On Monday, June 3, 2019 — CUPE Local 79 held its annual Equity Symposium, an event jointly organized with the City of Toronto. The Equity Symposium is a training event for union stewards and management that focuses on an equity-related issue each year. This was the 12th annual Equity Symposium and its theme was: Addressing Bias in the Workplace. The theme was chosen by the members of Local 79’s Human Rights Committee, who often hear about bias-induced workplace challenges from members of traditionally marginalized groups.
Over 130 attendees listened to our keynote speaker, Associate Professor Grace-Edward Galabuzi, describe how unconscious and implicit bias play a role in the social exclusionary behaviour that marginalized and disenfranchised groups such as LGBTQ2S, Indigenous people, women, and individuals from communities of colour experience in Canada.
Three workshops were also held on the Indigenous experience of unconscious bias; the systemic barriers for members of queer, trans and two-spirited communities; and the framing of anti-black bias.