WHAI Statement on Anti-Black, Anti-Indigenous, Anti-Asian Racism, and all forms of Racism
In honour of the Black, Indigenous, Asian and other racialized women whose deaths woke the world up to the racism that has been happening for generations, and those whose lives continue to be deeply impacted by racism and colonial violence. This includes the many Black, Indigenous, Asian and racialized women living with HIV whose lives have been and continue to be disproportionately impacted by racism, stigma and discrimination.
The Women and HIV / AIDS Initiative (WHAI) is deeply committed to dismantling systems of white privilege, white supremacy and anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and anti-Asian racism, and to doing so in a way that acknowledges the many realities and manifestations of colonial violence and creates systems of shared and collective accountability. We stand firmly against all forms of oppression and believe that creating inclusive, welcoming communities is a step toward creating a better world moving forward. Anti-racism and anti-oppression are foundational to our work on HIV and gender, where we specifically see a significant overrepresentation of Black women impacted by HIV infections and HIV risk.
Over the past year and more, our team has devoted time and space to purposely reflect deeply and actively work to strengthen our approach to this work. As we move forward, we are committed to continuing this within all levels of our work. These commitments include:
1. Dedicated time to reflect collectively on the experiences of racism and white supremacy within our lives, our team, the communities where we work and our provincial structures, with a focus on strategies for supporting each other, creating change where we work, and working toward systemic and structural change.
2. Dedicated time to learn about and understand the unique ways that anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and anti-Asian racism and other forms of oppression have manifested historically and continue to impact communities today, as well as the intersecting and entwined histories and experiences between these experiences of racism and oppression.
3. The creation of tools, resources, and capacity-building strategies that include race-based research and data, and an anti-racism, feminist lens.
4. Ensuring organizations, businesses, consultants and partners we work with have a clear commitment to dismantling white supremacy and racism and all forms of oppression.
5. Goals and actions that enact anti-racism work in a measurable and accountable way, with attention to ethical and collaborative process and evaluation.
6. Amplifying the leadership of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian feminist critical thinkers and knowledge holders within our capacity building work, and for capacity building work we do in communities across Ontario.
7. Actively and collaboratively striving for new systems of leadership, founded in community, collaboration, and collectivity, which dismantle white supremacy and all forms of racism, oppression, exclusion and violence.
There is much work to do. We are dedicated to ongoing learning and change-making. If you have questions about our work on anti-Black racism, or would like to talk further, please be in touch. We would love to hear from you.