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Anti-Black Racism in Planning Task Force

OPPI seeks interested volunteers for its Task Force. Please see more information below. The deadline to apply is October 23, 2020. 

One of the core principles of our professional planning practice is to plan for “the public interest.” While planners talk about equity, diversity, and social justice in theory and practice, the reality is that the dominating colonial, Eurocentric planning system is historically structured on the preservation of privileges and entitlements for white people over Black, Indigenous, and other racialized peoples and from which unconscious biases have evolved.

As a profession, planning has failed to address how discriminatory systemic actions and decisions negatively impact the Black community and marginalized groups, and how the consequences of these actions and decisions impact society as a whole.
OPPI is aware that the planning profession is being called to acknowledge the importance of Black perspectives and experiences in planning. This calls us to engage Black voices to help alter dominant planning and decision-making processes and practices. OPPI recognizes its responsibility to ensure it enables and supports its members in these efforts.

Call for Volunteers

OPPI is seeking interested volunteers to join the Anti-Black Racism in Planning Task Force to develop a strategy and recommendations to remove systemic barriers in planning practice that discriminate against Black communities and disproportionately limit employment opportunities and representation for Black planners in the planning profession. 

Task force responsibilities

  • Invite various voices and perspectives to build on the findings of the Viswali Consulting Report to ensure actions are complete, balanced, and do no harm;
  • Seek to better understand the systemic barriers and unconscious biases that exist in the planning profession and in planning practices;
  • Coordinate and collaborate with OPPI’s Indigenous Planning Perspectives Task Force to ensure collaboration on intersecting actions and to identify shared resources;
  • Highlight opportunities where recommendations of the Task Force can extend to broader areas of human rights and anti-racism for all marginalized communities, while continuing to focus on addressing anti-Black racism and its impact on Black communities;
  • Prioritize and advance short-term actions over the next six (6) months; and
  • Within one (1) year of the Task Force launch, develop a strategy or action plan of medium- and long-term actions for OPPI members and the planning profession, ensuring recommendations align with OPPI’s overall strategic priorities.

composition of task force

  • The Task Force is comprised of 7-10 volunteer members, of which:
    • Two will be Directors on OPPI Council, with Eldon Theodore serving as Chair;
    • One should be a Director of Faculty member from an accredited planning program in Ontario;
    • One should be a member of either the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) or a member of a provincial or territorial industry association (PTIA);
    • One should be a representative of the Black Planners and Urbanists Association (BPUA); and,
    • Remaining members should come through an open call to the following groups with an emphasis on BIPOC voices: members at large within OPPI, and people from community groups and organizations. 
  • The Task Force will also seek guidance from an Advisory Group that:
    • Will be made up of a broad range of voices from the planning profession, community groups and organizations, etc.;
    • Will provide input and advice to the Task Force at touchstone moments throughout the mandate, providing knowledge, expertise, and input on potential actions and the recommended strategy and action plan.

All members are encouraged to volunteer as OPPI seeks a diversity of perspectives and experiences to move this work forward.

The deadline to put your name forward is October 23, 2020 and all interested volunteers are encouraged to complete our pre-volunteer survey as part of their application. It should not take more than 5-10 minutes to complete this survey. If members have any questions, please email OPPI at

Source and Background Material