It looks pretty white to me! So much for diversity in Halton. Board of Education appears to take a pass on diversity

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 2, 2012  The flyer reproduced below was handed out at the Mayor`s Economic development luncheon last week where a group of students from different Burlington schools listened to an invigorating speaker who buzzed the crowd with a solid presentation of information bombardment.

Not exactly inclusive or all that "politically correct is it?

There was a certain irony to a presentation on information and a flyer that surely gave the wrong information to the audience

The Halton District School Board was one of the sponsors of the event and were entitled to have some of their promotional material put out on the tables in the room.  It wasn’t a pretty picture.

We have people from dozens of countries sharing the community with us and while Burlington is, for the most part,  a pretty white community there are many people of colour who have chosen to make Burlington home.  They are for the most part quiet and unassuming.  We don`t hear a lot from them.

Bringing about a sense of inclusion is not something the private sector is very good at – it is not in their immediate best interests.  They don`t avoid changes in the social make up of a community – they just adapt to the change.

The leadership in bringing about more inclusive community has to come from the public sector in its hiring and promotional practices.

The police hire men who wear turbans; the school boards strive to hire teachers who are people of colour who reflect the change taking place in the community.

Thus it was with some surprise and concern that we see a flyer being handed out at an Economic Development luncheon promoting a Pathways program, which in itself appears to be an excellent way to tie the private commercial sector to the educational system.  The problem with the flyer was that everyone in the pictures was white – and mostly male.  It was as politically incorrect as you can get.

If people of colour and diverse backgrounds do not see themselves in the literature put out by the public sector – it doesn’t take them very long to translate what it means – if you don`t see yourself in the picture it`s because you are not in the picture.

Burlington needs to take another picture.

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