ABRWG Timeline

  • April 2024 ↓

    Members of the ABRWG collaborated with the Library staff liaison to facilitate a hybrid presentation at the Public Library Association 2024 Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Using a combination of video recordings and live facilitating, the presentation covered the history, framework, and measurable outcomes of the ABRWG. Modelled after a presentation previously offered at the Ontario Library Association 2023 Super Conference, the presentation titled: Anti-Black Racism Working Group – Placing Lived Experiences At The Centre Of Redesigning, offered the attendees an opportunity to hear from both the Working Group and Library staff about how the group came to be, what strategies have been created through this collaborative learning journey, and ultimately what impacts the work has had on the library thus far. With over 200 attendees from public libraries across North America, conference goers had the chance to ask questions and explore PPL's unique working group approach.

  • December 2024 ↓

    Members of the ABRWG facilitated an information table at the Durham Family and Cultural Centre (DFCC)'s annual Kwanzaa event. The ABRWG offered free Kwanzaa themed books for the children and families in attendance, and spoke to participants about the history and work of the ABRWG at the library. A lot of positive feedback was received and the group hopes to attend again in the future.

  • August 2023 ↓

    Along the City of Pickering's Anti-Black Racism Taskforce (PABRT), members of the ABRWG and Library staff co-hosted a community bbq to bring awareness to the International Day for People of African Descent on August 31, in the Esplanade Park. Community residents enjoyed food, games, hands-on activities, community partner booths, and had a chance to meet the ABRWG. Residents learned about the ABRWG - the history and current recommendations, and had a chance to give their feedback to the library through a community engagement activity.

  • March 2023 ↓

    The Youth Subcommittee wrapped up the youth consultation survey and have begun to prepare a summary analysis of the results. Over 150 teens participated in the survey. Results will drive next steps planning and inform further ABRWG and staff collaborations focused on addressing gaps and opportunities identified.

  • February 2023 ↓

    The ABRWG was celebrated and acknowledged in person by the Library Board and Library Leadership Team members, during a reception for their nomination for the Minister's Award for Innovation.

    ABRWG Chair, Stephen Linton, presented to the Library Board, an update of the past year's consultation dialogue and the recommendations resulting, as well as the Work Plan for 2023. The Board was provided, in advance, a copy of the 2022 year end progress summary and the 2022 Recommendations and 2023 Work Plan document for review.

  • February 2023 ↓

    Members of the ABRWG and the Library staff liaison presented at the Ontario Library Super Conference about the history and framework of the ABRWG. The presentation, titled: Anti-Black Racism Working Group – Placing Lived Experiences At The Centre Of Redesigning, offered the attendees an opportunity to hear from both the Working Group and Library staff about this collaborative journey. This presentation provided an overview of Pickering Public Library's learning journey and the framework for establishing recommendations from the collaborative consultation work, which has resulted in actionable change in the areas of Client Experience, Human Resources, Collections, and Events.

  • December 2022 ↓

    The Ontario Public Library Service Awards recognize Ontario’s public libraries for their creative library service ideas. The ABRWG has been shortlisted for the Minister’s Award for Innovation. To view the full list of nominees, visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-public-library-service-awards-shortlist

  • December 2022 ↓

    The Subcommittee focusing on actioning the proclamation for the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent met with representatives from the City of Pickering's Anti-Black Racism Taskforce, to plan next steps. Preliminary opportunities were identified and will be presented to both group for consideration at their respective January meetings.  https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-public-library-service-awards-shortlist

  • November 2022 ↓

    Follow up discussions were held regarding PPL Events. Recommendations and action items, were determined and will be incorporated in the final year end report and these recommendations will form a portion of the 2023 Work Plan. 

  • July 2022 ↓

    Follow up discussions were held regarding PPL Collections. Preliminary feedback around potential recommendations and action items, and priorities for short terms goals were gathered. The Collections Team will take all the ABRWG input provided and begin drafting the final 2022 recommendations pertaining to the Collections which will form a portion of the 2023 Work Plan. 

  • July 2022 ↓

    Marsha Hinds Myrie was elected to Vice Chair.

  • June 2022 ↓

    3 nominees were tabled for the vacant Vice Chair position. Voting would take place by way of online survey form and the successful candidate would be announced at the July meeting.

  • June 2022 ↓

    As tabled by ABRWG members and as part of the 2022 Work Plan, the ABRWG prepared an application to the City of Pickering, to proclaim February 2023 as the International Decade of People of African Descent month. The ABRWG collaborated with the City of Pickering Anti-Black Racism Task Force (PABRT) to submit a proclamation proposal to the City of Pickering. The application was formally approved and details have been posted to the City's Proclamation web page.

  • March 2022 ↓

    An amendment to the Terms of Reference was tabled and approved by the ABRWG, regarding ABWRG members being allowed to maintain active membership if they move out of Pickering (as being a resident of Pickering is a required eligibility criteria when applying to the working group). Consensus was reached and the following amendments were approved:

    - For members who were appointed on the eligibility criteria of being a Pickering resident, but are moving out of Pickering, they will be eligible to remain an active member for the remainder of the calendar year. 

    - For members who were appointed on the eligibility criteria of working at an organization that predominantly serves Pickering, but are changing employers and are not longer going to be employed with a Pickering-focused service provider, they will be eligible to remain an active member for the remainder of the calendar year.

  • March 2022 ↓

    After a public all call and formal recruitment process to fill existing vacancies, the ABRWG welcomed 5 new members.

  • January 2022 ↓

    The Chair of the ABRWG presented the 2021 Recommendations and 2022 Work Plan to the Library Board and received unanimous support to proceed.

