The Anti-racism Strategy brings our community together to improve equity, end poverty, eliminate racism and make clear progress toward Truth and Reconciliation. We acknowledge that this is complex and multifaceted work and are developing a number of different approaches to address that complexity head on. Together, we will create a City - a home - where every individual, in all their unique diversity, belongs.
We believe everyone who lives here is an Edmontonian, that every Edmontonian deserves to call this place home. Anti-racism is the active, ongoing strategy and process that seeks to identify and eliminate racism by changing systems, institutions, policies and attitudes that perpetuate racism.
Key Events and Achievements
Following the 2021 election, Edmonton City Council directed City Administration to develop a comprehensive anti-racism strategy.
Council approved the Anti-racism Strategy in February.
Two senior executive advisors for anti-racism and intersectionality and reconciliation were hired into the City Manager’s Office.
Lighthouse, a hate-symbol based tracking tool, was created in response to Edmonton’s City Council amending a Public Places bylaw to recognize symbols as a form of harassment.
Mayor Amarjeet Sohi made a special
(also available in
) re-committing the City of Edmonton’s support for the UN International Decade for People of African Descent.
Community engagement for the Anti-Black Racism Action Plan was conducted and a What We Heard Report was shared with community.
The Anti-Black Racism Action Plan was published.
The City Manager appointed a community-representative Anti-racism Advisory Panel
to help with the formation of an independent anti-racism body.
Council piloted a internship program for youth from diverse backgrounds to gain experience in municipal government.
Between 2022-2023, the City will have disbursed over $3.6 million for projects contributing to Anti-racism.
Who is Leading the Work?
Anti-racism work would not be possible without collaboration with community. It’s this collaboration with our community partners and organizations that enables the vision of the Anti-racism Strategy to be a reality.
High Level Anti-racism Office
Two senior executives advisors for anti-racism and intersectionality and reconciliation have been hired into the City Manager’s Office. Plans are underway to continue to build out resources for the high level office, and will be determined during the fall 2023 budget.
The High Level Office will be tasked with creating an equitable organization, and making a City that is inclusive and welcoming for staff and Edmontonians from all communities.
Independent Anti-racism Body
The 14-member Advisory Panel has been meeting bi-weekly since February and will propose how an Independent Body can be formed, structured, governed and financed. A final report is expected in spring 2024.
The Independent Anti-Racism Body will work with, empower and amplify the voices of community organizations who tirelessly work on issues of racism, hate and lateral community bonding.
Anti-racism Advisory Committee
The Anti-racism Advisory Committee (ARAC) has helped shape where we are today and has delivered the anti-racism strategy. It’s administrative work remains on pause while the Independent advisory panel works on the formation of the independent body, as per the Anti-Racism Strategy.
Truth and Reconciliation
As we continue to learn about Canada and Edmonton’s relationship with diverse ethnic and cultural groups who call this city home, the City recognizes that Canada has a unique relationship with Indigenous Peoples, the First Peoples of this land. As such, anti-racism work at the City cannot exist without acknowledging the anti-Indigenous racism faced by many throughout generations and on our streets, in our public spaces and within the organization still today.
Guided by the Indigenous Framework, our guide to building strong relationships with Indigenous Peoples, the City of Edmonton is committed to answering the calls to action and calls for justice with our TRC Municipal Response Plan and an MMIWG2S+ Action Plan. These community-driven efforts, which include guidance from Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers, aim to reduce and eliminate anti-Indigenous racism in Edmonton.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada outlined 94 calls to action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Likewise, the 2019 final report of a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) lists 231 calls for justice to ensure Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples live in dignity. Both highlight the need to address racism through education and awareness.
Anti-Black Racism Action Plan
To support the UN International Decade for People of African Descent proclamation and advance its Anti-Racism Strategy, City Administration worked with Edmonton communities to co-create an
Anti-Black Racism Action Plan
This action plan is driven and guided by Edmonton’s Black communities and their needs, and supported and facilitated by the municipal government of Edmonton.
Community engagements held between December 2022 and March 2023 resulted in the
What We Heard report
, which summarizes the experiences and input shared with the consultants at the time of report submission. Those experiences and voices then shaped and informed the creation of the Anti-Black Racism Action Plan containing community’s recommendations on how the City can build equity, address racism and create an anti-racist corporation and city.
Thank you to everyone who provided their time and voices to inform the Anti-Black Racism Action Plan and its recommendations.
Funding for Anti-Racism Work
The City has established funding to support capacity-building and other needs as identified, to strengthen grassroots Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) led organizations. Empowering the work of BIPOC led organizations helps influence other organizations in Edmonton to create anti-racism strategies and policies, connecting them to the City’s long-term Anti-Racism Strategy and Plan to eliminate racism in our community.