Together We Rise’s statement on Anti-Black Racism
Together We Rise – S’Élever Ensemble fully endorses the statement and demands by the Black Legal Action Center (BLAC) on Policing and Anti-Black Racism. We stand in solidarity with all agencies working towards ending Anti-Black Racism in our communities and institutions. Furthermore, we endorse the recommendations made to the Province of Ontario in the statement by BLAC, namely:
- A clear and public commitment to zero deaths by police services across the province;
- An immediate reallocation of resources away from police budgets across the province into public health, housing, transit, children’s services, mental health resources, schools, employment, community centres and other social services budgets;
- Complete transparency of police budgets across the province;
- A reallocation of resources, funding and responsibility away from police and toward community-based models of safety, support, and prevention to ensure that those who are best equipped to deal with the majority of calls for assistance will not show up to people’s homes and neighbourhoods with uniforms, guns and Tasers;
- The end of policing of public transportation across the province;
- The removal of police and school resource officers from all educational institutions across the province;
- The complete elimination of carding/street checks and the destruction of historic carding data;
- The overhaul of police oversight by the immediate implementation of the Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review (2017) and the repealing of the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019;
- The adoption of the 11 Race Equity Practices outlined in the One Vision One Voice Practice Framework across all Children’s Aid Societies across the province;
- The immediate elimination of racial disparities in school suspensions and expulsions and the enactment of de-streaming pilot projects across the province; and
- The inclusion of the Black community in section 6 of Schedule 16 of the Legal Aid Services Act, 2019.
As communities and agencies continue the complex and often difficult work of ensuring that all Ontarians are treated fairly by the Justice System, and indeed all public institutions, it is important that we name and speak honestly about barriers to equity. Together We Rise applauds BLAC’s impassioned statement on Anti-Black Racism. We encourage all those working towards the goals of equity, safety and prosperity in Ontario-Hamilton or local neighbourhoods, to actively engage in the conversations about Anti-Black Racism. Collectively, we can inform the creation of effective policies and practices that will ensure all of us can contribute to improving our own living conditions and lifting the conditions of our neighbours. Together WE Rise!