#3 Anti-Racism is an Active Choice – Confronting our Discomfort

Photo Credit: @freshh_anderson

Recently, a number of racist incidents in Hintonburg were brought to our attention. These incidents challenged our assumptions about the prevalence of racism in our community.

We set up an Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee in December of 2019, recognizing that we needed to actively think and address this issue. We arranged for an anti-racism workshop to be given in March to the HCA Board of Directors by Somerset West Community Health Services to better understand where we might be failing in our efforts to be an inclusive and unbiased community. There were two points of tension over the evening, and they were included in the report that our facilitators provided back to us. This is what they said:

Police. Given the way that white people are taught to rely on police, it is normal to view them as a source of safety. However…racialized people have negative experiences with the police. Due to systemic racism embedded in laws, police training, and dominant ways of thinking, police actions towards racialized people are violent and discriminatory. In this workshop, we asked that members of the HCA evaluate their relationship with the police, and their reactions to illegal activities and perceived danger.

Political and economic racism– There was also tension when reviewing some of the ways that racism is ingrained in political and economic issues, from laws that discriminate against Indigenous people to the ways in which racism and wealth inequality manifest in housing segregation. It can be difficult to see the ways in which racism shows up in every aspect of political, economic, legal, and social life when it has not obviously affected your life. Spending time to understand how systemic racism furthers violence and inequality towards racialized people will improve the HCA’s impact on the community as a whole.”

We pledge to do better. We will share our plan with you tomorrow.

Do you want to help us do better? Send an email to Radha through 

Read our previous post on anti-racism.

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