The Modern Governance Academy
The Modern Governance Academy
Awareness of and commitment to anti-racism, equality and inclusion are essential to effective governance. We provide professional development to boards and to senior leaders to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of anti-racism, equality and inclusion. The Modern Governance Academy is comprised of foundational modules to introduce key concepts around racism and other forms of inequality and how they manifest within governance, organizations, and society at large. The foundational sessions are followed by topic-specific modules to deepen knowledge about anti-racism, equality and inclusion in governance.
Our Modern Governance Academy is tailored for boards and senior leaders who want to develop the knowledge, competencies and confidence to advance systemic change and to cultivate a culture of belonging where all members of the organization experienced full participation and inclusion.
Foundational sessions followed by in-depth modules
In-person and virtual sessions with multiple dates
Customized professional development for board retreats
Self-reflection learning guide, interactive activities and group discussions
Join thousands of professionals across Canada who have completed our professional development programs
Registration available for individual board members, entire boards, and senior management teams
Board members and senior management
Organizations that have signed onto the 50-30 Challenge, the BlackNorth Initiative and the Catalyst Accord 2022
Federal government leaders who are implementing the Clerk’s Call to Action
Boards and senior leaders who are committed to advance anti-racism, equality and inclusion
In this module, participants examine core concepts and terminology related to race and racism, equality and inclusion. Participants explore the dimensions of social identity using an intersectional approach to understand how systemic racism is manifested in governance. Participants deconstruct racism by challenging traditional concepts of race and racism, including the evasion of race. They examine the impact of racism on Indigenous, Black and other racialized individuals and communities, with a focus on how racism is manifested in governance. At the end of the module, participants should have a deeper understanding of terminology related to race, how systemic racism is experienced in governance and the importance of adopting an intersection approach to understanding an individual’s experience with racism.
In the second module, participants examine an organizational model of change to advance anti-racism, equality and inclusion. Through interactive discussions and activities, participants explore strategies to integrate anti-racism, equality and inclusion into governance structures, and senior management teams in an effort to advance organizational change. At the end of the module, participants should have a deeper understanding of anti-racism, equality and inclusion in governance and strategies to identify and respond to systemic barriers Indigenous, Black and other racialized people face on the board and the organization at large.
Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Governance
Black people in Canada face a unique experience as a result of the history and legacy of anti-Black racism. In this module, participants examine anti-Black racism and its impact on people of African descent in Canada. Through an intersectional analysis, participants address the present and historical barriers Black people face and how anti-Black racism is experienced within governance and organizations at large. Participants will learn how anti-Blackness also undermines corporate objectives by hindering effective governance and corporate social responsibility commitments. By examining the three pillars of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (justice, recognition and development), participants will explore ways in which to centre diverse Black voices, support the recruitment and retention of Black board members, as well as how to engage Black communities in the design and implementation of organizational policies and programs. Black organizations have made incredible strides in improving the representation of Black people in governance. The session explores some successful strategies that Black-led organizations have adopted to advance the recruitment and retention of equality-deserving candidates in governance. At the end of the module, participants should understand the history and impact of anti-Black racism in Canada, and barriers to the advancement of Black people in governance. Participants should have learned strategies to challenge anti-Black racism and to advance anti-racism across the boardroom.
Leading Courageous Conversations about Race and Racism
In this module, participants learn strategies to lead meaningful dialogue with board colleagues and senior leaders about race and racism. Conversations will explore how racism negatively impacts the well-being of employees and also how it negatively affects the organization’s desired outcomes. Participants learn to approach these conversations with an awareness of how these discussions can adversely impact Indigenous, Black and other racialized people and how those who also identify as women, disabled or queer experience additional adverse impacts. Through interactive discussions and activities, participants learn how to develop shared values to engage in courageous conversations, approaches to mindful listening and strategies to respond “in the moment”. At the end of the session, participants will have an awareness of how to approach and facilitate conversations about race and racism at the board level, identify barriers to holding these conversations as well as opportunities for having these conversations.
Modern Board Succession Planning
In this module, participants discuss strategic approaches to recruit and retain equity-deserving candidates for board positions. Participants first begin by exploring what anti-racism, equality, and inclusion mean in terms of board success planning. They identify barriers (real and perceived) to recruitment for equity-deserving groups and examine strategies to ensure full participation, inclusion and retention of board members. Participants exploreexplores inclusive and anti-racist strategies for outreach, nomination committees and interviews, and to identify and address problems with retention. Participants will also learn promising approaches for tracking progress. This facilitated discussion is tailored to the specific needs of the organization. In advance of the session, participants will have an opportunity to submit questions which will be addressed throughout the facilitated discussion.
Disrupting Systemic Racism in Governance
In this module, participants will engage in a deeper examination of systemic racism and its socio-historical development in Canada. The session examines how systemic racism is normalized within institutions, with a focus on governance and leadership. Participants explore the forms of systemic racism and the impact on Indigenous, Black and other racialized people and communities. Participants will also discuss how systemic racism undermines corporate objectives including social responsibility. Through interactive activities, participants learn how racism is embedded in organizational culture and policies, the direct and indirect impacts of systemic racism and evidence-based practices for improving organizational culture. Participants examine anti-racism as an intentional and proactive approach to address institutional and structural barriers. At the end of this session, participants should understand how systemic racism manifests within society, organizations and within governance; and how boards and senior management can advance racial equity across the organization.