On Jan. 20, the Peterborough and Trent communities and the Community and Race Relations Committee (CRRC) met for the CRRC’s AGM.

“As a board, we continue to focus on internal capacity building, particularly in the areas of recruitment and board training,” this year’s Chair, Ki Notsche, explained in the Chair Report.

Notsche also gave a fond farewell to outgoing members Lisa Ugray (Secretary), Jess Grover (Treasurer), Zara Syed, and Amanda Lickers.

Next, Grover presented her report, which was about a “great financial year.” The CRRC runs on “just under $37 thousand a year,” which covers “the entire expense of running the organization, including the wages of our coordinator, all programming initiatives, and operational costs.”

Grover explained that $25,400 of the operating budget comes from the City of Peterborough, and that this was an increase of $500 for the first time in a decade. “They said we will continue to receive a gradual increase in funding over the next years in accordance with the raise in living costs,” Grover stated. Another $10,000 comes from a levy of $2.02 per person from the students of Trent University. The rest of the funding comes through donations and the trainings CRRC does for community organizations, though they continue to seek out grants and other funding sources as well.

“Changes within our expenses, most notably the cost of rent and utilities due to our move to Sadleir House, have freed up several thousand in funds, to be allocated to additional programming funds this year and an increase in CRRC coordinator hours in the 2014-15 fiscal year,” read the treasurer’s report.

The coordinator for the past year, Ieiérhes Karolyn Givogue Grant, presented her report next.

The four pillars of the work that CRRC does are public education, advocacy, consultation, and capacity building.

Under public education, Grant said, “Last year, 13 trainings and workshops were delivered in the areas of anti-oppression/anti-racism, allyship, cultural competency, diversity, and self-care, and five community workshop opportunities were hosted.” There were an additional 12 special events for the occasions of Black History Month, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Asian and South Asian Heritage Month, and National Aboriginal History Month, plus a variety of community sponsorships and partnerships.

Grant then moved on to talking about advocacy, encouraging “individuals and groups to report incidents [of racial discrimination] to our office, and we will work our best to support them.”
With Peterborough laying claim to the highest hate crimes rates nationally, the importance of this component of the CRRC’s work becomes apparent. “Three incidents of racial discrimination were reported to our office this past year, with one case in the area of discrimination in service delivery that we are currently supporting in moving through HRTO [Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario] processes,” read the coordinator’s report.

“The third pillar of our work is consultation. Oftentimes, we participate in the consultation processes of other community groups and provincial and national departments, as well as interviews with social researchers … We have also developed an internal Community Consultations Manual, with the support of TCCBE [Trent Centre for Community-Based Education] and former Trent student Samantha Webber-Gallagher,” the report continued.

Under capacity building, the CRRC “look[s] forward to welcoming community members to work with us in strengthening CRRC and expanding community capacity overall.”

Grant also announced that she was putting in her six-months notice, and would officially resign from the coordinator position sometime between late July and early August.

The rest of the meeting saw motions to introduce a Community Advisory Counsel, which would function to encourage youth to get involved with the CRRC, said Notsche. Another motion to admit Notsche, Charmaine Mugabe, and Perry Sutton to the Counsel was also introduced. Both motions were carried.

The CRRC is also calling for board members who have “skills particularly in the areas of financial management, strategic planning, policy development, consultation, public education, and/or commitment to anti-racism,” said Notsche.