Understanding systemic discrimination

We all have the right to be free from discrimination. However, sometimes laws and structures in our society, even when well-intentioned, produce consistently discriminatory outcomes. And what appear to be neutral policies, practices and behaviours may in fact be discriminatory.

Systemic discrimination is a major issue in B.C. and Canada, but it isn’t well understood. Many people wonder, “how can systems be discriminating?” and “how does systemic discrimination really impact people?” Because of this gap in knowledge, some people have experienced systemic discrimination without realizing it and some have unknowingly created or perpetuated discriminatory systems.

The resources on this page—beginning with a video and discussion guide—are designed to address this knowledge gap. Watch this space for more resources as they become available.

Educators! These discussion guides may help kick off conversations with your students or children.

Grades 4–9

Download the PDF ▼

Grades 10–12

Download the PDF ▼

Virtual launch event and screening — Feb. 21

On Feb. 21, 2024, our Office launched the Introduction to Systemic Discrimination video. The launch lasted 15 minutes and included an appearance from B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender. Watch the recording below. 

More ways to learn

New resources coming soon

Our Office is developing more resources for you on systemic discrimination including infographics and “experiential sessions.” Watch this space for updates or follow us on social media: