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Black History Month is about honouring the enormous contributions that Black people have made, and continue to make, over the years in all sectors of society. It is about celebrating resilience, innovation, and determination to work towards a more inclusive and diverse Ontario—and Canada in which everyone has every opportunity to flourish.

This February, we are honouring Black History Month and celebrating black history with this month`s theme:  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at FDRIO. It is important that in our practice, that we are culturally competent when it comes to our profession in the ADR field.

As FDRIO members, we also have an obligation to act impartially when we are mediating and educating/advocating for mediation. Mediators and other conflict resolution practitioners in our community should be promoting anti-racism and avoid “race-neutral” perspectives that allow BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) individuals to be disempowered. As mediators, we should be working on our own bias`, and encouraging education and learning more about what we can do as a member of the Dispute Resolution community.

 While part of the reason for doing this is to help mediators become more equity-informed so that they will be better able to mediate, the same info is also useful for every one that wants to attempt to understand, as many of us will never truly know, the racial injustices that have been long endured. It is important to work collaboratively to celebrate our differences and ensure that we all do what is necessary to move forward with respect, honesty, and humility to advance the principles of equality, unity, and truth.

As we move forward with this knowledge, we should acknowledge ownership of the past and promise to use the lessons of history to help guide our organization towards a better understanding and future for all people.

Check out Family Mediation Canada`s Anti-Racism statement here:

https://www.fmc.ca/2020/10/04/family-mediation-canada-anti-racism-statement/

ADRIO has provided a series of eight professional development webinars called DIVERSITY in ADR: Ethics and Inclusion. This series was pre-recorded in 2020 and facilitated by a diverse team of experienced ADR and subject matter experts. Check out the webinars here:

Sources:

Alberta Family Mediation Society Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination statement, October 2020-https://afms.ca/2020/10/25/anti-racism-and-anti-discrimination-statement/

About Black History Month, February 1, 2020- https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/black-history- Nadler, Taran – Oregon Mediation Association Black Lives Matter, In Pursuit of Equity Informed Mediation December 24, 2020- https://ormediation.org/2020/12/24/black-lives-matter-in-pursuit



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