Final days of Equity Conference focused on a more equitable Canada for all

The third and fourth days of the 2023 Equity Conference served as wonderful opportunities for delegates and Regional Vice-Presidents to do some additional listening and learning. 

On Thursday morning, individuals had the chance to participate in the KAIROS blanket exercise, a deeply moving self-reflection initiative on the difficult history and urgent need for reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The exercise was emotional, eye-opening and inspiring for many participants. 

USJE deeply believes that sustained engagement and commitment to truth and reconciliation will lead to a better, more equitable Canada for all.

On Thursday afternoon, delegates took the time to recognize Black History Month. Jacqueline Smith and Dana Colley Provo graciously shared personal stories with the conference, and Dana noted that, “We’re creating history right now… it’s about all of us.”

Delegates then leveraged their knowledge and expertise for a productive session on resolution writing for equity-related matters. Some of the proposed resolutions will likely be considered at USJE’s National Convention in July. 

All resolutions submitted to the National Convention must be completed online no later than Friday, February 17, 2023.

Guest Speaker Larry Rousseau, of the Canadian Labour Congress, was also invited to address delegates on Thursday, with his perspective on how values, including a commitment to mutual respect and justice within the labour movements, have shaped Canadian society. He noted that he was delighted to see USJE embracing the need to pursue equity for all of its members, and become a leader in this area.  

USJE closed the last full day of the conference with a gala dinner to celebrate its first ever Equity conference, with entertainment from local musicians Folklorama.

On Friday morning, delegates heard from Doug Hill, PSAC-Atlantic, on precedent-setting cases on equity, and from National President David Neufeld, who reflected on next steps, before saying good-bye.  

There is definitely more to come from USJE on outcomes from the conference, so please continue to watch our website and social media pages for updates!