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Let's talk Race and Racism

Download slide and read notes as they are vital to presenting.

Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation is a Millennial and Gen Z volunteer-led nonprofit working to improve race relations in Canada. We have created a simple presentation to share with students grade 7 - 12 on race and racism in Canada.

More information at

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Let's talk Race and Racism

  1. 1. Jens Martensson This simplified presentation is created by youth and for youth from the
  2. 2. Jens Martensson B O O K R E V I E W Let’s have a discussion What do you know about race and racism?
  3. 3. Jens Martensson Do you know your terminology? Terms we need to understand.
  4. 4. Jens Martensson What is race? Race A social construct ► There is no basis in biology when it comes to race, because there is no “race gene”, therefore race has no meaning independent of its social definitions. ► When people talk about race, there is often an incorrect assumption that physical differences such as skin colour, hair colour and texture, and facial features are related to intellectual, moral, or cultural superiority. ► Although race is socially constructed, it significantly affects the lives of Indigenous and racialized people, particularly in the West. ► The concept of race was created to establish a hierarchy in society.
  5. 5. Jens Martensson How does race contribute to your life?
  6. 6. Jens Martensson What is racism? Racism Not just about social attitudes ► A system in which one group of people (majority) exercises power over another on the basis of race. ► A set of beliefs, false assumptions, and actions based on an ideology of the inherent superiority of the dominant racial group over the others. ► Systemic racism consists of policies and practices, rooted in established institutions, that result in the exclusion or advancement of specific groups of people. Ex - discriminatory laws, residential segregation, poor health care, inferior education, unequal economic opportunity and the exclusion and distortion of the perspectives of non- dominant Canadians.
  7. 7. Jens Martensson Have you seen this behaviour in school? Video
  8. 8. Jens Martensson What is racial discrimination? Racial Discrimination It is important to note the difference between racial discrimination and racism ► Racial discrimination can happen to anyone who is discriminated against based on their race and is usually an individual act. Racism is more persistent as it is not only an individual behaviour or act, but a way of thinking and is institutionalized in Canada. ► In Canada, anyone can experience racial discrimination but only Indigenous and racialized people can experience racism.
  9. 9. Jens Martensson What is privilege? Privilege An advantage ► Refers to gaining benefits, advantages, and rights by default at the expense of others, because one belongs to the perceived “us,” “normal” or “natural” state of the “mainstream” and/or dominant culture. ► Privilege is not visible to its holder; it is merely there, a part of the world, a way of life, simply the way things are.
  10. 10. Jens Martensson Unpacking the invisible knapsack Video + Activity
  11. 11. Jens Martensson What is a microaggresion? Microaggression Snubs or insults that communicate negative or hostile messages to marginalized people ► Microaggression is a term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups.
  12. 12. Jens Martensson Have you ever experienced a Microaggression?
  13. 13. Jens Martensson What is a bias? Bias We all have biases ► A subjective opinion, preference, prejudice or inclination, often formed without reasonable justification, that influences an individual’s or group’s ability to evaluate a particular situation objectively or accurately. ► You can be aware or unaware of it.
  14. 14. Jens Martensson What is a stereotype? Stereotypes and generalizations Positive or negative: they contribute to a dysfunctional class system ► A preconceived overgeneralization of a group of people, ascribing the same characteristics to all members of the group, regardless of their individual differences. ► Most of us fit into different categories and have a variety of interests. We might like watching sports but be non-athletic. We might like rap as well as classical music. But when we think about other people, particularly people who are a different race from us, we often have a harder time understanding that complexity. So we put people into categories and thus – stereotypes are formed.
  15. 15. Jens Martensson Ever heard of intersectionality? Intersectionality How oppressive systems are linked together ► The experience of the interconnected nature of identities, and the way they are embedded within existing systems such that they define how one is valued. ► In other words, the interconnected nature of all forms of oppression against particular groups.
  16. 16. Jens Martensson Name a few things about you that intersect?
  17. 17. Jens Martensson Issues of race and racism in Canada ► Creation of Canada as Colonial country ► Residential Schools ► 60’s Scoop ► Chinese Head Tax ► Japanese Internment camps ► Komagata Maru ► School Segregation Past
  18. 18. Jens Martensson Issues of race and racism in Canada ► Ongoing Colonialism, Canada is not ruled by Indigenous Peoples ► Indian Act ► Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls ► Overrepresentation of Indigenous inmates in prison ► Police carding & policing systems issues ► Bill 21 in Quebec ► Immigration policies ► Not recognizing overseas professional credentials ► Anti-Blackness ► Representation in media ► Workplace racism & discrimination Present
  19. 19. Jens Martensson Everyday racism examples in 2019
  20. 20. Jens Martensson Everyday racism examples in 2020
  21. 21. Jens Martensson B O O K R E V I E W Knowledge is power But what can you do with this knowledge?
  22. 22. Jens Martensson Ally vs. Advocate
  23. 23. Jens Martensson Three R’s of Social Change REFLECT RECOGNIZE RESPOND What’s working? What is the root cause of the issue? What are some possible solutions? What’s not working? What does it still exist? Who can help me move forward? Any opportunities for change? How can I build my skills and knowledge?
  24. 24. Jens Martensson Three R’s of Social Change – Example REFLECT RECOGNIZE RESPOND Too many students saying racist words and phrases. Lack of awareness about the impact of racist terminology. Lack of knowledge about history of words and how they contribute to racism. Have an assembly about the power of words. Racist beliefs. Start a poster campaign. Media contributing to it. School influencer campaign. Pressure to fit in / Seen as “cool.” Create a school guide on history of racist words and why it’s wrong to use them and spread the word. Exercise time!
  25. 25. Jens Martensson Additional Resources Learn more through the resources below ► Do the Right Thing, a federally-funded curriculum resource ► The Faith Project, observes the rituals of seven young Canadians from different faith traditions. ► Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate, a guide for educators and families ► Teaching Tolerance, classroom resources Student and Teacher Guide
  26. 26. Jens Martensson Speaker’s Corner Thank you

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  • RobinTHarris

    Jul. 6, 2021

PLEASE NOTE TO ALL EDUCATORS: Download slide and read notes as they are vital to presenting. Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation is a Millennial and Gen Z volunteer-led nonprofit working to improve race relations in Canada. We have created a simple presentation to share with students grade 7 - 12 on race and racism in Canada. More information at


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