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YWCA Toronto Statement on Racial Justice

June 1, 2020 -- As an organization committed to gender equality and racial justice, we denounce the persistent and systemic anti-Black racism that undermines the safety and well-being of Black communities in the United States and Canada. We stand in solidarity with Black communities seeking justice.

YWCA Toronto is a multi-service organization that serves women, girls and gender-diverse communities. Many of the communities we work with are racialized, as is our staff. In our work we see the implications of anti-Black racism on a daily basis, whether it’s in the way that wealth and opportunity is racialized and gendered in our society or the way Black communities face heightened barriers accessing legal supports, career and educational opportunities, and health services.

Black communities in Canada continue to be overpoliced and criminalized. They continue to experience a disproportionate level of poverty, incarceration and violence. As COVID-19 has highlighted, Black women are on the front lines of the pandemic yet racial disparities in income and wealth have endured, threatening the health and well-being of Black families.

Black lives matter. The lives of Black women matter.

A better future is possible. It begins by properly resourcing initiatives aimed at supporting Black children and youth, instituting decent working conditions for women, and ensuring all families in Canada have access to food security, safe, affordable housing and adequate child care options. An urgent commitment to implement systemic changes within the child welfare and mental health system is necessary to achieve culturally-responsive supports that promote collective healing.

Everyone has a part to play in creating a society that lives up to its highest ideals. YWCA Toronto will continue to work with staff, community partners, donors and government stakeholders to advocate for racial justice and gender equality, and to help ensure Black women and families are safe and supported.