The recent deaths of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) across the United States and Canada have sparked an unprecedented response around the world. There is a call for monumental shifts in addressing racial justice and systemic oppression. Different sectors of society are being asked to review and reflect upon attitudes and norms that perpetuate racial bias, white privilege and systemic racism. This is both personal and societal work, and for many, an eye-opening experience.
At CJI, the work of undoing oppression is important within the organization and in our relationships with our international partners. We have a lot to do at various levels. As a small step, we have invited a small group of students who attended our advocacy symposium last February to engage in ongoing conversations on racial justice. Fr Mario Serrano SJ, one of our partners from the Dominican Republic, joined us last July 27 to offer his reflection son this issue. Donovan Martin, a student from St. Paul’s High School in Winnipeg, said that racism is not only overt but covert, which is “harder to eliminate.” He goes on to say, “as a result, preconceived biases and notions are passed down with ease.” Our continuing conversations show us it is essential to nurture dialogue and get more people talking. Together we need to dismantle both overt and covert racism for equality in Canada and around the world.