A Statement on Anti-Black Racism and Racial Violence

A Joint Statement on Anti-Black Racism and Racial Violence from the OHTN Board of Directors and Executive Director

May 2021

In May 2020, the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US sparked widespread Black Lives Matter protests around the world. At that time, the OHTN issued a statement expressing our solidarity with the voices denouncing all forms of anti-Black violence and white supremacy, and speaking out for racial justice. [link]

Anti-Black racism is deeply entrenched in institutions, policies and practices in Canada as well as in the US. As a result, Black Canadians have lower socioeconomic status, higher unemployment, significant rates of poverty and incarceration, and unequal opportunities. They are also disproportionately affected by aggressive policing, and have worse physical and mental health outcomes, including high rates of HIV and—more recently—COVID-19. As an organization whose mission is to improve the health and lives of people living with and at risk of HIV, we know that we will not achieve our mission if we do not grapple with the ways in which anti-Black racism and other forms of racial discrimination and systemic racism shape HIV outcomes.

A year ago, we made a commitment to speak out whenever we see racism playing out in our community and society—as it has recently for Asian Canadians. We also made a commitment to take a hard look at our own organization, eradicate racism in all its forms and create a just workplace.

Actions are more meaningful than words. Over the past year, Black staff at the OHTN have been meeting to talk about what the OHTN can and must do to help create a more racially just world. They developed an action plan, which focused specifically on anti-Black racism and also highlighted the importance of broader equity and diversity initiatives to end all forms of racism. The OHTN Board approved that plan, which has set the bar for our anti-racism work. [link]

We are pleased to report that we have already made some progress:

  • Anti-racism initiatives are now a standing item on all Board agendas.
  • The Board commissioned an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion review of all its policies.
  • The Board is taking concrete steps to increase its own diversity and to develop a pipeline to ensure strong Black, Indigenous and other racialized voices on the Board and its committees.
  • In terms of accountability for implementing the Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, the Board approved:
    • A new staff position: Senior Lead, Strategic Partnerships and Health Equity Initiatives
    • The staff-led Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee (CABRc), which will lead the implementation of the action plan
    • An annual meeting with representatives of Black communities to seek advice and discuss progress
    • Development of a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy
    • A Board committee to oversee implementation of the Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy
  • At the Board’s request, OHTN staff will be: assessing all programs and activities for diversity, equity and inclusion; evaluating the impact of the organization’s past efforts to address structural racism; and identifying what worked and what didn’t.
  • The Board plans to invite Black, Indigenous and other racialized community stakeholders to periodically join OHTN Board meetings to facilitate learning and discussion.
  • The Board and staff are working together to plan a joint Board-staff anti-racism initiative.

We have a unique opportunity to create the kind of equitable and inclusive work space where all employees have a voice, are recognized for the diverse perspectives they bring to their work, and are able to grow and thrive. Our Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism will ensure that we continue to work effectively and respectfully with Black, Indigenous and other people of colour to fight institutional racism, and that our programs and interventions are grounded in racial justice.

We would like to thank the Black OHTN staff for their leadership in helping us think through the OHTN’s role in fighting racism. We are committed to continuing to work with and learn from Black OHTN staff, people living with HIV, front-line workers, leaders, policy makers and partner organizations to end racism and create a more just world.

John Lavis
Chair, OHTN Board of Directors

Jean Bacon
Executive Director


Introduction

Background and Purpose

In the summer of 2020, following nationwide political actions in defense of Black people’s rights and wellbeing, Black OHTN staff began to meet on a regular basis to discuss how anti-Black racism emerges in the organization and its work. The Black staff developed a list of recommendations to address anti-Black racism and strengthen OHTN’s commitment to racial equity, diversity and inclusion. In consultation with other OHTN staff, this list of recommendations has been reformulated as an Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.

The issues and proposed activities outlined in this Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism are informed by our cumulative experiences, as Black individuals who work for OHTN and as members of Black communities that continue to experience anti-Black racism and HIV disparities.

By anti-Black racism, we are referring to prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and discrimination that are directed at people of African descent and 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 socioeconomic status, higher unemployment, significant rates of poverty and incarceration, and worse physical and mental health outcomes, including disproportionately high rates of HIV.

