Using Canadian Human Rights Processes to Further Racial Inclusiveness

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While many academics in human services administration, including Johnson (1996), Ragins (1995) and Daley (2002) have studied the issues involved in managing cultural and racial diversity in human service organizations, there appears to be little consideration in the literature about the possible implications of Canadian human rights legislation for human service managers. In our presentation, we will discuss some of these implications using several key recent human rights decisions related to racial discrimination in services and employment. In particular, we wish to focus on the cases of Mark Smith vs. Mardana (2005), Francis Omoruyi-Odin vs Toronto District School Board (2005), Michael Mckinnon vs Ministry of Correctional Services (2007), and Nassiah vs Peel Regional Police (2007). In these key cases, the evidence of racial discrimination was overwhelming and destructive for the complainants and created poisoned service and employment environments for all persons within these systems. We will consider some of the key implications of these decisions for social service managers and policy makers. We will develop the argument that a careful reading of these cases reveal a set of principles which human services managers can use to develop innovative policies and practices which are more racially inclusive.


Keywords: Racism, Human Rights, Human Services Administration
Stream: Race and Racism
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dave Sangha

Assistant Professor, Social Work Program, University of Northern British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Dave Sangha is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern British Columbia. His research interests include human rights, antiracism, Canadian social policy and northern and remote social work practice.Before entering academia, Dave worked with the Ontario Race Relations Directorate, the Systemic Investigations Unit of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Diversity Unit of the Ontario Ministry of Education. He has also worked for many years with community organizations involved in promoting multiculturalism and antiracism.

Neil Edwards

Director, Mediation and Investigation, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Neil Edwards is the Director of Mediation and Investigation for the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Neil has worked in a variety of capacities with the Commission over the past twenty years. In addition, he has worked with several community organizations involved in racial equality issues, including the Black Secretariat. His academic training is in social work, a field in which he worked for many years before coming to the Commission.

Ref: D08P0253