We can and must do better. Black Lives Matter.
This week in Hamilton, Ontario, anti-racism protesters said:
“This isn’t just a reaction to a single issue. This is a reaction to a whole system of violence. This isn’t just happening in the States, it’s happening here too. We are here because police continue to murder Black and Indigenous people. We are here because state-sanctioned anti-Blackness continues to be a threat. Because Black and Indigenous people are not safe in cities.”
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness stands in solidarity with the anti-racism protests happening across Canada, the U.S., and the world. The recent killings by American police of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor have sparked a global movement. But we know this race-based violence exists in Canada too, as Desmond Cole notes the violent deaths of Black, Indigenous and other people of colour in Canada at the hands of police including: Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Jason Collins, Eishia Husdon, D’Andre Campbell, Randy Cochrane, Sean Thompson, Machuar Madut, Greg Ritchie, Chad Williams, and many others.
This is a moment in time where it is critical we amplify the Black Lives Matter movement.
We can’t end homelessness without acknowledging and addressing the pervasive systemic racism built into our country, rooted in colonialism and the oppression of racialized peoples. This week’s one-year anniversary of the MMIWG report is a stark reminder of the impact of racism, colonialism and violence. Our country’s lack of meaningful action on this crisis and Reconciliation means colonialism and racism continues to oppress and harm. We see this play out not only in homelessness, but in housing, criminal justice, employment, access to healthcare and economic opportunity and education.
In another statement from Ontario-based Black health leaders on anti-Black racism as a health crisis:
“We urge our allies to make commitments to addressing the many iterations of white supremacy and anti-Black racism by standing in solidarity with Black people, committing to interrupting cycles of violence and refusing to make this an issue only Black people care about. This is everyone’s business.”
As an organization and as individuals, we commit to be anti-racist and call out implicit bias in ourselves and others, check our privilege, create more space for oppressed people to thrive as they define it, and continue to learn and reflect on more concrete steps we can take as allies. We commit to interrupting the cycles of violence and challenge systemic racism, to stand in solidarity with Black people, act urgently to address the injustices in Canada’s housing systems and achieve a just and equitable end to homelessness in Canada.
Now more than ever we are inspired by the words of Dr. Cornel West, author of Race Matters:
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”
Right now, we hope you will support, donate to, follow and listen to these organizations who are dedicated and committed to addressing racial inequity in Canada’s Black Community:
- Black Lives Matter – Vancouver
- Black Lives Matter – Toronto
- Black Lives Matter – Waterloo Region
- Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19
- Hogan’s Alley Society
- Black Health Alliance
- Black Women in Motion
- Black Legal Action Centre
- Black Space Winnipeg
- Black Youth Helpline
- Freedom School Toronto
- Federation of Black Canadians
- Zero Gun Violence Movement
- Harriet Tubman Community Organization
- The 519
Here are some resources and articles to learn more:
- National Alliance to End Homelessness Webinar: Communities Using Data to Analyze Racial Disparities During the Pandemic – Here’s Where You Can Start, June 9 at 3 p.m. EST.
- NAEH’s Racial Equity Network Action Steps
- CoC Analysis Tool: Race and Ethnicity
- 10 Books About Race Non-Black People Should Be Reading Right Now
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness team