Board Profile - Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The CRRF will be a leading national voice and clearing-house for race relations in Canada, and an agent of change for the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination with the aim to promote a more harmonious Canada.
The Foundation will advance understanding of the past and current causes and manifestations of racism, and recommend approaches to the elimination of racism and the strengthening of Canadian identity as it refers, to the principles of equality, fairness, justice and human dignity. The Foundation will rely on its clearing-house and initiatives to inform national policies and public conversations. The Foundation will facilitate the discussion and research on racism to advance Canadian identity as it refers to the principles of equality, fairness, justice and human dignity.
The work of the Foundation is premised on the desire to create and nurture an inclusive society based on equity, social harmony, mutual respect and human dignity. Its underlying principle in addressing racism and racial discrimination emphasizes positive anti-racist change and the promotion of shared Canadian values of human rights and democratic institutions. It strives to coordinate and cooperate with all sectors of society, and develop partnerships with relevant agencies, and organizations at the local, provincial, national levels, and international levels.
Purpose of the CRRF
The purpose of the CRRF, as defined by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act 1991, is "to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society by:
- undertaking research and collecting data and developing a national information base in order to further understanding of the nature of racism and racial discrimination, and to assist business, labour, voluntary, community and other organizations as well as public institutions, governments, researchers and the general public in eliminating racism and racial discrimination;
- acting as a clearing-house, providing information about race relations resources and establishing links with public, private and educational institutions and libraries;
- facilitating consultation and the exchange of information relating to race relations policies, programs and research;
- promoting effective race relations training and assisting in the development of professional standards;
- increasing public awareness of the importance of eliminating racism and racial discrimination;
- collaborating with business, labour, voluntary, community and other organizations, as well as public institutions and all levels of government, in instituting and supporting programs and activities; and
- supporting and promoting the development of effective policies and programs for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination.*
*Excerpts from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Board is the steward of the Foundation and has a statutory authority and obligation to oversee the management of the affairs and business of the Foundation. The fundamental objective of the Board is to act in the best interests of the Foundation.
The role of the Board is to provide strategic direction for the Foundation and effective oversight of Management.
The role of individual Board members can be identified in two areas:
- Role within the Board when the Board acts as a whole
- Role of the individual member, acting in his/her own right.
All Board members are expected to regularly attend, be well prepared for and actively participate in meetings of the Board and committees. In the event a Board member cannot attend a Board meeting, he/she must advise the Chairperson in advance of the meeting and give a reason for non-attendance.
In performing their duties, Board members shall act honestly and in good faith with a view to supporting the best interests of the Foundation. The conduct of Board members will be consistent with the mission, vision and values of the Foundation. They must exercise care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances. Members must comply with the Act and By-laws of the Foundation.
Challenges, Issues and Initiatives
The primary challenges are the management of our investment funds and finding other sources of funding for the organization’s programs.
Core Attributes, Competencies and Experience
- Understanding of the distinction between the strategic and policy setting role of the Board and the operational responsibilities of management
- Capability of giving leadership to the development of the Foundation
- Commitment to the vision, mission, values and strategic goals of the Foundation
- Ability to work as a member of a team
- Respect for and tolerance of the views of others
- Recognition of the time commitment and the willingness to devote the time and energy necessary to perform the role of a Board member
- Enthusiasm and capacity for resolving challenging issues
Specific Skills, Knowledge and Experience
- Knowledge of and experience in business management/corporate contacts
- Knowledge of and experience in financial management/planning
- Knowledge of socially responsible investing
- Knowledge of and experience in a legal environment
- Knowledge of and experience in human resources management
- Knowledge of and experience in mass communications and/or media
- Knowledge of and experience in government and public relations
- Knowledge of and experience in research, education and/or training
- Community involvement
- Aboriginal Representation
- Youth Representation
- Fluency in both of Canada’s official languages
The Board membership reflects the multicultural character, linguistic duality and regional diversity of Canadian society.
Number of Meetings and Attendance Requirements:
- Meetings of the Board: According to the Act, the Board shall meet at such times and places as the Chair may determine, but it shall meet at least twice in each year (the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act, s. 15). However, over the past two years, the Board met on average three to four times a year. The Board meets face-to-face across the country or by teleconference.
- Attendance Requirements: Board members are expected to attend all meetings where possible.
The Average Annual Time Commitment:
All Board members are expected to regularly participate in Board and committee meetings. Our Board and committee meetings usually commence on a Friday and conclude in the early afternoon on the following Sunday. In addition to face-to-face meetings, participation in both regular and incidental teleconferences, meetings, events and training are expected. On average, Board members are expected to devote about 14-15 days a year to Board business.
Committee Work or Other Duties the Individual Would Have to Take on:
Board members are required to join Board committees. These committees include:
- Executive Committee
- Governance Committee
- Nominations Committee
- Finance and Audit Committee
- Human Resources Committee
- Investment Committee
The Level of Effort Required Overall:
All Board members are expected to regularly attend, be well prepared for and actively participate in meetings of the Board and committees. We expect the Directors to display a high level of effort, knowledge and commitment in order to fulfill the Foundation's mandate.
Code of Conduct and Categories of Individuals Disqualified from the Position:
Board members are governed by the Code of Conduct which applies to part-time public office holders. The CRRF Conflict of Interest Guidelines, By-law 2, is based on the Conflict of Interest Act.
Remuneration and Expenses*
- Fees of Directors: The Chair and other Directors shall be paid such fees for their attendance at meetings of the Foundation and for the performance of other duties under the Act as the Governor in Council may fix.
- Expenses of Directors: The Chair and other Directors are entitled to be paid such travel and living expenses incurred by them in the performance of duties under the Act, as the Governor in Council may fix.
- Salary of Executive Director: The salary and any other remuneration to be paid to the Executive Director are fixed by the Governor in Council.
*Excerpts from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act 10-11.
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