Since George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25, we as an organization have been in deep reflection. While this movement is not about us, we believe strongly that this matter concerns us all. At the CIC, we would like to use this as an opportunity to support our members and we hope to contribute to global efforts to break an unsustainable status quo. We are using our platform in solidarity with people’s lived experiences of racism to make a tangible difference by showing support for the movement.
First, we want to acknowledge that while the death of George Floyd was one of the most jarring and despicable displays of police brutality, it was just a single snapshot in an over 400-year history of systemic racism. We know the names of George Floyd, Emmett Till, Andrew Loku, Philando Castile and Michael Eligon, but those are just some of the cases that have garnered public attention which does not fully capture the everyday barriers that the scourge of anti-Black racism presents.
We also believe that it is essential to recognise that anti-Black racism is not exclusive to the United States. It remains a sad reality for people globally, including in Canada, who experience racism, discrimination, hate crimes and brutality everyday.
With this indisputable reality in mind, we know that we cannot simply condemn anti-Black racism. We must actively challenge it whenever and wherever possible. That is why the CIC is committed to doing the following:
1. We want to use our platform to elevate the voices of Black Canadians in Canada’s global engagement. On this front, we acknowledge our own shortcomings in this matter as an organization with a disproportionate number of white Canadians in our membership and leadership.
2. We will seek guidance and leadership from our members within the Black community (including immigrants and newcomers to Canada) and other black indigenous people of colour to develop grounded expertise and advance equity for all.
3. We invite our members and the broader public we serve to provide ideas of your own on how we can construct an anti-racist space that is open and inclusive of Black Canadians. Should you have any ideas, please email us at email@example.com.
The mission of the CIC is to involve Canadians in defining our country’s place in the world. In order to fulfill that mission, we must ensure that ALL Canadians are a part of that conversation and are treated as valued members of our organization.
To Black Canadians from coast to coast to coast, we know we can do better. We promise to do better. Your contributions to Canadian society matter. You matter. Black Lives Matter.