Photo for Canadian Studies Program Statement on
Photo: Black Lives Matter Anti-racism rally at Vancouver Art Gallery. (Photo: GoToVan via Flickr, cropped). CC BY 2.0.

Canadian Studies Program Statement on Racism

Our statement on recent events in the United States and Canada and the need to stand in solidarity with the Black community.

Dear UCLA Canadian Studies Community and Friends,

 

 We hope this finds you, your family, and loved ones safe and in good health. The UCLA Canadian Studies Program wants to express our thoughts on recent events in the United States, and the ensuing protests in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

 

We stand in solidarity with Black communities in the United States, in Canada and around the world and invite you all as members of our community to do the same. Recent events have grimly reminded us again of the disproportionate systemic and structural racism and violence faced by the Black communities both locally and abroad. We share in the grief, horror, and sadness over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who have been victims of police brutality and racial violence. We stand in solidarity and state loudly that Black Lives Matter. In doing so, we also stand in solidarity with other victims of racism, including the Aboriginal peoples of the United States and Canada.

 

Covid-19 has closed the border between Canada and the US. However, as the Prime Minister Trudeau has stated, both countries remain close neighbours and continue to grapple with similar issues of racial equality. Almost 1 million people in Canada are Black and not only feel for the trauma and pain of Black populations in the United States, but can also face discrimination at home. This has prompted, for example, thousands of Canadian of all colours to march in peaceful protests across Canada over the past week.

 

We echo Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s words that “It is a time to pull people together. But it is the time to listen, it is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades. But it is the time for us as Canadians to recognize that we have our challenges, that Black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day.” We acknowledge that it is our responsibility more than ever to listen, reflect, learn, pull together, and support each other. It is also our responsibility to take actionable steps to address racial discrimination faced by Black Americans and Canadians, and all racialized peoples, in our own communities and abroad.

 

The UCLA Canadian Studies Program is committed to further uplifting and amplifying the voices of Black Canadian and other racialized scholars through directed action and support via our future programming and exchanges of scholars and students. We will be sharing these actions as soon as we can, and hope that you will join us in standing in solidarity with the Black community against racism.

 

In Solidarity,

 

The UCLA Canadian Studies Program

Published: Thursday, June 11, 2020

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