WORKSHOP / ISSUES OF EXCLUSION AND INCLUSION IN THE CULTURAL SECTOR / By James Oscar, Senior Cultural Consultant at Montreal in Action

This workshop will be held on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST). Please note that this workshop will be conducted in French and follows up on the anti-racism policy clinic held for IMAA’s English-speaking members with MANO.

Workshop Objectives 

This workshop aims to equip participants with tools to help them understand current and historical issues of inclusion and exclusion. It will allow participants to better understand the specific Canadian and Quebecois historical contexts and grasp the particular manifestations of these contexts in our local and national cultural sphere, as well as the particular realities that participants experience within their cultural organizations. 


Following the workshop, participants will be able to : 

  • Identify implicit forms of bias. 
  • Understand historical and contemporary power relations in relation to these explicit/implicit forms of bias. 
  • Better understand implicit/explicit bias and identify the larger impacts of  exclusion. 
  • Reflect on the nuances of past “diversity” policies to determine whether or not they are beneficial to their organizations and the communities they wish to include.
  • Design new and innovative approaches within their organizations, informed by required and optional prior reading and discussion, to rethink past mistakes and shortcomings and highlight new practices.
  • Become more comfortable and open in conducting dialogues about issues of inclusion and exclusion in the cultural sector.
  • Ultimately, the goal is for these new tools to lead to new and tangible forms of diversity and inclusion policy within organizations.

Methods of learning 

Reading excerpts from books and articles, viewing short videos, large and small group discussions, lectures and formal  presentations.



Day 1: Introduction to implicit/explicit bias, exclusions, historical contexts of racial exclusions, modes of analysis.  

Day 2: Discussions about existing modes of inclusion in participants’ organizations (failures and successes) and ideal and critical modes of inclusion. 


Participant Engagement

Participants should set aside  the time to read approximately 40 pages prior to the sessions. These readings will provide a common ground for the course and will be the focus of the discussions.


James Oscar’s Biography

James Oscar is a writer, art critic and curator. He has studied critical thinking closely with poet/writer Édouard Glissant. His work explores how the complexity of identities is disseminated in the visual, literary and performative arts. James has 27 years of experience writing about contemporary art, cultural criticism, and sociocultural urban histories. James has 28 years of experience in the field of diversity as it relates to cultural inequality and human rights as it relates to urban racialized communities. He is currently advising the City of Montreal on issues of cultural inequity in the city’s current cultural institutions. With his group Montreal in Action, he was one of the main contributors regarding cultural inequity in the first public consultation on systemic discrimination and racism in North America – the OCPM on systemic discrimination and racism.  Read the full biography (French)


Montreal in Action

In 2018, Montreal in Action made history by collecting 22,000 signatures from Montrealers to force a public consultation on racism and systemic discrimination involving over 7,000 Montrealers in 2019. The following summary of the full report has been published.…/files/pdf/P99/resume-reds_english.pdf


To register, click here!


The event is free!

Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, as we are limited to 25 participants.

This workshop was initiated by IMAA and CQAM. Please note that CQAM is now the Regroupement de pairs des arts indépendants de recherche et d’expérimentation – Repaire, an organization born from the merger of CQAM and RAIQ.


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