taking a pause and returning to the conversation at a different time if you feel like the conversation is moving more towards conflict and away from conversation.

DON’T… End the conversation at the first sign of discomfort. Expect for the conversation to be uncomfortable, and prepare for disagreement.

DON’T… Think you have to do this alone. Bring resources & research, and feel free to start by reading an article together or watching a video to reflect on.

Excerpts from:

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Let's Keep This Conversation Going...

The Limestone Lens: We Are All Learning Together

As Limestone District School Board employees, we are all a part of this learning journey. If you have ideas about future equity topics or terminology, please contact Rae McDonald.