In response to the public outcry against the killing of George Floyd and other acts of police violence against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour) in the US and Canada, and in support of the movement against anti-Black racism and systemic racism in Canada, we think it is important to acknowledge that Canada is a very multi-cultured society in which systemic racism exists.
We must acknowledge the ingrained biases and lack of understanding that apply to our friends, colleagues and citizens who are members of the Black and Indigenous communities and many others.
As Justice Doherty of the Ontario Court of Appeal wrote in his decision in R v Parks (1993 CanLII 3383 (ON CA):
“Racism, and in particular anti-black racism, is a part of our community’s psyche. A significant segment of our community holds overtly racist views. A much larger segment subconsciously operates on the basis of negative racial stereotypes. Furthermore, our institutions, including the criminal justice system, reflect and perpetuate those negative stereotypes. These elements combine to infect our society as a whole with the evil of racism. Blacks are among the primary victims of that evil.”
Fogler, Rubinoff condemns the anti-Black violence and racism that has taken place in cities across North America, including in our own, in recent years. We acknowledge that this is not merely a recent phenomenon and that there has been racism against BIPOC communities since the founding of our country. Through conversations with peers and the extraordinary ongoing media coverage, we know that the Black community across North America is going through an intensely difficult time. We want to acknowledge the terrible pain and trauma that many of those around us are experiencing now, and have been for many years.
Our Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed to make strides towards a more inclusive and respectful workplace for everyone at Fogler, Rubinoff. We send this message of support because Foglers and the D&I Committee want to commit to doing the hard work that is necessary to face these challenges and help to better understand the racial injustices that are prevalent in our society. We will continue to strive to seek out, listen, learn, and integrate the perspectives of the people who are underrepresented, and most vulnerable. We will push ourselves to do it better, through ongoing learning, continued dialogue within our team and community, improved training, and by building partnerships with organizations making important contributions to these issues.
As part of these efforts, we would like to share the following resources:
If You Wish to Learn:
We found the following articles helpful as resources to gain understanding and awareness about BIPOC issues in Canada:
- How to become a better ally: https://lnkd.in/dQCwuFT
- What our black colleagues may be feeling right now: https://lnkd.in/dpcUjPY
- Make this moment the turning point for real change: https://lnkd.in/dhMD9k8
- In this article, writer Shanequa Golding provides an opinion piece on her experience coping with work in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others.
If You Wish to Donate:
The following organizations support BIPOC communities by fighting against systemic racism, supporting Black Owned Businesses, supporting health and mental health of BIPOC communities and providing safe spaces for Black and racialized members of the LGBTQ2S community in Canada:
- Canadian Civil Liberties Association (https://ccla.org/)
- Across Boundaries (http://www.acrossboundaries.ca/)
- Black Legal Action Centre (https://www.blacklegalactioncentre.ca/)
- Black Youth Helpline (https://blackyouth.ca/)
- Caribbean African Canadian Social Services (https://cafcan.org/)
- The Black Business and Professional Association (https://bbpa.org/)
- Black Health Alliance (http://blackhealthalliance.ca/)