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CEO message to PLASP families - Reflecting on PLASP’s response to anti-black racism
I have a heavy heart this week. The media and social media has been dominated by news of protests in the wake of shocking acts of anti-black racism.
At a time when we’re already feeling the stress of our current pandemic situation, it may feel that we can’t cope with any more bad news. Sadly, it should not be news to us that anti-black racism is still prevalent. And it most certainly should not take tragic acts of violence against members of the black community to prompt us to pay attention.
For those of you from the black or racialized communities for whom racism is your lived experience, I want you to know that I recognize the pain these recent days must be causing you and your family.
PLASP is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. That commitment is embedded into our strategic plan. We have policies. We are a member of the Regional Diversity Roundtable. Yet, I know that we can do more. I will be working with the senior team to take meaningful action on the issue of anti-black racism. I’ll be relying on the support of all PLASP families to make sure we keep moving forward.
In the meantime, there are actions we can take individually to become more effective allies. Here are some thoughts to help you reflect on your own response:
Listen – This is a time to listen with a desire to understand the lived experience of those who encounter anti-black racism as part of their day-to-day life.
Learn – We have a responsibility to learn more about the troubling history of racism in Canada and the realities of Canada and the world today. We need to educate ourselves about the issues.
Speak – It may feel uncomfortable or even inappropriate to speak to your children about this issues. But I believe children are never too young to start learning about fairness, justice and love. For those of you with school-aged children, it’s an opportunity to have a frank discussion about incidents they may have observed and how they can stand up for what’s right.
Act – It’s important that our good intentions are expressed in supportive action. It’s up to each of us to find ways to be effective allies. It might mean speaking up if you hear or see anti-black racism occurring in a social or public situation. Or it might mean donating time or money to an organization working towards social justice.
This conversation isn’t over – it’s just starting.
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