We believe that to address Black racial inequities in the workplace and within our programs, our response must be specific and intentional in naming and confronting anti-Black racism.

As such, this Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism is not an attempt to usurp a multicultural voice. Nor does it purport to speak on behalf of other racialized and marginalized communities.

However, we recognize that to drive long lasting change, other marginalized communities —particularly Indigenous communities — must be given an opportunity to identify inequities and be supported in their struggle for self-determination.

For this reason, imbedded in our Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism is a separate proposal for the development and implementation of a comprehensive OHTN Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy. We hope that this comprehensive Strategy will build on the Action Plan to help bring communities together and create strong, sustainable foundations for diversity, racial equity and inclusion.

There are many actions we can and must take as leaders in our sector to address anti-Black racism and drive change in the response to HIV in Ontario. It starts at the organizational level, where we encourage colleagues and partners to speak up, identify inequities, commit to action, and become allies in the movement for a truly equitable HIV endgame.

Governance of the Action Plan

The Black OHTN staff are committed to an ongoing role in implementing and managing the Action Plan. Therefore, we propose that the OHTN establish a Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee (CABRc) to oversee the implementation of the Action Plan and resulting outcomes (i.e. to oversee and advise on implementation, monitoring, and renewal). This committee will report to the Executive Director and will provide regular updates to the OHTN Board.

The proposed CABRc will comprise of:

  • 2 Senior Black staff (Director or Senior Lead)
  • 2 Black staff
  • The ED or their designate
  • One other Director or Senior Lead
  • One other staff
  • Other staff on ad hoc basis (as determined by the Committee)

Resources

A Black Senior staff member (i.e. Director or Senior Lead) should coordinate the Action Plan as part of their workplan. OHTN management, with advice from the CABRc, will develop an annual budget for the Action Plan. This budget will help to sustain the Action Plan Coordinator’s role and other expenses associated with implementing, monitoring or renewing the Action Plan.

Sustainability and Endurance

Note that although the proposed activities on the OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism are built to align with the 2021-2022 OHTN Program Plan, the implementation of the Action Plan will be a long-term endeavour.

We anticipate that overtime, activities, their dates and dependencies may change and our timeframes will require adjustment. It will be the CABRc’s responsibility to assess progress and annually renew the OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. We look to the CABRc to keep us on track and ensure that we overcome any challenges we encounter along the way and don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Acknowledgements

This Action Plan was produced by Agatha Nyambi, Carlos Joseph, Kadidja Mone, Lydia Makoroka, Muluba Habanyama, Nasra Smith, Tsegaye Bekele, Wesley Oakes, and Winston Husbands. The content was supported by Lori Lyons and Arju Nishimura.


ACTION PLAN TO CONFRONT ANTI-BLACK RACISM

1. Governance and Policy

Assess Aim Proposed Action Proposed Timeline
1.1. Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy
  1. Implement a comprehensive Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy for the organization
  1. Identify a Board advisory group that will mandate and oversee the creation of a comprehensive Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy for the Board and the organization.
  2. Implement the comprehensive Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy for the Board and for the organization that incorporates:
    • The proposed Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism;
    • Recommendations from Jefferson Darrell’s Diversity and Inclusion Audit;
    • Any feedback from the Board advisory group.
  3. OHTN Board to work with representatives of the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee (CABRc) and other relevant OHTN staff to develop and implement a joint Board-staff initiative to support various aspects of the Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy.
H2 2021-22
1.2. OHTN Action Plan to confront Anti-Black Racism
  1. Implement the proposed OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism (Action Plan) and monitor its implementation and outcomes for sustainable impact
  1. Establish a Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee (CABRc) to oversee and advise on the implementation of the proposed Action Plan. This will be coordinated by a senior Black staff member who reports to the Executive Director.
  2. With input from the CABRC, develop an annual budget for the implementation of the Action Plan. This budget will help to sustain the Action Plan Coordinator’s role and other costs associated with implementation, monitoring or renewal of the Action Plan.

