My heart aches for the families of Regis Korchinski-Paquet and George Floyd. I can’t help but think of how anti-Black racism is woven and intertwined with some of our most pressing social justice fights.
Indigenous justice is Black justice.
As I sat down to write this email, I heard the news that Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman in New Brunswick was shot by a police officer in her home. All I can think about is that maybe — just maybe — Chantel would be alive right now if the Calls for Justice from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry hadn’t sat collecting dust on a shelf for the past year.
The Calls for Justice include changes that many communities surviving racial discrimination continue to demand, including to "Establish an independent, special investigation unit for the investigation of incidents of failures to investigate, police misconduct, and all forms of discriminatory practices and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples within their police service."
Queer justice is Black justice.
As we move into Pride Month, we must remember how the first Pride was a riot led by Black and Brown Trans women. And today, Black Trans peoples still face higher rates of violence and death.
I want to highlight the Black Queer Collective’s Event on Saturday June 28, 2020 that is part of Virtual Pride and will give you the opportunity to hear directly about Black Queer and Trans experiences.
Health justice is Black justice.
When we look at how COVID-19 is affecting our communities, we have to trace the roots of anti-Black racism into our health care system. Black communities see higher rates of infection and death. We still have no provincial direction to collect race-based health data in Ontario. I fully support MPP Andrea Horwath's calls for anti-Black racism to be declared a public health emergency in Ontario.
We Must Continue Learning
And to all my non-Black friends and allies. I hope you’ll join me in doing everything we can to educate ourselves and follow the leadership of Black organizers.
Here are a few resources I thought I’d share:
- Read: Policing Black Lives, Robyn Maynard
- Watch: The Skin We’re In, Desmond Cole
- Support Community Leadership: Toronto Centre is home to many Black and Black-led organization doing crucial anti-racist and empowerment work. If you would like to be connected to local organizations you can get involved with or request more resources for learning about how to challenge anti-Black racism, please reach out to my office at [email protected]