The annual Ontario Public Service (OPS) Breakfast presented by York University’s School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA) on Oct. 5 focused on anti-racism with a special talk by guest speaker Nosa Ero-Brown, assistant deputy minister at Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate (ARD).
This year, the event took on a hybrid form, hosting a number of faculty, students and alumni in-person at a downtown location and also virtually over Zoom. This format increased accessibility for those who wanted to participate in discussions on current challenges and future trends in public policy and administration.
Ero-Brown delivered a keynote speech titled “Anti-Racism in Ontario: Strategy and Action” and shared an overview of the ARD, anti-racism challenges, as well as best practices and strategies for organizations and individuals.
Ero-Brown works with partners across OPS, the broader public service and in communities to lead the government’s anti-racism initiatives to identify, address and prevent systemic racism in government policy, programs and services. She has over a decade of experience in promoting the values of equity, fairness and justice across government platforms.
Ero-Brown was introduced by Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Dean J.J. McMurtry, with special remarks by Professor Andrea Davis, special advisor on the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Anti-Black Racism Strategy.
SPPA students, faculty and guests had the opportunity to engage with Ero-Brown during a Q-and-A session, moderated by Davis and Naomi Couto, graduate program director for the Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL) program. The Q-and-A provides an opportunity for participants to converse with policymakers and administrators who can provide an insider’s perspective on public policy.
The closing remarks were led by Professor Alena Kimakova, School of Public Policy and Administration director. The event wrapped up with a professional networking opportunity for in-person and online participants to encourage faculty and students to broaden their network of contacts within and outside of the OPS. The event provides an opportunity to initiate discussions between academia and practitioners in an informal setting.