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Human Rights System leader

 

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Human Rights System Lead

The Toronto District School Board is deeply committed to, and is seen as, a thought leader in advancing equity, dismantling racism, colonialism and oppression, in all their forms, to provide every student with the best possible learning environment and optimal curriculum and instruction in order to thrive and achieve. Crucial to those efforts is establishing a deep and enduring respect for human rights as fundamental to all of TDSB’s policies, processes and initiatives, and a non-negotiable commitment that violations of human rights are dealt with rigorously and with transparency and accountability.

To fulfill its commitments to human rights, the TDSB is seeking a dynamic, dedicated, resilient Human Rights System Lead (HRSL) to head the Human Rights Office. The Human Rights System Lead has two key roles:

 

  • Building and maintaining a culture of respect for human rights:

Through insightful advice and leadership, provision of education and training, relationship-building, and participating in system-level decision-making, the HRSL supports the TDSB in identifying and addressing systemically based human rights and equity issues building the TDSB’s capacity to ensure compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

  • Supporting the resolution of human rights complaints:

Using their expertise and proven experience in human rights investigations, complaint resolution and restorative justice, the HRSL oversees the TDSB’s internal human rights complaints processes.


If you bring strong and successful leadership and impact in the field of human rights, in a complex, public sector organization and a professional determination to contribute to the success of Canada’s largest School Board, this position will appeal to you.

The TDSB is seeking a Human Rights System Lead who will collaborate with the Director and her Executive Council and senior staff in transformational work to enhance and expand cultures of respect for human rights and equity and champion the identification and elimination of systemic barriers. Fostering a system culture free of harassment and discrimination, this role will provide strategic advice and interpretation for Senior Staff and the Board on all matters related specifically to human rights and religious accommodation, including Board policies, relevant collective agreement provisions and legislation, the Ontario Human Rights Code, relevant provisions of the Education Act and Regulations, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, where related directly to human rights concerns relating to  the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Employment Standards Act, The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Board’s Human Rights Policy and Procedures and Guidelines for the Accommodation of Religious Requirements, Practices, and Observances.

With the goal of strengthening networks of support for human rights, equity and anti-oppression across the TDSB and in school communities, the Human Rights System Lead and The Human Rights staff will design and provide education and information on human rights policies and processes across the TDSB for staff, students, Trustees and communities, including providing human rights compliance training to senior staff and examining all current and newly developed board policies and procedures and their human rights impact to ensure compliance with human rights legislation.

Establishing and maintaining respectful, equitable and invitational work and learning environments is core to the TDSB’s mission. Truth and Reconciliation is a guiding principle at TDSB. The Board recognizes the legacy of the residential school system and colonization that continue as part of education today and is seeking to repair and re-establish new relationships with Indigenous communities that uphold their human rights, and recognize their right to sovereignty. Central to this role will be identifying and defining ways to address systemic human rights and equity issues and contributing to building capacity in all staff to work in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code; and relevant school board policies.. This will be achieved in collaboration with key system leaders including the Superintendent of Indigenous Education, Superintendent of Equity, Anti-Oppression, Anti-Racism, Superintendent of Leadership Development, Employee Engagement and Continuous Improvement, and staff in Employment Equity through the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to build human rights knowledge and competence among all staff.

This role will involve working across academic departments including Indigenous Education, Equity, the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement, and curriculum teams to support equitable teaching and learning for all students, including promoting culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy where appropriate.  Active promotion of a positive human rights culture that deepens understanding of how human rights learning leads to more equitable, anti-racist, inclusive schools, classrooms and workplaces is in the DNA of this leader. 

Building public confidence in the TDSB as a human rights leader in the public sector will be a main focus of this role as the Human Rights System Lead consults and interacts with the Board’s diverse communities. In this leadership role, you will develop, foster and facilitate robust relationships with internal and external partners to share best practices and promote policies and programs that support human rights, equity, anti-racism, accessibility, and diversity.

