Sam Akinsanya PRC Report (Convention 2017)

Report of the Racially Visible Persons Rep to the Prairie Region Triennial Convention, April 21-23, 2017. This report covers the 2014-17 PRC term.

Sam Akinsanya
Racially Visible Representative

Reporting Period #:1

The following is a summary of my activities as the regional representative for the Racially Visible members of the PSAC in the Prairie Region. I was elected as the regional representative at the Regional Triennial Convention at Saskatoon in June 2014.

Following my election in June of 2014, my first duty was to attend the National Human Rights Committee annual conference in Ottawa in November of 2014. To the best of my understanding, this meeting was the first of its kind whereby all the equity groups were brought together at the same time under the National Human Right Committee (NHRC).

There were six working groups (WG) at the conference. The WG’s consisted of the five equity groups and representatives from all the seventeen PSAC components make up the sixth WG.

The primary goal of the meeting is to provide a forum for all the elected equity group representatives to come together and shared their views with one another and also to provide an opportunity for the equity groups to develop our own priorities that are reflective of Human Rights in Canada, within the context of the PSAC priorities. 

For detail on this first activity, please refer to my report submitted to the Prairie Regional Council (PRC) dated November 30, 2014.

Reporting Period #:2

On December 11, 2014, participated on a Teleconference held by the national Human Rights officer in Ottawa.

The goal of the teleconference was to discuss and formulate action plan to support/create Educational Workshop plan, discuss potential action plan for the 2015 Federal election and discuss strategy for building the equity group net work across the country.

Also attended the activist school from November 21-23, 2014 at Palliser in Calgary as well, I also attended the Leading Change Training in Winnipeg in January of 2015.

For a full detail of this report, please refer to my report submitted to the PRC on February 12, 2015.

Reporting Period #:3

Participated on a conference call that was chaired by Sister Robyn Benson. Discussion at the teleconference revolved around the 2015 Elections – National and provincial PSAC strategy to mobilize members for the purpose of getting members  out to vote, what the role of the NHRC representatives should be, discussion of National Equity Conference (NEC) in 2017.

Participated on another teleconference with the Racially Visible Members – WG (NHRC) on June 26, 2015. The teleconference was chaired by Sister Jeannie Baldwin. The agenda for the meeting was very similar to the previous one chaired by Sister Benson. The difference this time was that it was specifically for the RVM WG of the NHRC and how we could assist with the action plan in order to positively affect the outcome of the National election on October 19th.

Under my leadership in the summer of 2015, the Calgary Human Rights Committee organized an outreach campaign by setting up a tent at the Calgary Latino Fiestaval for July 17, 18 & 19, 2015.

With the collaboration of the Area council AC, Regional Women Committee RWC and Calgary Human Rights Committee CHRC, planned and organized the participation of the PSAC in the Latino Fiestaval. This event took place at the Calgary Olympic Plaza. The objective of the event was to interact with the members of the public attending the event to discuss the 2015 elections both at the provincial and national level. Attendance at the event was estimated between 40 – 60 thousands people

For a full detail of this report, please refer to my report submitted to the PRC on November 07, 2015.

Reporting Period #:4

Met with the REVP to begin discussion on the logistics of the 2016 RVMs Conference in Prairie Region. Also discussed at this meeting was potential dates and locations for the 2016 RVMs’ regional Conference. However, we did not come to a decision and instead, we deferred the decision making to the Steering committee once we have formed one.

For a full detail of this report, please refer to my report submitted to the PRC on February 04, 2016.

Reporting Period #:5

The first Steering committee meeting for the RVMs’ conference was held on January 12, 2016 via teleconference call.  Also attended PRC meeting in Saskatoon, February 19 – 22, 2016.

I was invited to and attended, the Steering committee meeting on May 6th 2016 for the National Human Rights Conference taking place at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. At the meeting the committee was presented with the general theme of the Conference from the perspective of the RV members and we were asked to provide input. This was a one day meeting and we spent the whole day ironing the theme as well as the subject matter of the workshops.

On September 8th to 11th, 2016, the first Racially Visible Members’ Regional Conference was undertaken in the Prairie region in Winnipeg.

For a full detail of this report, please refer to my report submitted to the PRC on October 17, 2016.

Reporting Period #:6

The final reporting period consisted solely of one activity. This was my participation in, The 2016 Rise-UP Human Rights Conference which was organized/hosted by Canadian Labour Congress. The event took place at Shaw Centre in Ottawa, from Thursday October 20th to Sunday 23rd.

The event started at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday with registration of delegates that went on for most of the afternoon. Later in the evening there was a meet and greet gathering at the Shaw-Centre, Ottawa. The meet and greet gathering went on for a while into the night.

The second day started in early morning with the completion of delegates’ registration while simultaneously the Women’s caucus and the Allies of women caucus was taking place.

At 9:00 a.m., the conference commenced in the plenary with the introduction of Panel speakers which included the CLC president, Danny Glover and others. This was titled “Success Story Unplugged”.

For a full detail of this report, please refer to my report submitted to the PRC on January 9, 2017.

In summary, serving as the Racially Visible members representative in the prairie region has been humbling and at the same time challenging.  The expectation is enormous and the prospective should be prepared to make a lot of personal and family sacrifice.

In my opinion, this position has had unnecessary challenges/frustrations to overcome or face head-on. However, keeping with a focus on helping the membership at large has made the difference – keeping in mind that if barriers experienced by RVMs are ultimately dealt with successfully, it’s worth all the challenges. Helping one … Helps the many!

Finally, I would like to thank everyone that has supported me during the last three year of my tenure and as such making the job easier to do.

In solidarity,

Sam Akinsanya
Racially Visible Rep.
Prairie Regional Council
Public Service Alliance of Canada