H1 2021-22

1.3. Review of OHTN Policies
  1. Apply a health and Black equity lens to the development, review and update of OHTN policies.
  1. Review and draw from resource/template: “An Integrated Anti-Oppression Framework for Reviewing and Developing Policy” (2008).
  2. Integrate recommendations from Jefferson Darrell’s Diversity and Inclusion Audit and the Black OHTN Response to Anti-Black Racism working group recommendations to:
    • Revise the current OHTN Diversity and Inclusion Policy;
    • Conduct an equity assessment of all OHTN policies; and
    • Based on the findings of the equity assessment, periodically review OHTN policies to ensure they do not indirectly perpetuate racial inequities.

H 2021-22

1.4. OHTN Board Composition and Recruitment
  1. Ensure that Black representation on the OHTN Board reflects the disproportionate effect of HIV on Black communities.
  1. With support and input from the Black OHTN Response to Anti-Black Racism working group, continue recruitment efforts to fill the current Board vacancy as well as future openings.
  2. Work to build the pipeline for new Board members through Board committees and other OHTN advisory groups.

In progress

1.5. OHTN Board Capacity Building
  1. Enhance the Board’s capacity to understand and confront anti-Black racism and other racial inequities.
  1. Ensure the OHTN Board’s response to anti-Black racism is a standing item on the Board agenda.
  2. Identify Black community stakeholders and leaders who will be invited to join OHTN Board meetings at regular intervals to ensure that issues related to anti-Black racism are discussed from the perspective of Black communities.

H1 2021-22

1.6. OHTN Board’s Accountability to Black Community
  1. Strengthen Board accountability to, and dialogue with, Black communities.
  1. Write and publicize a statement of the OHTN Board’s commitment to, and rationale for, confronting systemic anti-Black racism.
  2. OHTN Board to meet once a year with representatives of the Black community to seek advice and discuss progress in implementing the OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. The first meeting will involve a review of Jefferson Darrell’s recommendations and other efforts to date.

H1 2021-22 (for action-i)

H1 2021-22 (for action-ii)

1.1. Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy

Aim

Implement a comprehensive Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy for the organization.

Action

  1. Identify a Board advisory group that will mandate and oversee the creation of a comprehensive Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy for the Board and the organization.
  2. Implement the comprehensive Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy for the Board and for the organization that incorporates:
    • The proposed Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism;
    • Recommendations from Jefferson Darrell’s Diversity and Inclusion Audit;
    • Any feedback from the Board advisory group.
  3. OHTN Board to work with representatives of the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee (CABRc) and other relevant OHTN staff to develop and implement a joint Board-staff initiative to support various aspects of the Diversity, Racial Equity and Inclusion Strategy.

Timeline

H1 2021-22

1.2. OHTN Action Plan to confront Anti-Black Racism

Aim

Implement the proposed OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism (Action Plan) and monitor its implementation and outcomes for sustainable impact.

Action

  1. Establish a Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee (CABRc) to oversee and advise on the implementation of the proposed Action Plan. This will be coordinated by a senior Black staff member who reports to the Executive Director.
  2. With input from the CABRc, develop an annual budget for the implementation of the Action Plan. This budget will help to sustain the Action Plan Coordinator’s role and other costs associated with implementation, monitoring or renewal of the Action Plan.

Timeline

H1 2021-22

1.3. Review of OHTN Policies

Aim

Apply a health and Black equity lens to the development, review and update of OHTN policies.

Action

  1. Review and draw from resource/template: “An Integrated Anti-Oppression Framework for Reviewing and Developing Policy” (2008).
  2. Integrate recommendations from Jefferson Darrell’s Diversity and Inclusion Audit and the Black OHTN Response to Anti-Black Racism working group recommendations to:
    • Revise the current OHTN Diversity and Inclusion Policy;
    • Conduct an equity assessment of all OHTN policies;
    • Based on the findings of the equity assessment, periodically review OHTN policies to ensure they do not indirectly perpetuate racial inequities.

Timeline

H1 2021-22

1.4. OHTN Board Composition and Recruitment

Aim

Ensure that Black representation on the OHTN Board reflects the disproportionate effect of HIV on Black communities.

Action

  1. With support and input from the Black OHTN Response to Anti-Black Racism working group, continue recruitment efforts to fill the current Board vacancy as well as future openings.
  2. Work to build the pipeline for new Board members through Board committees and other OHTN advisory groups.

