IRCC Anti-Racism Strategy 2.0 (2021-2024) – Change management

Addressing systemic racism is a complex and non-linear process. There are multiple levels and intersections at play involved in unravelling racism. For this reason, the Strategy adopts a systems approach that will enable a transformative culture change at IRCC. One way of doing so is through the Equality and Anti-Racism Systems Change Framework (Annex D) that has been developed in collaboration with IRCC stakeholders and partners. This Framework aims to identify the conditions that hold racial and other inequities in place, and shift these conditions through actions of allies, change agents and “systems change entrepreneurs” to implement systemic change across three levels:

  1. Structural change in IRCC policies, practices and resource flows;
  2. Relational change that looks at relationships and power dynamics across the Department;
  3. Transformative change in mental models, thought processes and cultural paradigms that keep systemic discrimination, including racism, alive.Footnote 1

The objective of the Equality and Anti-Racism Systems Change Framework (Annex D) is to gain a deeper understanding of the IRCC systems change landscape, and to guide the Department on a journey toward the following goals: Creating an anti-racist, diversity, equity and inclusion culture; achieving true representation; designing equitable systems and processes; and building inclusive environments for employees and equitable outcomes for clients.

Since the Clerk’s Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion in January 2021, IRCC has implemented a number of actions in support of identifying and addressing biases and inequities in our policies and programs, the external services we deliver to our clients, and our people management practices. These actions toward equity and Anti-Racism systems change include:

At the level of structural change in policies, practices and resource flows

At the level of relational change that looks at relationships and power dynamics

At the level of transformative change in mental models and cultural practices

Each of these incremental steps form the building blocks toward achieving bigger systems change across IRCC. These actions have prompted us to examine how we can effect change at a system level.

The wheel of privilege and power

The wheel of privilege and power provides an example of a tool adapted by diversity, equity and inclusion networks at IRCC that can be used to identify intersectional locations of power.Footnote 2 Identifying the forms power takes allows us to design systems in different ways to correct power imbalance or to level the proverbial playing field.

Long-term and sustainable change at the system level unfolds through the interplay of structural conditions and actions of change agents, resulting in successive phases of transformation, with each phase building on and sustaining the durable results of the previous one. From this perspective, systems change is premised on a theory of change that builds upon a foundation of creating awareness of the issue; generating a new set of values to address the problem; expanding the shifts in cultural constructs from the domain of awareness and re-think to formal policies and procedures of the organization; implementing change through new accountability mechanisms and power redistribution. The phases of anti-racist culture change might be formulated as:

  1. increasing race awareness;
  2. designing a culture of Anti-Racism based on clearly articulated values;
  3. embedding racial equity throughout policies, procedures and practices both internally within the organization and externally;
  4. rethinking leadership accountability in relation to the first three steps; and
  5. changing the organizational design so as to better distribute power throughout the institution.

It is our hope that the completion of these five phases will enable IRCC to achieve the culture change it requires to become an organization with embedded strong anti-racist practices in people management, policy development and service delivery domains.

Wheel of privilege and power (PDF, 0.5 MB)

Text version of The wheel of privilege and power

Category Most privileged Medium privileged Least privileged
  • Canadian citizen
  • Permanent resident
  • Temporary resident
Indigenous Peoples
  • Colonizers and settlers
  • Indigenous Peoples connected to their communities
  • Indigenous Peoples without access to their communities
Skin colour
  • White
  • Different shades
  • Dark
  • Cisgender men
  • Cisgender women
  • Transgender men
  • Transgender woman and Non-binary
  • Male
  • Female
  • Intersex
  • Heterosexual
  • Gay men
  • Lesbian, bisexual, pansexual and asexual
Persons with disabilities
  • Without disability
  • Person with a temporary disability
  • Visible and Non-visible disability
  • Neurotypical
  • Some neurodivergence
  • Signification neruodivergence
Mental Health
  • Stable
  • Mostly stable
  • Vulnerable
  • Bilingual in both official languages
  • Fluent in one official language
  • Learned English or French
  • Non-English or French monolingual
Formal Education
  • Post-secondary
  • High school
  • Elementary school
  • Owns property
  • Sheltered or renting
  • Homeless
  • Rich
  • Middle class
  • Poor
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