As the leader of the Human Rights Department, your expertise will inspire and guide Human Rights staff in planning, training and performance reviews; promoting early intervention into human rights-related concerns through the delivery of information, conciliation, mediation and dispute resolution processes.

Championing a culture of human rights, equity, anti-oppression, you will draw on your demonstrated experience in human rights leadership, investigations, alternative forms of dispute resolution and restorative justice in order to provide leadership and oversight of the TDSB internal human rights complaint procedures. In this role, you will establish/update and implement a transparent human rights complaints process for use by all members of the school community, including procedures for tracking and monitoring the progress of all inquiries and complaints received.  Ensuring handling of human rights complaints is consistent with the Human Rights Code, this leader will supervise the implementation of complaints processes so procedural requirements are met and the integrity of the process and safety of the participants are consistent with the Human Rights Code This work will entail implementing processes to address the backlog of cases and provide more timely and effective ways to address and resolve complaints and the issues that underlie them.

Acting with impartiality in the administration of Human Rights and Equity policies and processes, this leader will oversee proper documentation of human rights complaints, including tracking and monitoring progress and assisting with assessment of complaint scope. In this role, you will determine appropriate methods of dispute resolution and contract services (e.g., investigators) where needed, oversee management of mediated resolutions, and formal investigations to ensure timely and successful resolution. This will include determining and deploying appropriate staff resources to conduct thorough and fair inquiries and investigations, managing complex systemic issues effectively, and ensuring support services for those involved in dispute resolution processes under the Board’s Human Rights Policy. This leader will also develop and approve investigation plans, review reports and communicate findings.

In this vital leadership role, you will oversee and strategically lead/support all operations of the Board’s Human Rights Office, including planning, policy review, development of processes and implementation, budgeting, and staffing, as well as the day-to-day delivery of human rights supports and services to the system. This leader manages, reviews and monitors the Human Rights Office budget, including expenditure review and authorization, analysis of transactions, year-end projections and forecasts.

In addition to investigating and mediating Human Rights complaints, as Human Rights System Lead you will contribute to system-wide risk management by working with senior TDSB leaders to identify and respond to human rights and equity-related risks. The policy and planning responsibilities of this role encompass developing, coordinating and guiding the design and implementation of system plans, policies and procedures related to human rights, including any employment and educational equity plans and overseeing the system-wide implementation of the Human Rights Policy and Procedures and Guidelines and Procedures for the Accommodation of Religious Requirements, Practices and Observances. Communication of the Board’s human rights commitments, processes and actions through external messaging, social media and other modes of communication.

Committed to data informed policy and decision-making, you will gather statistical information and trend data using the Human Rights portal and other TDSB and sector data; and provide reports to support transparency and accountability to TDSB’S stakeholders. 

This role will involve undertaking research and analysis, in collaboration with the Research and Development team to identify trends, develop effective tools and solutions to address and eliminate systemic barriers, identify and monitor gaps in human rights knowledge and competencies, improve access to human rights information and supports for all staff. You will serve as an ambassador of TDSB Human Rights commitments by acting as a resource to other school boards and community partners.

In summary, the Human Rights System leader will work in four spheres to expand cultures of respect for human rights and equity and contribute to the identification and elimination of systemic barriers:

  • Investigations,
  • Mediation and resolutions,
  • Professional learning and training in Human Rights and
  • Policy development and implementation to support transparency and accountability to TDSB’s students, staff and communities.
     