Timeline

In progress

1.5. OHTN Board Capacity Building

Aim

Enhance the Board’s capacity to understand and confront anti-Black racism and other racial inequities.

Action

  1. Ensure the OHTN Board’s response to anti-Black racism is a standing item on the Board agenda.
  2. Identify Black community stakeholders who will be invited to join OHTN Board meetings at regular intervals to ensure that issues related to systemic anti-Black racism are discussed from the perspective of Black communities.

Timeline

H1 2021-22

1.6. OHTN Board’s Accountability to Black Community

Aim

Strengthen Board accountability to, and dialogue with, Black communities.

Action

  1. Write and publicize a statement of the OHTN Board’s commitment to, and rationale for, confronting systemic anti-Black racism.
  2. OHTN Board to meet once a year with representatives of the Black community to seek advice and discuss progress in implementing the OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. The first meeting will involve a review of Jefferson Darrell’s recommendations and other efforts to date.

Timeline

H1 2021-22 (for action-i)

H1 2021-22 (for action-ii)

2. Workplace Equity

Assess Aim Proposed Action Proposed Timeline
2.1. Recruitment and Hiring of Black Employees
  1. Ensure that any position being recruited for advances the racial equity and inclusion goals of the organization.
  2. Increase recruitment outreach to qualified Black candidates.
  3. Ensure equitable Black representation from entry-level staff to leadership ranks.
  1. Comprehensive review of HR hiring policies and procedures (including hiring committee representation) that incorporates:
    • Proposed revisions to OHTN Diversity and Inclusion Policy;
    • A revised equal employment opportunity statement that reflects racial equity goals;
    • An outreach strategy that utilizes existing Black networks; and
    • Well-defined hiring and racial equity metrics.
H1 2021-22
2.2. Black Employee Retention and Professional Growth
  1. Incorporate anti-Black racism and racial bias training into professional development.
  2. Retain and promote Black employees.
  3. Ensure equity in access to professional development opportunities.
  1. Create a mentorship plan for Black employees seeking career mentorship that supports leadership development goals.
  2. Report annually on workshop and training opportunities requested by Black staff, those delivered, level of satisfaction, and needs.
  3. Measure and track compensation and promotion using racial equity metrics. Every two years, report findings back to staff in a format that protects employee confidentiality.

H1 2021-22

2.3 OHTN Employee Capacity Building
  1. Provide employees with tools to understand the causes and impacts of anti-Black racism, in order to build it into their work and stakeholder engagement.
  2. Strengthen training for leadership to build knowledge, attitudes and skills to address Black equity and inclusion.
  1. Add resources (videos, articles, etc.) that promote understanding of anti-Black racism and anti-racism policy to the OHTN’s internal website.
  2. Work with the CABRC to:
    • Identify a selection of professional development opportunities that are grounded in anti-racism;
    • Review the OHTN employee manual to ensure that it promotes anti-racism;
    • Identify managerial training to assist managers in addressing issues related to racism, and more specifically anti-Black racism; and
    • Organize a health and racial equity retreat for managers every 2-3 years to continuously strengthen and renew the organization’s commitment to confronting anti-Black racism.
  3. Identify past efforts to address systemic racism, particularly anti-Black racism, and then survey individuals who were on staff at the time about what worked and what didn’t.

In progress (for action-i)

H2 2021-22 (for action ii)

H1 2021-22 (for action-iii)

2.4. Code of Conduct
  1. Develop clear standards and expectations for behaviour that make it clear that anti-Black harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated.
  1. i. Develop and implement of a ‘code of conduct’ that is specific and intentional about confronting anti-Black racism, and that:
    • Promotes a culture of openness and willingness to address anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination;
    • Includes expectations around how the OHTN interacts with external stakeholders;
    • Describes the types of institutional mechanisms and behaviours that are discriminatory or constitute harassment;
    • Is linked to the revised OHTN Inclusion and Diversity Policy and any other relevant organizational policies; and
    • Has well-defined resolution and complaint procedures for managing and recording race-based incidents;

H1 2021-22

2.1. Recruitment and Hiring of Black Employees

Aims

  1. Ensure that any position being recruited for advances the racial equity and inclusion goals of the organization.
  2. Increase recruitment outreach to qualified Black candidates.
  3. Ensure equitable Black representation from entry-level staff to leadership ranks.

