National Film Board of Canada announces objectives and commitments for greater diversity, equity and inclusion. Designed to increase participation by people from Indigenous, Black, racialized, LGBTQ2+ and disability communities.
February 24, 2021 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) today presented its goals and commitments for diversity, equity and inclusion, with a plan to make significant and lasting changes in order to be an egalitarian, open and diverse organization.
“We want to help eliminate decades of injustice and systemic racism in Canadian society, as well as within our institution. This is why this plan includes targets and concrete actions that will have an impact not only on our recruitment, productions and distribution methods, but on the entire culture of our organization,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson.
“The end of racism and discrimination will not come in one day, but action is urgently needed. Measures for diversity, equity and inclusion are all the more crucial since across the country and around the world, racialized or underrepresented groups, and Indigenous communities, are rightly calling for concrete actions and much more transparency in the ways in which they are implemented.”
This plan has been designed with the input of many internal and external partners. It was developed in addition to the objectives and actions in the NFB’s Indigenous Action Plan to redefine its relationship with Indigenous communities, now in its third year, as well as the NFB’s plan for gender parity.
New senior management positions
A key step in the NFB’s plan is the creation of a Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion position, a senior post responsible for equity and anti-racist practices. This new position will be a member of the NFB’s Executive Committee, reporting directly to the Commissioner, and work with all NFB divisions to implement the plan’s commitments and goals.
There’ll also be a new Director of Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement at the NFB, a position whose responsibilities will include forging closer ties with communities, improving Indigenous representation among NFB employees and advising the NFB on issues related to the production and distribution of NFB works. This position will work closely with the NFB’s Indigenous Advisory Group and also report directly to the Commissioner.
Organizational culture and recruitment
Across the NFB, hiring practices will be improved to ensure that by March 31, 2023, NFB staff fully reflect Canadian society.
The NFB will ensure its directors general, directors, executive producers, and producers represent the diversity of Canada and always include individuals from underrepresented communities (Indigenous, Black, racialized, and LGBTQ2+, and people with disabilities). In order to reach this goal, at least half of all new hires will be drawn from people in these groups.
The NFB will also prioritize recruitment (two out of three people) of individuals from underrepresented communities (Indigenous, Black, racialized, and LGBTQ2+, and people with disabilities) for all other management positions at the NFB as these positions open, until the NFB accurately reflects the composition of Canada’s population.
From the screen to the audience
The NFB will take steps to ensure its programming equitably includes the voices of Indigenous, Black, racialized, and LGBTQ2+ creators, as well as creators with disabilities—and that these groups are represented within the NFB’s Creation and Innovation committees.
The NFB will also establish a respectful, clear, convenient and transparent method of data collection, allowing it to ensure its service contracts draw on a wide range of people and companies of diverse backgrounds. It will also work with organizations representing equity-seeking groups to develop greater sensitivity and openness in matters of diversity, equity and inclusion.
In its distribution and marketing activities, the NFB will continue to highlight creators and promote works from diverse communities, focusing on themes of social justice, equality, intersectionality, and immigration. It will also make films accessible to everyone by ensuring each new film includes described video and subtitles.
Tracking and sharing progress
The NFB is going to implement a governance structure for matters of diversity, equity and inclusion, including annual action plans with measurable targets.
Independent quarterly reports will be provided to the NFB’s Executive Committee and its Board of Trustees on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, unconscious bias and systemic racism at the NFB. There will be annual reports on these issues and the progress made, which will be shared with all staff and made available to the public.
Through these specific actions and measurement tools, the NFB is committed to being an agent of change. Listening, respect and humility will be at the heart of this transformation, which aims to eradicate all forms of racism and discrimination.
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