Social Justice and Solidarity
The Social Justice and Solidarity Committee was founded by the 2015 VESTA AGM in recognition of the links between Social Justice Issues and the desire of these committees to work together on common themes.
The new Social Justice & Solidarity Committee consolidates the following standing committees: Anti-Poverty, Anti-Racism, Pride, Status of Women and Sustainability under one umbrella to address solidarity and social justice issues. The co-chairs for the Social Justice and Solidarity Committee are: Jean-Michel Oblette and Julia Pressman and Elaine Ong
VESTA’s Anti-Poverty Committee has been active around a number of socio-economic issues facing students, teachers and economically marginalized people in our community.
VESTA invites you to join the Social Justice & Solidarity Committee and/or attend meetings, held once a month, 4pm at the VESTA office. Help to address homelessness, child poverty and the growing class divide in British Columbia.
This committee works to support teachers and assists them in finding resources and practical ways of doing anti-racism work in their classrooms.
We are also looking at ways in which we can work collaboratively with other like-minded community organizations and other VESTA committees interested in doing social justice work.
New members are always welcome so please contact the VESTA office if you have any questions about the committee.
BCTF Social Justice – Anti Racism Resources
BCTF Anti-Racism Lesson Plans
BC school districts that have Anti-Racism Policies (from the BCTF)
VSB’s Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism policy
BCTF link to Anti-Racism books
BCTF link to other Anti-Racism resources
BCTF link to other Anti-Racism websites
Black History Month
Resources for February’s Black History Month (BCTF)
March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Committee for Social Action
The terms of reference of the VESTA Pride Education Standing Committee are:
- to advise the Executive on matters relating to trans-identified, lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirited, intersex, questioning, and/or queer (LGBTQ) members of the school community, including support for those who are harassed due to real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity;
- to advise the Executive Committee on bargaining clauses relating to issues relevant to LGBTQ issues;
- to provide support for VESTA members and/or other BCTF members addressing LGBTQ issues in their school communities;
- to work in conjunction with other VESTA or BCTF sections, standing committees, and advisory committees addressing issues related to social justice, where appropriate;
- to consider and potentially create projects, professional development opportunities, and the creation of resources and/or lessons aids related to LGBTQ topics for the use of VESTA members.
Important Dates to Remember
October 11 – International Day of the Girl
October 18 – Persons Day
December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
March 8 – International Women’s Day
Resource Package to Empower Our Students to Promote Equality
A compilation of resources to help you inform and empower your students. The committee has attempted to focus on books and resources that specifically address the issue of violence (and bullying) against girls and women.
Did You Know?
The slogan “Bread and Roses” originated in a speech given by Rose Schneiderman; a line in that speech (“The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”) inspired the title of the poem Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim, published in The American Magazine in December 1911, which attributed it to “the women in the West.” It is commonly associated with a textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts during January-March 1912, now often known as the “Bread and Roses strike.” The slogan appeals for both fair wages and dignified conditions. This song is sung at International Women’s Day celebrations.
Between 2007 April 1 and 2008 March 31, approximately 101,000 women and children were admitted to 569 shelters in Canada…on 2008 April 16 (survey snapshot day) nearly 80% of the women and children were attempting to flee an abusive situation…for three-quarters of women in shelters, the abuse was inflicted by a spouse or former spouse.Statistics Canada 85-002X (2008), Published May 2009
In 1995, the Federal Plan for Gender Equality called on all federal departments and agencies to implement gender-based analysis (GBA)…In 2009, however, an Office of the Auditor General review showed that only the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada had addressed all required aspects of this. 2009 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada
BCTF Social Justice Program
Status of Women The Status of Women action group is a component of the BCTF Social Justice Program. The action group provides information, less ideas, and professional support for classroom teachers.
BCTF Grants & Funds
Social justice grants provide seed money for activiities or projects that will bring about systemic change for social justice in schools, districts and/or communities in British Columbia.
The Social Justice & Solidarity Committee strives to work with the sustainability contact at the school level:
- to encourage environmentally sustainable practices in schools;
- to communicate with members about topics related to environmental justice;
- to help VESTA members make links between issues of environmental justice and other social justice issues; and
- to consider, and potentially design and create projects, professional development opportunities, and lessons aids related to environmental justice topics for the use of VESTA members.
Please join your school’s Social Justice & Solidarity Committee to translate these ideas into action. Feel free to join the committee and/or attend meetings, held once a month, 4pm at the VESTA office.