Qualifications and Experience

  • Post-secondary degree in a relevant field (e.g., Law, Human Rights, Social Sciences, Public Administration, Human Resources), legal training/ familiarity with the law as it pertains to Human Rights is preferred;
  • Formal training and/or certification in mediation, dispute resolution and facilitation;
  • Superior understanding of human rights legislation and related case law (including the Ontario Human Rights Code, relevant provisions of the Education Act and Regulations, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Employment Standards Act, The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, etc.) and emerging trends and issues;
  • Demonstrated work-related expertise in applying human rights law and analyzing issues using the Human Rights Code and relevant policies to prevent and address discrimination and harassment, including 3 - 5 years of experience in human rights investigations, complaint resolution, and restorative justice in a complex public sector environment of high visibility;
  • Demonstrated experience handling contentious issues with sensitivity, good judgment and discretion in order to build confidence in the Board’s commitments to human rights, equity and anti-oppression;
  • Experience in designing and delivering human rights education and training programs in a collaborative environment, including conducting training on complaints resolution, investigation, report-writing, etc.;
  • Demonstrated experience providing advice and expertise on human rights-related strategic policy issues to senior-level administration;
  • In-depth knowledge of relevant Board policies and procedures (e.g., Human Rights Policy and Procedures, Guidelines and Procedures for the Accommodation of Religious Requirements, Practices and Observances, Employee Services policies and administrative procedures, etc.), as well as current collective agreement provisions;
  • Excellent leadership skills with respect to planning, communication, decision-making, motivating and problem-solving, budget development, management and professional experience at a senior level managing complex and/or high-profile projects;
  • Demonstrated experience working with external and internal stakeholders, including senior management, to develop human rights-related policies and procedures;
  • Excellent relationship-building skills, sound judgment, sensitivity and an inclusive approach to building consensus and solving problems;
  • Strong cultural competence and demonstrated commitment to working in a diverse school community and/or work environment;
  • Understanding of the lived experiences of communities in the TDSB and a proven track record of identifying and addressing appropriately systemic and individual examples of anti-Black racism, antisemitism, anti-Indigenous racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, ableism and other forms of hate, discrimination and oppression;
  • Superior understanding of progressive human resources practices and employment equity issues within Ontario’s public education sector;
  • Proven track-record of successfully investigating and resolving human rights-related harassment and discrimination complaints, interpreting facts and evidence, applying policy and relevant legislation, managing complex equity issues, and promoting equitable practices that value inclusiveness and diversity;
  • Significant knowledge and experience applying principles of procedural fairness, along with extensive knowledge of human rights/discrimination legislation, theory and practice;
  • Demonstrated supervisory experience and highly developed coaching, mentoring and team-building skills, with proven ability to lead, engage and inspire a specialized team of professionals, and provide ongoing staff development to ensure an effective and productive work environment;
  • Significant experience managing complex cases and supervising others who have responsibility for conflict resolution, both at an informal and formal level;
  • Demonstrated experience with cross team and/or cross department collaboration in order to provide system level professional learning about equity, anti-oppression and human rights;
  • Demonstrated experience engaging and collaborating with diverse communities.

To apply for the role of Human Rights System Lead, in the Toronto District School Board, submit your resume and cover letter by May 27, 2022, to: joanmgreenassociates@gmail.com .  Any questions you may have will be answered if you write to us at the website above. The salary range for this position is $170,430  to $177.847.
 

 

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Joan M. Green & Associates/LBCG is mindful of the importance of championing diversity amongst candidates. The project team is fluent in current diversity, inclusion, and anti-oppression practices. We are committed to ensuring a fair and inclusive recruitment process.

Accommodation Statement:
Joan M. Green & Associates/LBCG fosters a culture of inclusion. We will make any appropriate accommodation based on any of the protected grounds in the Human Rights Code to support candidate participation in the recruitment and selection process. All candidates will be provided with an understanding of the expectations and requirements of the process, in order to ensure full participation of all qualified candidates.

The Toronto District School Board adheres to equitable hiring, employment and promotion practices. We strive to meet the accommodation needs of persons with disabilities. Applicants are encouraged to make their needs for accommodation known in advance during the application process.

TDSB Land Acknowledgement
We acknowledge we are hosted on the lands of the Mississaugas of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Wendat. We also recognize the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and the Inuit peoples.

JMG & Associates / LBCG Consulting for Impact Land Acknowledgement
With humility and in the continuing spirit of being active participants in the reconciliation of Canada and the Indigenous Peoples of the land, we acknowledge that we are working and living on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit River, the Anishnabeg, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, which today is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. As a firm and individually, we are educating ourselves to know and understand the Truth and participating with Indigenous colleagues to play our part in advancing Reconciliation.

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