UNITY STATEMENT FROM THE BLACKNORTH INITIATIVE AND THE RAOUL WALLENBERG CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS March 22, 2021
A call for Canadians to unite in the fight against racism, hatred, and antisemitism.
We come together to unite in solidarity and common cause to combat the legacy of racism and antisemitism in Canada. We recognize the importance of our two communities, long the targets of systemic racism, domestic and global, to unite and combat the systemic structural and pervasive scourge targeting Black Canadians and People of Colour and to combat Antisemitism, the oldest and most enduring of hatreds, both of which permeate Canadian society.
Through the work of passionate, thoughtful, and empathetic people, Canadians are awakening – they are starting to see the current state of racism and of antisemitism in Canada and they are demanding change.
In recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the BlackNorth Initiative and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights are joining together in a statement of unity – one that calls upon all Canadians, all business leaders, all faith-based and community leaders, and all elected officials – everyone, to dedicate themselves to the elimination of racial discrimination.
As leaders in the Black and Jewish communities, we are joining together in the collective goal of protecting and supporting all Canadians, regardless of colour or creed. Not only do we join our voices this day, but we also join our voices in an ongoing call for change. Together, and with leaders from other marginalized communities, we collectively call for the creation of a society that truly embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities, and equal protection and treatment for all.
Today, we renew our collective efforts to eradicate systemic racism in Canada. We recognize that many minority communities have suffered, and continue to suffer, from acts of racism. We acknowledge with great sadness the recent surge in hate crimes experienced by Asian American Pacific Islander communities, as well as the long and continued history of oppression faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. As such, we will lend our voices to the calls for equality from our sister organizations and like-minded leaders. We will be a force for change – to eliminate all racism and all discrimination in any form, in Canada.
Wes Hall, Founder, and Chairman of the Black North Initiative
Irwin Cotler, Founder, and International Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights.