Epilepsy Ontario recognizes systemic racism exists in Ontario and that it is our responsibility to help identify and address how racism and other systemic barriers impact people living with epilepsy, and their families, from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities.
We believe that the best way for Epilepsy Ontario to stand in solidarity with racialized communities and individuals is through a process of listening, learning, and acting. Epilepsy Ontario is committed to addressing racism and working to achieve greater equity for the communities we serve by:
- Listening to members of Ontario’s racialized communities, families, and individuals living with epilepsy about their lived experiences and working to amplify their voices.
- Working to better understand how race, poverty, and other social determinants of health impact people living with epilepsy and their families, including their ability to fully access medical, mental health, social, and community services.
- Working with organizations representing and supporting BIPOC communities to improve how Epilepsy Ontario delivers appropriate epilepsy services to those communities.
- Identifying and reducing individual and organizational barriers to equity through formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training for staff and by reviewing and improving Epilepsy Ontario policies and practices, such as staff and leadership recruitment, to better reflect the diversity of the community we serve.
- Incorporating what we have learned into all aspects of our work, including our educational resources and direct services.
- Advocating for policies and resources to address the systemic barriers facing racialized communities and individuals, particularly those impacted by epilepsy.
- Developing and providing resources and support to Ontario’s Community Epilepsy Agencies to allow them to do this work in the areas they serve.
Epilepsy Ontario stands in solidarity with our province’s BIPOC communities and individuals and commits to an on-going process of listening, learning, and acting to address systemic racism and all forms of discrimination.