Action

  1. Comprehensive review of HR hiring policies and procedures (including hiring committee representation) that incorporates:
    • Proposed revisions to OHTN Diversity and Inclusion Policy;
    • A revised equal employment opportunity statement that reflects racial equity goals;
    • An outreach strategy that utilizes existing Black networks;
    • Well-defined hiring and racial equity metrics.

Timeline

H1 2021-22

2.2. Black Employee Retention and Professional Growth

Aim

  1. Incorporate anti-Black racism and racial bias training into professional development.
  2. Retain and promote Black employees.
  3. Ensure equity in access to professional development opportunities.

Action

  1. Create a mentorship plan for Black employees seeking career mentorship that supports leadership development goals.
  2. Report annually on workshop and training opportunities requested by Black staff, those delivered, level of satisfaction, and needs.
  3. Measure and track compensation and promotion using racial equity metrics. Every two years, report findings back to staff in a format that protects employee confidentiality.

Timeline

H1 2021-22

2.3. OHTN Employee Capacity Building

Aim

  1. Provide employees with tools to understand the causes and impacts of anti-Black racism, in order to build it into their work and stakeholder engagement.
  2. Strengthen training for leadership to build knowledge, attitudes and skills to address Black equity and inclusion.

Action

  1. Add resources (videos, articles, etc.) that promote understanding of anti-Black racism and anti-racism policy to the OHTN’s internal website.
  2. Work with the CABRc to:
    • Identify a selection of professional development opportunities that are grounded in anti-racism;
    • Review the OHTN employee manual to ensure that it promotes anti-racism;
    • Identify managerial training to assist managers in addressing issues related to racism, and more specifically anti-Black racism;
    • Organize a health and racial equity retreat for managers every 2-3 years to continuously strengthen and renew the organization’s commitment to confronting anti-Black racism.
  3. Identify past efforts to address systemic racism, particularly anti-Black racism, and then survey individuals who were on staff at the time about what worked and what didn’t.

Timeline

In progress (for action-i)

H2 2021-22 (for action ii)

H1 2021-22 (for action-iii)

2.4. Code of Conduct

Aim

Develop clear standards and expectations for behaviour that make it clear that anti-Black harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated.

Action

  1. Develop and implement of a ‘code of conduct’ that is specific and intentional about confronting anti-Black racism, and that:
    • Promotes a culture of openness and willingness to address anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination;
    • Includes expectations around how the OHTN interacts with external stakeholders;
    • Describes the types of institutional mechanisms and behaviours that are discriminatory or constitute harassment;
    • Is linked to the revised OHTN Inclusion and Diversity Policy and any other relevant organizational policies;
    • Has well-defined resolution and complaint procedures for managing and recording race-based incidents;

Timeline

H1 2021-22

3. Data

Assess Aim Proposed Action Proposed Timeline
3.1. Race-Based Data Collections
  1. In accordance with the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 (ARA), support and enhance the collection of race-based data, the importance of access to this data for Black communities and health planners, and the centrality of Black leadership in determining the use of such data.
  2. Increase recruitment outreach to qualified Black candidates.
  1. Include a statement in the Diversity and Inclusion Policy and other OHTN policies governing the use of data that affirms the OHTN’s community approach to, and rationale for, the collection and reporting of race-based data.
  2. Develop or adapt a ‘data standards guide’ for the organization outlining valid values for race categories and protocols for collection and reporting.
  3. Work with program leads to support the progressive implementation of these standards.
  4. Continue efforts to promote uptake of the new HIV requisition form which now collects race-based personal information.
H1 2021-22
3.2. Access to Data
  1. Strengthen Black stakeholders’ access to health data and their involvement and leadership in research and epidemiological surveillance relevant to Black people’s health.
  1. In compliance with the Anti-Racism Act (2017), continue to implement or advocate for business practices that ensure OHTN data holdings are accessible and can be used by OHTN stakeholders to answer questions that are relevant to Black communities and/or inform better access to services.

