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Submitted by Imai Thomas Welch
9th and final article in a series

What is “BIPOC”? BIPOC is an acronym for “Black, Indigenous, and other Peoples of Colour”. It’s an umbrella term for all non-White peoples. Even if there are many different communities within the BIPOC umbrella, we share many of the same challenges and concerns about things like racism and diversity. 

In this series, I provided some information and trivia about BIPOC peoples. This will be the last post of the series. As we part for now, take the time to reflect on what you can do to help work for equity and inclusion of BIPOC peoples in the Church. 

Yes, times have changed, especially in the major cities of Canada such as Vancouver (and even Edmonton, where I was born and where I’m writing this from!). Many of Canada’s major cities have either become minority-majority or are on the way to that status. But, it can still be quite challenging to not be White in the Anglican Church of Canada or to not speak English as your mother tongue in one of our churches. That needs to change fast. If we don’t change, it will be that much more difficult for us to be there for the communities which surround our churches. It will make it that much harder to proclaim the Gospel to our communities. And, it makes it that much harder for us all to live out the baptismal promise to “Respect the dignity of every human being”...

In my last blog post, I talked about how the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) defines racism. Definitions provide a framework for taking action against evils such as racism, including making formal complaints against racism and racists if it comes to that. 

But when it comes to racism and bias, it is important to not just define it. You also need clear policies and training to address it. This is why so many workplaces now require their staff and volunteers to complete diversity and anti-racism training. 

So, a couple of questions about how the Anglican Church handles racism:

How many Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada require anti-racism training? 

Three: The Dioceses of New Westminster, Montreal, and Toronto. New Westminster was the first diocese to introduce this training for all clergy, back in 2013. The Diocese of Montreal requires this training of both clergy AND lay leaders such as Lay Readers and Wardens. 

Other Dioceses are starting to require this training, but not necessarily as a condition for holding a clergy licence. For example, the Diocese of Edmonton held an anti-racism training session for its clergy this year, as a special Clergy Day formation. 

How many Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada have an Anti-Racism Policy?

According to the 2023 General Synod report from the Dismantling Racism Task Force, four Dioceses are reported to have a specific Anti-Racism Policy. Other Dioceses have policies that address racism in part, under respectful workplace, harassment or general anti-discrimination policies. These other policies are often based on definitions in local human rights law.