As CEO of ISSofBC, with our long track record for serving and advocating for newcomer individuals and families marginalized by their cultural differentness and skin colour, I’ve seen us on a regular basis either taking on leadership of, or adding our voice to, actions big and small that promote inclusivity and eliminate discrimination and hate.
Sadly, in the recent weeks and days, even as we collectively battle a pandemic that remains unvanquished, we’ve had to witness racism inflicted in all its ugliness on individuals who look East Asian (in Canada), and tragically on a Black American who’s a casualty of the generations-old racial problem in the US.
My colleagues in the sector have spoken passionately and articulately about the immeasurable harm of bigotry and hatred, and the beneficial value of inclusivity and diversity. Many others in government and the larger community have done no less.
Closer to home, on a daily basis, ISSofBC staff of different races, cultures, gender orientation, and abilities step up to help newcomers of different races, cultures, gender, orientation and abilities gain a firm foothold in their new home. These staff bring the highest standards of professionalism and compassion in the service of our clients.
It wouldn’t surprise me if recent events of overt, destructive racism are affecting our staff – especially those who look East Asian or share the skin colour of the tragic American George Floyd – to the core. If you fit either of these descriptions and feel victimized, please know you deserve the space to feel the way you do, and the right to be at the receiving end of extra understanding and compassion.
We, your colleagues, are here to support you.
Patricia Woroch | Chief Executive Officer