  • January 2022 ↓

    The annual ABRWG Self-Evaluation Tool was finalized at the January meeting and unanimously endorsed. In accordance with the Terms of Reference, this evaluation tool will be completed annually by each active member of the ABRWG. The collective results will be reviewed by the group and used to determine any necessary enhancements or changes to the group's processes.

  • January 2022 ↓

    Tabled and supported by ABRWG members, the ABRWG introduced their own Ancestral Acknowledgement at the January meeting. Beginning with January meeting, the ABRWG Ancestral Acknowledgement will be read by an ABRWG member in addition to the City of Pickering/Pickering Public Library's Land Acknowledgement. 

  • December 2021 ↓

    With the Chair position vacant, the ABRWG discussed and elected Vice Chair Stephen Linton to move to the Chair role for 2022. The group decided the Vice Chair position will remain vacant until the new incoming members are finalized in the new year, creating an opportunity for incoming members to be considered for Vice Chair as well. The ABRWG unanimously agreed to recall the Community Panel to spearhead a new membership appointment cycle in the new year.

  • December 2021 ↓

    The 2022 Work Plan was determined, including a timeline of action of items and an incorporation of new priorities identified by the ABRWG members. The Chair will be a delegate the January 2022 Library Board meeting, to speak to both the 2021 Recommendations and 2022 Work Plan.

  • November 2021 ↓

    The 2021 Recommendations were completed in preparation for moving forward for Board endorsement and 2022 implementation. The document will be shared alongside the 2022 Work Plan, which will be finalized by the year's end.

  • October 2021 ↓

    The youth-focused subcommittee (YS) held their first meeting. The YS is made of ABRWG members (4) and youth-focused Library team members (3). The scope of this subcommittee was drafted and updates will be brought forth to the November meeting for review.

  • October 2021 ↓

    A review of the Client Experience and People and Culture discussions from 2021 was conducted. ABRWG drafted actionable recommendations and measures for success. This draft will be finalized a the November meeting and then put forth to the Library Board.

  • September 2021 ↓

    Follow up discussions were held regarding People and Culture. These discussions will shape the ABRWG's 2021 recommendations for changes and improvements. 

  • August 2021 ↓

    Follow up discussions were held regarding Client Experience. As part of the review of community feedback and conversations surrounding client experience aspects of the Library, ABRWG members proposed and approved forming a youth consultation focused subcommittee with Library staff. This subcommittee will work to address community feedback regarding negative youth experiences, with regards to interactions with staff and security guards roving through library spaces.

  • August 2021 ↓

    The Honorarium Program terms and conditions were discussed, established, motioned and approved. An amendment to the Terms of Reference, capturing the new Honorarium Program was motioned and approved. The Honorarium Program was established as optional for all members.

  • July 2021 ↓

    During the July meeting, the Library CEO advised the group that the Board has motioned and approved an Honorarium Program in principle. The ABRWG would be tasked with identifying the eligibility criteria for members. The ABRWG members requested some time to discuss and final decisions were deferred to the August meeting.

  • June 2021 ↓

    Remainder of 2021 Work Plan was prepared and submitted to the Library Board. This document provided an overview of the deliverables the group would set out to achieve for the remainder of the calendar year. 

  • April 2021 ↓

    The Anti-Black Racism Working Group finalized the Terms of Reference and submitted the final document to the Library Board for final endorsement. 

  • April 2021 ↓

    The Anti-Black Racism Working Group elected a Chair, Vice Chair, and Co-Notetakers.

  • February 2021 ↓

    The Anti-Black Racism Working Group delegated at the February Library Board meeting, presenting the draft Terms of Reference.

  • January 2021 ↓

    The Library Board Chair and CEO met with the Anti-Black Racism Working Group to discuss questions related to the Terms of Reference development.

  • December 2020 ↓

    The Anti-Black Racism Working Group began to shape the Terms of Reference (TOR). 

  • November 2020 ↓

    The first Anti-Black Racism Working Group meeting took place (online). Members were welcomed and shared an overview of the development and next steps. 

  • October 2020 ↓

    The founding members of the Library's first Anti-Black Racism Working Group were identified and appointed. 

  • October 2020 ↓

    Pickering community residents who self-identify as Black were invited to submit their expression of interests, to join the ABRWG.

  • September/October 2020 ↓

    An all BIPOC volunteer Community Panel was created to support the expression of interest review and interview process, for the formation of the Anti-Black Racism Working Group. The Community Panel was created solely to assess the expressions of interest, conduct interviews, and select the appointed members. The Community Panel disbanded once the working group was formed.

  • August/September 2020 ↓

    The Anti-Black Racism Community Survey was published and conducted. Some common themes from the community were a desire to see the Black community reflected in Library staff and collections, and additional programs and events to promote Black culture and heritage year round. In addition to the survey, simultaneously, additional research and stakeholder consultations were conducted.

  • July/August 2020 ↓

    Community partners representing various agencies and organizations that work with Black community members were identified and consulted in the building of a community consultation survey. 

  • July 2020 ↓

    To inform the process of developing the Library's first Anti-Black Racism Working Group, the Library identified the need to consult the community to establish some preliminary direction and priorities. 

  • July 2020 ↓

    In response to community feedback and the community's call to action, the Pickering Public Library Board and Library staff identified a need to create a community based group to focus specifically on anti-Black racism and Library services. Sarah Jeffrey Sheehy, Library Board Chair and Jackie Flowers, Library CEO, issued the Letter to the Community on Anti-Black Racism. The letter included a call to action where people were asked to subscribe to receive Anti-Black Racism Working Group updates. A designated community email subscription list was launched as a result.

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