Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable and Actively Anti-Racist

Posted On Wednesday June 23, 2021
Aubrey Noronha
Aubrey Noronha, character education and safe schools speaker, shared helpful information and resources about why being “not racist” is not enough.

DDSB and DENSA celebrate Asian and South Asian Heritage Month with impactful virtual sessions and important conversations about race and identity

In recognition and celebration of Asian and South Asian Heritage Month, Durham Educators’ Network for South Asians (DENSA) hosted a series of virtual events throughout May.

The first two sessions focussed on yoga, well-being and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) coding. The final session had Aubrey Noronha, a character education and safe schools speaker, join families to talk about why being “not racist” is not enough.

In the engaging session called, Colour Blind? Why Being "Not Racist" Is Not Enough, Noronha explained how saying you “don’t see colour” is not helpful and can cause more harm than good, “Just because we don’t see our biases doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Consciously or unconsciously, it can mess up someone’s future when we are blind to the consequences of colour.”

He added that when calling out racism, it is important to call the behaviour racist, not the person and he challenged attendees to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable” and to be actively anti-racist in stead of being “not racist”. Noronha concluded the session by sharing a resource for parents that includes recommended videos, articles and books to use on the journey to becoming actively anti-racist. The parent resource is viewable at the following link and more information about Aubrey Noronha can be found at

Showcasing South Asian Personalities and Supporting Educators

On social media, DENSA highlighted a variety of personalities who identify as South Asian by posting infographics and videos that showcased the significant contributions of South Asian people around the world. Students from J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate and Pickering High School pitched in and created the videos and infographic posters for the social media posts. Check out the posts on Twitter: @DensaNetwork and on Instagram: @densaddsb.

The educator’s network also offered support and curriculum resources for the Durham community, “We have put together a South Asian bookshelf which includes picture books as well as novels written by South Asian American and Canadian authors and includes various websites that provide historical and cultural backgrounds of various South Asian peoples,” explained Kavita Kanavalli, Chair of DENSA. DENSA’s website also hosts many educational videos that have South Asian Canadian community members, including a few parents in Durham Region, sharing their expertise. Visit the DENSA website at to learn more.

Kanavalli noted the importance of recognizing Asian and South Asian Heritage Month in Durham Region and across the country, “This month has always been a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements South Asian Canadians have made to our society. It is also important to bring awareness and recognition about the diverse and intersecting identities of South Asian students and staff.”