Kiwassa’s Commitment to Unlearning Racism

An image of a Black Lives Matter leader with a megaphone, surrounded by a group of diverse folks at a Black Lives Matter anti-racism rally on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery

Statement against Anti-Black and Anti-Indigenous Racism

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House stands in solidarity with Black communities in the United States protesting the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and Ahmaud Arbery and too many others before them. We also stand in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities here in Canada calling for justice for Regis Korshinski-Paquet who died in the presence of the police in Toronto and Chantal Moore, who was killed by a police officer in New Brunswick as well as the many, many others who have suffered violence and abuse at the hands of the police.

We recognize that discrimination, racism, and violence against Black, Indigenous, and other minority groups have been—and continue to be—part of Canadian society. The threat of racial violence and discrimination is an on-going experience for many. This problem is not one that belongs to the past, or that only happens somewhere else—it’s a daily burden faced by many people—our neighbours, friends, colleagues and family members. Right here. Right now. In our community.

As an organization founded and led by mainly White and non-Black people of colour, we’re committed to listening, learning, and acting in support of Black communities and their right to life, safety, dignity, and equity. We also need to recognize that the Black Queer and Trans community must be centred in this path towards justice.

As an organization, and for most of us as individuals, there’s a gap between our values and aspirations and what we actually do to stand up against violence and oppression. The path between these places is one of humility, vulnerability and learning. We also recognize that we must change ourselves as an organization as part of unraveling and dismantling white supremacy in Canada’s present and future.

In order to translate our concern into action, the Kiwassa Board and staff commit:

  • To making anti-racism an ongoing strategic priority;
  • To exploring and making changes to our organizational structures and practices to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism specifically;
  • To continue our work and learning with community partners to strengthen solidarity actions in support of Black and Indigenous people;
  • To take leadership from, listen, learn from, and work with community organizations representing Black, Indigenous and other racialized people to develop what further actions and programs are necessary for us to undertake; and
  • To regularly evaluate our anti-racism work as an organization in order to ensure that our commitment is meaningful and real.

June 13, 2020 | Kiwassa Neighbourhood House Board & Staff

A purple button linking to the form for signing the Joint Letter for a Just Recovery
A yellow button linking to the form for signing the Joint Letter for a Just Recovery