Equity Matters

November 2022

The Act(ion) of Knowing in November

Limestone endeavors to cultivate spaces where everyone can work and learn free of discrimination, however, we recognize there is still a lot of work to be done. There is also an acknowledgment of the urgency to confront and address all instances of prejudice that impact staff and students.

This issue identifies ways in which we can work together to ensure everyone in our school community feels safe, supported and valued.

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As a system, we each have a role to play, to truly create equitable change, which includes:

  • learning about Indigenous rights, and human rights to collectively uphold and protect them;
  • examining personal biases and system practices that may have a discriminatory impact, then actively working to challenge and change them;
  • listening to the communities we serve and being open to feedback to do better;
  • interrupting instances of oppression/discrimination in all LDSB spheres;
  • knowing the available LDSB tools and processes available to report and protect Indigenous rights and Human Rights

Knowing Your Rights...

Indigenous Rights

Indigenous rights have existed inherently across Turtle Island since time immemorial. This includes not only basic human rights but also rights over Indigenous lands, languages, cultures, and identities. It is important to recognize that Indigenous peoples are sovereign, and we must understand the right of self-determination amongst Indigenous communities and peoples. Indigenous rights exist beyond government mandated legislation, rights, policies, and procedures and are outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Indigenous rights are not exclusive to Human Rights, but are sovereign amongst themselves.

Protected Grounds of Human Rights

The Ontario Human Rights Code identifies the following prohibited discrimination grounds: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), sex (includes gender identity and pregnancy), sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, and/or disability (includes perceived disability).

- (From Human Rights at Work, Third Edition, p 14)

The Ontario Human Rights Code vs The Charter: A Brief Comparison

Knowing and Understanding Bias...

Blind spots: Challenge assumptions
  • We must interrupt and critically evaluate our use of language, resources, and our actions or behaviour.
  • It is important that we slow down thinking, engage in active learning, consider potential discriminatory impacts, and ask for support before proceeding if uncertain about what will cause harm to others.
  • While intent, or lack thereof, in different situations matters, too frequently we downplay or ignore the impact. Being open to feedback from colleagues and students is critical in assessing our work.

From: LDSB System Memorandum to All Staff re: Slurs and Epithets

Knowing your voice matters...

We Have Three Staff Affinity Networks:

  • Black, Indigenous and Racialized staff network

  • 2SLGBTQ+ staff network

  • Staff living with Disabilities network

These networks have been established to ensure that input is received from multiple voices on all organizational levels to help prioritize and guide equity, anti-oppression, and human rights work throughout the system.

They also also aim to create space for currently and traditionally marginalized groups to feel supported, valued and part of Limestone’s future actions.

Knowing Ways to Interrupt Instances of Oppression & Discrimination...

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Knowing the Difference Between Calling In and Calling Out...

Calling In*

  • Calling in is an invitation to a one-on-one or small group conversation to bring attention to an individual or group's harmful words or behavior, including bias, prejudice, microaggressions, and discrimination

Calling Out*

  • Calling out is bringing public attention to an individual, group, or organization's harmful words or behavior.

* definitions and charts from Harvard Diversity Inclusion & Belonging's "Calling In and Calling Out Guide"

Knowing the Human Rights Complaints Mechanisms Available in Limestone

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Reporting Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code), every individual has a right to equal treatment in the workplace, free from harassment and discrimination.

How to report an incident:

Report an incident using the workplace harassment and discrimination form or contact the Human Rights and Equity Officer, Yusuf Abdulkareem directly at 613-544-6920, ext. 256 or by email at abdulkareemy@limestone.on.ca.

If you have any questions about reporting workplace harassment or discrimination or for assistance during the process, please call or e-mail Human Rights and Equity Officer, Yusuf Abdulkareem 613-544-6920, ext. 256 or abdulkareemy@limestone.on.ca.

Student Human Rights Incidents and Complaints Form

Who is allowed to submit a student human rights incident or complaint?
Students, parents/ families, staff, and community members who experience or witness a human rights incident or have a complaint that involves a Limestone student(s) can submit a complaint.

What kinds of incidents or complaints should be submitted?
This form should be used to submit human rights incidents or complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination, or hate activities.

For more details, staff can watch this video: Student Human Rights Incidents and Complaints Form - Video - FOR STAFF.mp4, or read more on the website (Student Human Rights Incidents and Complaints).


Knowing you are a Vauable Part of the LDSB Community!

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About Us

The LDSB Equity team is excited to continue working with both staff and students, providing resources and spaces that foster a strong sense of belonging, so everyone can see themselves in Limestone!

Please do not hesitate to contact us; we look forward to working with you!

Andrea Barrow

7-12 Equity & Inclusion Consultant

613-544-6925 ext.213

Rachael McDonald
K-8 Equity & Inclusion Consultant

613-544-6925 ext. 213

Yusuf Abdulkareem

Human Rights & Equity Officer

613-544-6925 ext.256