Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey Solidarity Statement

Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey (WHSBG) acknowledges and condemns the recent events of racial injustice and systemic violence affecting racialized populations, both in Canada and around the globe. It is systemic because it keeps happening repeatedly, and because little is done to hold those that harm accountable. We express our solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls movements, and join the call to action to help create the change that is needed.

We, in the helping sector, acknowledge the power imbalance between service providers and those who access services. We work diligently to create a safe, nonjudgmental, and supportive environment for the vulnerable population that reaches out. Women’s House has zero tolerance for any service provider abusing this power to re-victimize, bring trauma and create divide. Women’s House calls for all service providers to be mindful of this dynamic and to exercise thoughtful care in practicing the great honour of being a helping professional.

Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey operates with the following principles in mind:

· We believe that education is necessary to bring about effective changes in attitude. We believe in challenging statements and beliefs that minimize the seriousness of racism, oppression, abuse and sexual violence.

· We recognize that all women face misogyny and sexism; however, some bear an additional burden of oppression due to racism.

· We believe that systemic racism, discrimination, and oppression based on race, religion, class, sexual orientation, gender identification, age and ability must be addressed as part of an integrated approach to ending poverty, abuse, sexual violence and homelessness in the lives of women.

If you are directly affected by systemic violence or racism, please know that we care about you and what you are dealing with. We stand in support of you.

If you are a white ally to people and communities of color, there are things you can do. You can:

· Learn about the history of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada
· Reflect on the biases this has created in you and in others
· Remain as a witness or bystander in situations where someone may be affected by racial stereotyping, stigma or systemic violence
· If you see person of color being questioned or detained, ask if they need support
· Understand that there are alternative, non-punitive ways of dealing with crisis or conflict that do not always involve law enforcement.

We stand in solidarity with our communities both locally, provincially, nationally and globally. We are committed to addressing systemic racism and violence through educating ourselves and promoting public awareness. We recognize that being an ally is a continual and ongoing practice. We strive to be the best allies possible by being informed, engaged and thinking critically about our own actions online, in person, and within radical moments of change like the one we are currently living in.