Report Released Highlighting Prevalence of Anti-Black Racism in OttawaFebruary 23, 2017
(Ottawa – February 23, 2017) – According to a report entitled Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Ottawa released today by the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) and the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI), the struggle against anti-Black racism in the nation’s capital is far from over. This report summarizes the findings of a forum co-hosted by the two organizations that shows that people still experience anti-Black racism on a daily basis.
This report is part of a collective effort to identify priorities and actions that advance racial equity in Ottawa. The report includes recommendations for addressing anti-Black racism cover four areas: social services (with a focus on mental health and gender-based violence); education and employment; policing and justice; and media representation.
“We need to recognize anti-Black racism and Ottawa’s key institutions must work together to define priorities and actions that will over time reverse the very serious concerns outlined in this report,” says Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP.
Overall the report highlighted the need for accountability and oversight of public institutions, in understanding and redressing community concerns regarding anti-Black racism. It emphasized that existing community advisory mechanisms need to be more widely known, more transparent and consult more with the wider community. It recommended that public institutions collect and make public racially disaggregated data, so that progress in addressing racism can be monitored.
“As we move forward with the recommendations in this report, effective civic engagement of Ottawa’s diverse Black community will continue to be paramount in fighting anti-Black racism,” says Chelby Marie Daigle, community organizer. “There is such broad diversity within the Black community itself that must be reached, along with a gold mine of talent, skills and insights. It’s only together that we can succeed.”
“If we are to address the alarming concerns in this report, we must not only engage the institutions highlighted, but also white and non-white racialized community members to become better allies to Ottawa’s diverse Black communities,” says Suzanne Doerge, Director, CAWI. “Our work is far from over. Ottawa needs strong leadership and immediate action to address systematic anti-Black racism in our community and become a more inclusive city that is strengthened by our diversity. We would like to call on institutions and communities to work together to address anti-Black racism.”
A copy of the report can be downloaded on OLIP’s website at www.olip-plio.ca.
Anti-Black Racism Forum:
More than 300 people participated in this forum held at Ottawa City Hall on August 8, 2016. Most attendees identified as members of Ottawa’s diverse black communities. One-quarter of the participants were young people. Participants’ professions included social and settlement services, law, social services and social policy.
The forum has already led to positive outcomes and new initiatives. The Young Leaders Advisory Council was formed by some of the forum participants, to bring together racialized and other young professionals to support each other. In addition, several forum participants have also provided their insights in consultations for Ontario’s Independent Oversight Review and Anti-Racism Directorate.
The Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) is a multi-sectoral partnership involving 60 local organizations working on a shared vision and common priorities designed to build local capacity to attract, settle, and integrate immigrants. OLIP co-leads Equity Ottawa, a collective initiative to advance equity for immigrants and racialized people.
The City for All Initiative (CAWI) is a partnership among women from diverse communities, community organizations, academics, and the City of Ottawa. CAWI promotes and creates systemic change, using participatory and creative processes that draw upon the strengths, cultural expression, values, and knowledge that women across diversity have to offer.