H2 2021-22

3.3. Community Engagement
  1. Strengthen capacity, involvement and leadership of Black stakeholders in OHTN data governance (i.e. oversight and advice regarding collection, use, sharing and reporting related to OHTN data holdings) and ability to use data to investigate and resolve issues relevant to Black communities.
  1. In conjunction with the proposed OHTN ‘data standards guide’, develop and implement a ‘code of practice’ (i.e. a document that would complement the ‘standards’) that provides detailed practical guidance on how to advance the effective involvement and leadership of Black stakeholders in data governance, including the resources that OHTN will commit to support this objective.
  2. Work with program leads to implement the proposed ‘code’.
  3. Implement internship opportunities across OHTN units for Black individuals who would use OHTN data (e.g. testing data, OCS data, HQ data, PrEP data, etc.) to investigate and resolve issues relevant to Black communities and/or advance their career.

H2 2021-22

3.4. Health Data Linkage
  1. Strengthen the organization’s ability to link to public health data to generate important insights around Black health outcomes.
  1. Establish an internal OHTN working group to examine Ontario’s administrative data holdings and linkage environment, identify opportunities in and barriers to such data linking and how the barriers could be overcome, and develop a plan to facilitate stakeholders’ access to these data.

H2 2021-22

3.1. Race-Based Data Collections

Aims

  1. In accordance with the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 (ARA), support and enhance the collection of race-based data, the importance of access to this data for Black communities and health planners, and the centrality of Black leadership in determining the use of such data.
  2. Increase recruitment outreach to qualified Black candidates.

Action

  1. Include a statement in the Diversity and Inclusion Policy and other OHTN policies governing the use of data that affirms the OHTN’s community approach to, and rationale for, the collection and reporting of race-based data.
  2. Develop or adapt a ‘data standards guide’ for the organization outlining valid values for race categories and protocols for collection and reporting.
  3. Work with program leads to support the progressive implementation of these standards.
  4. Continue efforts to promote uptake of the new HIV requisition form which now collects race-based personal information.

Timeline

H1 2021-22

3.2. Access to Data

Aim

Strengthen Black stakeholders’ access to health data and their involvement and leadership in research and epidemiological surveillance relevant to Black people’s health.

Action

  1. In compliance with the Anti-Racism Act (2017), continue to implement or advocate for business practices that ensure OHTN data holdings are accessible and can be used by OHTN stakeholders to answer questions that are relevant to Black communities and/or inform better access to services.

Timeline

H2 2021-22

3.3. Community Engagement

Aim

Strengthen capacity, involvement and leadership of Black stakeholders in OHTN data governance (i.e. oversight and advice regarding collection, use, sharing and reporting related to OHTN data holdings) and ability to use data to investigate and resolve issues relevant to Black communities

Action

  1. In conjunction with the proposed OHTN ‘data standards guide’, develop and implement a ‘code of practice’ (i.e. a document that would complement the ‘standards’) that provides detailed practical guidance on how to advance the effective involvement and leadership of Black stakeholders in data governance, including the resources that OHTN will commit to support this objective.
  2. Work with program leads to implement the proposed ‘code’.
  3. Implement internship opportunities across OHTN units for Black individuals who would use OHTN data (e.g. testing data, OCS data, HQ data, PrEP data, etc.) to investigate and resolve issues relevant to Black communities and/or advance their career.

Timeline

H2 2021-22

3.4. Health Data Linkage

Aim

Strengthen the organization’s ability to link to public health data to generate important insights around Black health outcomes.

Action

  1. Establish an internal OHTN working group to examine Ontario’s administrative data holdings and linkage environment, identify opportunities in and barriers to such data linking and how the barriers could be overcome, and develop a plan to facilitate stakeholders’ access to these data.

