Community and Race Relations Committee of Peterborough's Four Pillars Best Practice
Community and Race Relations Committee of Peterborough
The Four Pillars, including Public Education, Consultation, Advocacy and Capacity Building, reflect our holistic approach to confronting racism in our community and promoting positive race relations. Through this practice we seek to create an inclusive community by educating community members, providing consultation services for the public, private and non-profit sectors, advocating for people of colour and indigenous community members and building our internal, as well as community capacity to be better equipped for the continuation of this work.
Working to eliminate racism and foster an inclusive community is a daunting task, especially when you’re the only anti-racist organization in the region. The strategy of the four pillars emerged as an answer to the issue of organizing our initiatives and services to best meet CRRC’s goals.
The strategy that CRRC is acknowledging as our best practice seeks to work for racialized and/or indigenous community members in order to best serve their needs as well as by working with all levels of community to transform Peterborough into a safe and inclusive space for people of colour and indigenous folks to live, work and visit.
Simply put we confront racism and issues of inclusivity by working as consultants and trainers for employers and service providers, we provide educational events and resources for community members, we aim to create spaces for folks of colour and indigenous community members and we provide advocacy services for those that have experienced racism and/or barriers due to their race or ethnicity.
Making a Difference:
The pillars have guided CRRC in effectively collaborating with community partners. Our work has supported a community leader in taking a strong leadership position in addressing anti-black racism in Peterborough. We’ve also partnered with community organizations whose work focus on immigration, anti-street harassment, gender justice, indigenous (settler relations), and youth to bring critical conversations of racism, inclusivity and community building to Peterborough.
We faced challenges in reaching all members of the Peterborough community and marketing the work CRRC aims to do in order to effectively actualize it. While we have many community members and partners who are engaged with the organization we are working on better ways to communicate the work we do as outlined by the pillars, especially the consultation and advocacy pillars.
Vision for the Future:
Our hope is to continue to build stronger, as well as new ties, to other community organizations, at Trent University, Fleming College and the community as a whole. We also are seeking to increase the participation and interest of individual community members. Our vision for the future also includes securing more funding so that there are more staff to fulfill the organization’s goals.
CRRC took a strong position in documenting and responding to racist statements that were made by a school board trustee, this culminated to him stepping down this past year after more public statements were made by the individual. We’ve also been effective in creating social impact by creating spaces in which racialized community members can carve out space for themselves in the community and voice their experiences.
In 1981 Community and Race Relations Committee was initiated in responses to violent racist attacks on International Students in downtown Peterborough. In 1985 the committee became an independent organization that continues to receive city funding. Since 1992 CRRC’s work has focused heavily on education efforts in the public sector to increase awareness of issues of both individual and systemic racial inequality and discrimination and since the ‘90s an organization transition towards an anti-racist approach is adopted. We continue to bring education and resources to the community, as well as breaking down barriers in our community that negatively impact racialized community members.