In June 2020, like many other organizations, we took a pause to reflect on our impact on the lives of Black people and to acknowledge our roles in upholding white supremacy. We put out an official statement and list of resources.
Then each of our team members wrote their own reflections about how we have seen white supremacy and colonization show up in our work and in ourselves. Lead through the bravery of Mathura, and then followed up Blair, and lastly one from me, Jenn. It felt important for us to put these blog posts out to demonstrate that this work is in us, there is no way for us to imagine equitable futures if we don’t begin with ourselves. We also thought it was important to show how different this shows up in each of us. There are no two stories alike.
Since last year, we have observed many other organizations start to leave this work behind them. This is not true for us.
We know this work is far from over.
The words of Aiko Bethea ring true for us. Last year she wrote an open letter to Corporate America to outline what happens after have organizations have written their statements, offered training to their staff, and have quietly settled back into the comfort of what used to be:
“Now we ask you: do you know what needs to come next? Do you know that sending that letter to the public and to your employees does not end with a period? In fact, there should not even be a comma. Keep moving.”
We completely agree. We all need to keep moving and keep showing up. While we don’t work in Corporate America, we do work in the Canadian nonprofit and settlement sector. We are still seeing the momentum slow down and actions dwindle. We have seen hesitation around a fear of getting “it” wrong.
This is not something we can be perfect at, but it is certainly something we can be better at. We are committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression work now and forever.