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Anti-Black racism is prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and its legacy. Anti-Black racism is deeply entrenched in Canadian institutions, policies and practices, to the extent that anti-Black racism is either functionally normalized or rendered invisible to the larger white society. Anti-Black racism is manifest in the current social, economic, and political marginalization of African Canadians, which includes unequal opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment, significant poverty rates and overrepresentation in the criminal justice system.

Anti-Indigenous racism is the ongoing race-based discrimination, negative stereotyping, and injustice experienced by Indigenous Peoples within Canada. It includes ideas and practices that establish, maintain and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from the legacy of colonial policies and practices in Canada.

Systemic anti-Indigenous racism is evident in discriminatory federal policies such as the Indian Act and the residential school system. It is also manifest in the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in provincial criminal justice and child welfare systems, as well as inequitable outcomes in education, well-being, and health. Individual lived-experiences of anti-Indigenous racism can be seen in the rise in acts of hostility and violence directed at Indigenous people.

Antisemitism is latent or overt hostility, or hatred directed towards, or discrimination against, individual Jewish people or the Jewish people for reasons connected to their religion, ethnicity, and their cultural, historical, intellectual, and religious heritage.*

Most people are “cisgender” (not trans); that is, their gender identity is in line with or “matches” the sex they were assigned at birth. Cisnormativity (“cis” meaning “the same as”) refers to the commonplace assumption that all people are cisgender and that everyone accepts this as “the norm.”The term is used to describe prejudice against trans people that is less overt or direct and more widespread or systemic in society, organizations and institutions. This form of systemic prejudice may even be unintentional and unrecognized by the people or organizations responsible.*

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, people identified by Code grounds are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as everybody else.

In some cases, they may need special arrangements or “accommodations” to take part equally in the social areas the Code covers, such as employment, housing and education. Employers, housing providers, education providers and other parties responsible under the Code have a legal obligation to accommodate Code-identified needs, unless they can prove it would cause them undue hardship. Undue hardship is based on cost, outside sources of funding and health and safety factors.*

Engaging in a course of comments or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome. It can involve words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning or unwelcome. Harassment under the Ontario Human Rights Code is based on the prohibited/protected grounds (see definition).*

The irrational aversion to, fear or hatred of gay, lesbian or bisexual people and communities, or of behaviours stereotyped as “homosexual.”*

Intersectionality is the way in which people’s lives are shaped by their multiple and overlapping identities and social locations, which, together, can produce a unique and distinct experience for that individual or group, for example, creating additional barriers, opportunities, and/or power imbalances.

In the context of race and Indigenous identity, this means recognizing the ways in which people’s experiences of racism or privilege, including within any one group, may vary depending on the individual’s or group’s relationship to additional overlapping or intersecting social identities, like religion, ethnic origin, gender, age, disabilities or citizenship and immigration status.

An intersectional analysis enables better understanding of the impacts of any one particular systemic barrier by considering how that barrier may be interacting with other related factors.*

Islamophobia includes racism, stereotypes, prejudice, fear or acts of hostility directed towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia can lead to viewing and treating Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level.*

Racism includes ideas or practices that establish, maintain or perpetuate the racial superiority or dominance of one group over another.

Racism exists at a number of levels, including individual, institutional or systemic, and societal. Racism differs from simple prejudice in that it has also been tied to the aspect of power, i.e. the social, political, economic and institutional power that is held by the dominant group in society. Not every manifestation of racism can be dealt with through human rights complaint processes. Only racially discriminatory actions in specified social areas (e.g. educational services, employment) are prohibited by human rights law.*

Racial discrimination is a legally prohibited act. It happens when any distinction, conduct or action, whether intentional or not, is based on a person’s race and has the effect of imposing burdens not imposed upon others. Racial discrimination could happen when someone acts on racist beliefs and attitudes in areas covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code, such as employment, services, and housing. To be considered racial discrimination under the Code, it has to be more likely than not that race was one factor in the adverse treatment experience.*

Discrimination operates at several levels, including individual, systemic or institutional and societal. Systemic or institutional discrimination consists of patterns of behaviour, policies or practices that are part of the social or administrative structures of an organization, and which create or perpetuate a position of relative disadvantage for persons belonging to a Code protected group. These may appear neutral on the surface but, nevertheless, have an exclusionary impact on persons belonging Code protected group.*

The aversion to, fear or hatred or intolerance of trans people andcommunities. Like other prejudices, it is based on stereotypes and misconceptions that are used to justify discrimination, harassment and violence toward trans people.*


Sources: These definitions were taken from resources from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, TDSB’s Equity Policy (*) and the Ontario’s Data Standards for the Identification Monitoring of Systemic Racism.( )