Anti-Racist Perspectives and Policy Design

Policy responses from governments are designed to address social and economic changes in society. Transformational changes in the areas of racial discrimination, equity, and human rights also fall under this umbrella. But how can governments implement social change in meaningful ways to shape a more inclusive society? As Elevate Policy argues, an anti-racist perspective is needed to shore up action.  An article from Policy Options further complements what Elevate Policy provides as a course of action for governments to take in their policy-making and development. As both articles point out, frameworks that are anti-racist and accessible can assist in dealing with blind spots and gaps that governments might fail to see.  An anti-racist approach to policy analysis also takes into consideration dynamics that might otherwise be overlooked.  

So how can governments improve their leadership and anti-racist policymaking? The following are guiding points of analysis Elevate Policy suggests as pivotal in the creation of effective anti-racist policy:

  • Concentrate on eliminating racial discrimination as a key policy objective
  • Support reconciliation and reparation by building relationships and facilitating the healing process
  • Increase policy engagement and respond to community priorities
  • Enforce strategic anti-racism policy coordination in the areas of leadership, policy planning, and policy implementation
  • Provide institutional accountability and transparency: policy information should be accessible and progress in anti-racism initiatives should be measured. 


On the other hand, governments can also facilitate strategic approaches to developing policy. Such practice can occur by connecting broad rationales to issues around equity while also ensuring that different levels of government collectively coordinate their approaches.  To add to the efficacy of these strategic approaches, governments should also engage the views and perspectives of underrepresented voices and racialized communities. Requesting their assistance in the design of policy and its implementation would be tremendously helpful in having their voices heard.

Approaches built on a foundation influenced by anti-racist policy perspectives also requires what has previously been discussed in the Ecoambassadeurs’ Systemic Participation campaign: accountability and transparency.  Governments are able to create transparency by providing access to information about how policies are designed and implemented. Moreover, residents can be provided with the tools necessary to hold officials accountable for decision-making affecting the trajectory of millions of lives.  While voting and the ballot box exist to send a message, other informal tools can be used to complement these more formal methods. 

In recent years, the Canadian government has used concepts related to inclusiveness and equity to build a brand identity for the country. However, it is only when governments make actionable changes meant to genuinely help the well-being of its citizens can a country claim that inclusiveness and equity are truly part of its vision and values.

This article is part of the campaign Systemic Participation. Funded by Heritage Canada :

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EcoAmbassadeurs is a non-profit organization providing bilingual services in the fields of health, education, entreprenuership and ecology. Our goal is to support the members of our community for their social, economic and civic development.

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