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Definitions Listed Alphabetically

Anti-Black Racism – 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 – 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, wellbeing, 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 – 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.


Cisnormativity 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.


Condonation is when those in supervisory, leadership or management positions overlook, downplay, accept or fail to respond to discriminatory behaviour


Discrimination refers to differential and unfair treatment based on one or more prohibited grounds that results in disadvantage for a person or group in a Code protected social area (e.g. in a TDSB learning or working environment). Discrimination can be direct or indirect, individual or systemic, and need not be intended. It also includes hate activity in TDSB learning or working environments


Duty to Accommodate describes the duty of the TDSB, both as an employer and provider of education services, to build in and make exceptions to a rule, policy, or expectation, in order to prevent discrimination that would violate the Human Rights Code or TDSB’s Human Rights Policy. Failure to reasonably accommodate a person short of undue hardship on any of the grounds covered by this policy is considered to be discrimination. The process of assessing and considering accommodation must be collaborative and respectful.


Harassment refers to a course of vexatious comment or conduct, which is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome. It includes sexual harassment.. Harassment is usually the result of a series of incidents (“a course” of comment or conduct) but may also result from one very serious incident. Harassment based on a protected ground under the Code or Human Rights Policy (P031) is a form of discrimination.​ Workplace harassment is prohibited under the OHSA and TDSB’s Workplace Harassment Policy, even if it does not relate to a protected ground.


Hate Crimes refer to criminal offenses that are committed against persons or property which are motivated in whole or in part by hatred or bias based on the victim’s race, national or ethnic origin, language, color, creed, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This includes, but is not limited to, hate-motivated violence, incitement to hate-motivated violence, and/or the display of symbols or other representations identified with groups promoting hate and violence. It also includes crimes committed against persons who are associated or perceived to be associated, with persons who belong to the aforementioned Code-protected groups.


Hate/bias incident refers to non-criminal conduct – which does not involve violence, threats or property damage – that is motivated in whole or in part by hatred or bias based on the real or perceived identity or group affiliation of a victim or victims. A hate/bias incident can also encompass situations in which conduct is directed against people associated with individuals and groups identified with these grounds. The conduct can be verbal, nonverbal or written, and may manifest itself in the form of slurs, insults, harassment, abusive gestures, taunting, display of offensive materials, or other acts which may intimidate, denigrate and/or marginalize the victim or victims.


Homophobia is the irrational aversion to, fear or hatred of gay, lesbian or bisexual people and communities or of behaviors stereotyped as “homosexual,


Intersectional Discrimination refers to discrimination that occurs based on two or more Code grounds that produces a unique and distinct form and experience of discrimination that cannot be reduced to any single Code ground. The concept of intersectional discrimination recognizes that people’s lives involve multiple overlapping identities, and that marginalization, exclusion and discrimination may be further exacerbated because of how these identities interact or “intersect.”


Intention vs Impact Intention is not required for discrimination to occur – discrimination is often, though not always, unintentional. What matters is the result, or impact of the action, inaction, or rule. Discrimination is often subtle and requires a nuanced analysis.


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.


One Factor means that a protected ground need only be one factor, of possibly several, in the decision or treatment for it to amount to discrimination.


Primacy of the Code The Human Rights Code usually supersedes other legislation, and always supersedes workplace policy, procedure, and other rules. This means that the duty to uphold human rights takes precedence over other rights and professional duties.


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


Systemic Discrimination refers to patterns of behaviour, policies and/or practices that are part of the administrative structures or informal culture of an organization, that either on purpose or inadvertently, create or perpetuate disadvantage for individuals or groups on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.


Transphobia is the aversion to, fear or hatred or intolerance of trans people and communities. 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.