On behalf of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team, please find below a statement on the killing of George Floyd and our commitment to anti-racism.
As an organization that has navigated over 125 years of Canadian history, we recognize the importance of standing in solidarity with our community members fighting for their rights, and the rights of others.
We commit to looking at our complicity in the oppression of Indigenous people as part of our own 125 year old story, and to change the practices and policies built from colonization that we continue to benefit from today.
Darius Maze, Chair ANHBC Board of Directors and Penny Bradley, ANHBC Acting-CEO
We, at the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC, condemn the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN.
We recognize that anti-Black racism is real. It has gone on for as long as our memories go back. It is time for it to stop. We stand with the people who are taking to the streets to have their voices heard. To members of the Black community in British Columbia – we see you and we commit to being guided by your leadership and your priorities as we attempt to shine a light on systemic racism.
We condemn the recent upsurge in racist acts against Asian community members around the world.
We commit to calling out racist acts against our Asian neighbours, including the micro-aggressions and misinformation surfacing around Covid-19. We commit to standing up to anti-Asian racism, while ensuring we make space for Asian voices in our anti-racism work.
Violence, intimidation, and racial slurs are unacceptable.
We condemn the longstanding racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples. There are many shared experiences of injustice and marginalization felt by Black and Indigenous groups in Canada, and we commit to dismantling white supremacy, as we work to create a more equitable world.
ANHBC Neighbourhood Houses and Sasamat Outdoor Centre exist to strengthen neighbourhoods by bringing diverse people together to create positive change. We know people and communities are more vulnerable when they are isolated. Our work has always been centered around inclusion and equity, to build social connection and to break down discrimination through community building.
There is hard work to be done across the globe including in our own backyard. It is not enough to be inclusive. We must be anti-racist, as well.
We know we need to show up in more concrete and consistent ways to drive change to the systemic discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities.
We will use our position as neighbourhood builders to challenge systems and provide more resources and opportunities to racialized communities.
We must push harder to contribute to a more just world.
Our commitment is to do the following:
- We commit to creating brave spaces for community members to come together to have real conversations about racism – at individual and systemic levels. This will include distinct conversations about anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Muslim racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Asian racism, and all other forms of xenophobia and discrimination.
- We commit to looking at ourselves as a large organization to understand how we have benefited from colonization, to examine when we have stood up and when we have remained silent, and to fully recognize the harm that our silence has caused.
- We commit to holding ourselves accountable and looking at how the diverse communities we work with are reflected in senior leadership and Board Governance. This is not about tokenism – it’s about creating real change in our own organizational systems.
- We commit to speaking out against injustice, while working to decolonize our practices.
The pain people are feeling right now is real.
We know we cannot let this conversation subside as soon as it’s not “trending” anymore.
It is our responsibility to do our work with honesty, integrity, and dedication. Even when no one is watching.
Alexandra Neighbourhood House
Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House
Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
Gordon Neighbourhood House
Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
Marpole Neighbourhood House
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House
Sasamat Outdoor Centre
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House
* We acknowledge that we live, work, and play on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish people including the Musqueam, Squamish, Semiahmoo, Kwantlen, Tsleil-Waututh, Kwikwetlem, Tsawwassen and Sto:lo Nations.