This is the first in a series of ten features profiling the goals of CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy. Read the full series here.

“Ensure union governance, our Constitution and Local bylaws acknowledge and address systemic racism.” That’s the first call to action from CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy.

Systemic racism is all around us – at the highest and the most microscopic levels. In order to fight it, we need to make anti-racism just as common. At the union governance level, this means using our Constitution and Local bylaws to promote equity and inclusion and fight systemic racism.

For example, in 2019, our Constitution was amended to increase equity-seeking delegates at National Convention and to include Indigenous land acknowledgements as part of the standard agenda of Local membership meetings.

But of course, there is always more we can do.

We can amend the Equality Statement to explicitly oppose racism, colonization, and other forms of systemic oppression.

We will update our Guide to Local Union Bylaws to encourage the creation of human rights and anti-racism committees and other measures to increase representation.

And we should address the need for safe ways to report experiences of racism in our union.

Addressing systemic racism within our union is a collective effort – all of us have a role to play.

Between now and our National Convention in November, ask what changes you and your Local can make to promote equity and inclusion and fight systemic racism in the everyday governance of your union.