I was not shocked when I read a recent newspaper article that said, “Black student allegedly locked in a room at an elementary school.” For those reading this blog, you are probably wondering why. Simple answer: this was not the first time I heard about such a concerning story.
En décembre 2022, un arbitre du travail québécois1 a ordonné à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) de verser 4 000 $, à titre de dommages moraux, à Gaëlle Étémé Lebogo, une étudiante au doctorat qui s’identifie comme une femme Noire, en raison du harcèlement psychologique et discriminatoire qu’elle a subi dans le cadre d’un contrat de correctrice d’examen.
In December 2022, a Québec labour arbitrator rendered a decision ordering Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) to pay $4,000 in moral damages to Gaëlle Étémé Lebogo, a teacher assistant and PhD student who identifies as a Black woman, following the psychological and discriminatory harassment she suffered in the workplace.
If you are an investigator like me, you may have noticed the term “white fragility” has emerged in some of your cases, especially when the investigation involves claims of race-based harassment and/or discrimination. This may be as part of a complainant’s allegation, as in the respondent engaged in “white fragility,” or as part of a respondent’s response, as in “this is not a case of ‘white fragility’.” The concept has sparked much debate, as not everyone agrees with it.
Growing up as a young Black girl in a predominately White town, I always wore what we call in the Black communities a “protective hair style.” Specifically, I grew up wearing the single braid hairstyle to protect my hair from breakage caused by Old Man Winter.
Like many of you, over the last couple of years, I have been hearing the buzz around the ban of the now controversial critical race theory (CRT) from some of our neighbours south of the border.
Lately I have noticed a renewed focus and attention placed on the racial identities of neutral decision makers and fact finders, and on the question of whether this is something we should be concerning ourselves with when selecting one.