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4-H Ontario's Statement on Racism

4-H Ontario, 4-H Ontario | (Posted June 4, 2020)

Like many organizations 4-H Ontario has been processing the events taking place both in the US, and in our own province, primarily in response to the circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. These events are painful and difficult to understand.

As a youth serving organization that represents and engages with youth and adults of all backgrounds, we felt it important to acknowledge that systemic racism is an issue and that these events are deeply troubling to many of our youth participants, volunteers, staff, and stakeholders.

In 2018 4-H Ontario adopted the following inclusion statement:

4-H in Canada is open to all* without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or, mental or physical disability.** 4-H is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive environment that allows for universal access and participation. Where barriers to participation are identified, 4-H will, with reasonable accommodation, adapt programs, rules, policies, or expectations to reduce or remove the barriers. Any accommodations, changes or exceptions will be assessed on an individual basis, taking into account the (lived) individual experience of the member and their family. The physical safety and emotional well-being of members, leaders, staff and volunteers is 4-H’s highest priority, and is the ultimate consideration in final decisions. 4-H Canada and local 4-H organizations consider inclusion (and belonging) a priority. Leaders are encouraged to work with individuals and their families to identify and discuss accommodations as required, and to reach out to provincial or national office staff for help with unresolved concerns.

*This applies to youth members (ages 6 to 21), volunteers, leaders, staff and professionals. **Definition of discrimination as per Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In acknowledging systemic racism and overt forms of discrimination that impact our society, we will work to strengthen our internal systems to support youth of all backgrounds with varying lived experiences.  We will champion diversity, inclusion, and learning. We are committed to embracing our differences, celebrating our diversity, and expanding our understanding of the complexity of issues facing youth today.

 

Read 4-H Canada's statement on racism here>


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