FESI 2020 webinar explores journey toward anti-racist, anti-oppressive practices


The second in a five-part webinar series for the Faculty of Education Summer Institute (FESI 202) will run Oct. 21 and feature a discussion on the journey toward anti-racist, anti-oppressive practices in child welfare agencies.

FESI is a long-running annual conference that brings together stakeholders in education to evaluate educational beliefs, policies and practices will continue this year in a virtual format.

The Faculty of Education Summer Institute, FESI 2020 – Up Close and Personal; Conversations on Anti-Oppression, is presented as a modified version of the traditional conference in a five-part webinar series with an action component. (The first webinar ran Aug. 19 and explored the topic “Designing for/with Criticality and Community.”)

The Oct. 21 event is free and it will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom, participants will explore the question: “How do we walk this path together with our partners in Education?”

The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) receives almost 5,000 referrals a year about children and youth who may be in need of protection, the majority of which come from schools and the police. These referrals are disproportionately about Black children, and this disproportionality maintains itself throughout the child welfare service continuum, culminating in a significant overrepresentation of Black children/youth in care.

Speakers Carol Wade, Kate Schumaker, Priscilla Manful and Vanessa Cocco will share reflections about what the journey towards anti-racism and anti-oppression practice has looked like both at CCAS and in education, the data and feedback from the Black community that have compelled us to act, and the beginning dialogue about the ways in which child welfare and education can join forces to help families receive the support they need without unnecessary intrusiveness and/or surveillance.

The session will be moderated by Carl James, York University Senior Advisor on Equity and Representation, a professor in the Faculty of Education and the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora, and Jack Nigro, superintendent of Elementary Curriculum at the Durham District School Board.

This webinar will appeal to teachers, school social workers, administrators, community partners, policy-makers, and anyone who believes that the welfare of children is everybody’s business.

Register online by Oct. 20 at fesi.blog.yorku.ca. The webinar session URL will be sent once registration has been received.