City Council approves independent board for Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre (HARRC)

CONGRATULATIONS! I want to personally acknowledge and thank all the participants, who dedicated their time and talents to bringing this project through this important phase. Now, the newly appointed Board with the assistance of Evelyn Myrie (EMpower Strategy Group) and city staff will be tackling the requisite and fundamental governance structures, including governance bylaws, hiring an executive director, establishing the mission, vision and strategic plans. I wish them every success in their endeavours.

Hamilton, ON – February 24, 2021: Hamilton City Council has approved and welcomed a new board in the relaunch of the Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre (HARRC).

The 13-member board, approved at the February 24 meeting of Council, was recommended to Council by a Community Advisory Panel who began their search in October 2020. The search for a new board comes after the original HARRC project was paused in 2019 to allow for broader community engagement with the aim to re-establish HARRC with a board of directors that will operate independently from the City.

The panel, assisted by the EMpower Strategy Group, focused on ensuring that the recommended board had lived experience, connections to diverse communities, governance experience, and strong skills in the areas of finance, human resources, and fundraising.

Approved Board Members include:

  • Alice Mendelsohn – director of the Hamilton Jewish Federation and professor at Mohawk College
  • Amber Dean – founding member of Big Susie’s Sex Work Advocacy Organization and academic at McMaster University
  • Ashleigh Montague – entrepreneur and founder of Sisters4Sisters
  • Cassandra Belasco – founder of workplace inclusion network
  • Desire Yamutuale – post-secondary instructor and Secretary General of the Amitié Canado-Congolaise
  • Farhanna Khan – teacher and member of the Hamilton Mountain Mosque
  • Jordan Carrier – works in Indigenous student support at McMaster University and a Board Member of the Niwasa Aboriginal Education Program
  • Kassia Johnson – healthcare professional and a director at YMCA Hamilton
  • Kudzie Chasosa – Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
  • Rodrigo Narro Perez – works in instructional design at McMaster University and is a member of the McMaster President’s Advisory Committee
  • Roshney Kurian – social worker and youth member of the Hamilton Malayalee Samajam
  • Sandi Bell – community leader and directorships at multiple organizations
  • Yvan Brochu – school principal and member of the Ontario Principal’s Council

Council also approved an additional $50,000 to be used to operationalize the new board, which is in addition to the $200,000 the City is providing to assist the organization in its first few years of operations.

The next steps for the new board will include working with a consultant to get the new board established, determining budgetary and staffing needs and developing a sustainability plan that will be presented to Council by way of a July 2021 update.