Timeline

H2 2021-22

4. Programs

Assess Aim Proposed Action Proposed Timeline
4.1. Communications
  1. Develop and implement a communication strategy targeting Black stakeholders about OHTN programs, services and evidence products (e.g. rapid responses, fact sheets, evidence briefs, etc.), about policy and research related to understanding and addressing HIV among Black communities.
  1. Build an internal and external communication strategy that advances racial equity work and increases the accessibility of Black data, evidence and community insights
  2. Include on the OHTN’s website:
    • A statement that recognizes how anti-Black racism undermines Black people’s health;
    • A statement affirming the organizational approach and rationale for race-based data collection and reporting;
    • A link to the OHTN Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Strategy;
    • A link to the OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism;
    • Links to resources or tools for understanding and addressing anti-Black racism in the context of HIV and health; and
    • Promotion of Black initiatives and projects.
In progress
4.2. Health and Racial Equity Review of Programs
  1. Ensure attention to health and racial equity, stakeholder input and leadership within OHTN programs.
  2. Develop the infrastructure to ensure that Black expertise (e.g. OHTN-funded scientists, university-based researchers, Black public health practitioners, leaders in ASOs, etc.) is instrumental to the development and promotion of relevant HIV-related initiatives and programs.
  1. Develop a health and racial equity assessment tool for the evaluation of OHTN programs that measures stakeholder engagement, race-based data collection, racial equity and inclusion.
  2. Implement the above assessment tool for all existing OHTN programs.
  3. Use the assessment tool in the development of new OHTN programs.
  4. Review the outcomes of these assessments to identify:
    1. Equity priorities for the next OHTN Program Plan; and
    2. Mitigation strategies to address inequities.
  5. Review and refine assessment tools as needed.

H1 2021-22 (for action-i)

H1 2021-22 (for action-ii)

H2 2021-22 (for actions-iii, iv)

Annually (for action v)

4.3. Black Community Engagement
  1. Strengthen dialogue between Black stakeholders and OHTN to enable open and transparent communication about internal and external efforts to confront anti-Black racism and advance diversity, racial equity and inclusion.
  1. In addition to Action 1.6-ii, OHTN Senior Leads to organize at least one annual meeting with Black stakeholders to:
    • Share results of racial equity assessments of OHTN programs and other relevant metrics; and
    • Gather feedback from Black community stakeholders about their expectations of the OHTN.

H2 2021-22

4.1. Communications

Aim

  1. Develop and implement a communication strategy targeting Black stakeholders about OHTN programs, services and evidence products (e.g. rapid responses, fact sheets, evidence briefs, etc.), about policy and research related to understanding and addressing HIV among Black communities.

Action

  1. Build an internal and external communication strategy that advances racial equity work and increases the accessibility of Black data, evidence and community insights
  2. Include on the OHTN’s website:
    • A statement that recognizes how anti-Black racism undermines Black people’s health;
    • A statement affirming the organizational approach and rationale for race-based data collection and reporting;
    • A link to the OHTN Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Strategy;
    • A link to the OHTN Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism;
    • Links to resources or tools for understanding and addressing anti-Black racism in the context of HIV and health; and
    • Promotion of Black initiatives and projects.

Timeline

In progress

4.2. Health and Racial Equity Review of Programs

Aim

  1. Ensure attention to health and racial equity, stakeholder input and leadership within OHTN programs.
  2. Develop the infrastructure to ensure that Black expertise (e.g. OHTN-funded scientists, university-based researchers, Black public health practitioners, leaders in ASOs, etc.) is instrumental to the development and promotion of relevant HIV-related initiatives and programs.

Action

  1. Develop a health and racial equity assessment tool for the evaluation of OHTN programs that measures stakeholder engagement, race-based data collection, racial equity and inclusion.
  2. Implement the above assessment tool for all existing OHTN programs.
  3. Use the assessment tool in the development of new OHTN programs.
  4. Review the outcomes of these assessments to identify:
    • Equity priorities for the next OHTN Program Plan; and
    • Mitigation strategies to address inequities.
  5. Review and refine assessment tools as needed.

Timeline

H1 2021-22 (for action-i)

H1 2021-22 (for action-ii)

H2 2021-22 (for actions-iii, iv)

Annually (for action v)

4.3. Black Community Engagement

Aim

Strengthen dialogue between Black stakeholders and OHTN to enable open and transparent communication about internal and external efforts to confront anti-Black racism and advance diversity, racial equity and inclusion.

Action

  1. In addition to Action 1.6-ii, OHTN Senior Leads to organize at least one annual meeting with Black stakeholders to:
    • Share results of racial equity assessments of OHTN programs and other relevant metrics; and
    • Gather feedback from Black community stakeholders about their expectations of the OHTN.

Timeline

H2 2021-22