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Director’s Message for Anti-Racism Awareness Week

The Directors of Literacy Alberni Society would like to welcome you to the first annual Anti-Racism Awareness Week in the Province of British Columbia, and here in Port Alberni, which is located on the territories of the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations.

At Literacy Alberni Society, respect is the foundational concept of our work. We are committed to respecting, promoting, and advancing the values of equity, diversity, and safety for all peoples. As a component of this work, we have become members of the Resilience BC Network, ensuring we are leaders in helping shape a healthier, racism-free BC.

Far too many people here in our community, and across our Province, continue to face discrimination, hate, and human rights violations simply because of the colour of their skin, their background, their identity, country of origin, native language, or their faith.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the social, health, and economic disparities for Indigenous peoples, Black Canadians, and other racialized and religious minority Canadians and their communities. The pandemic has also propelled Anti-Asian hate and discrimination, and increased overall instances of hate crimes and hate incidents within every Province across our Country.

This past year, throughout the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the protests of Solidarity with the Hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs, thousands of Canadians across the country, including here in our own community, took to the streets to peacefully demand an end to anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, systemic discrimination, and white supremacy. The sadness, frustration, and anger of racialized people is clear, as are the demands for justice, equity, and accountability.

The Directors of Literacy Alberni Society stand in solidarity with the Anti-Racism activists everywhere who are fighting against racial injustice and oppression. We are committed to doing our part to combat forms of race-based discrimination and oppression, including educating ourselves (Board, Staff, Volunteers and Learners) about the realities of systemic racism in our society, and will do the work needed to understand and eliminate these toxic, antiquated attitudes and behaviors. We pledge to help create a better future for all people in our community.

We are grateful to the many, many BIPOC activists, teachers, and mentors who have bravely and passionately raised their voices and provide us with the framework through which we can all begin decolonizing ourselves.

To all those who experience hate because of who they are: We are listening, we hear you, we support you, and we will act.

With solidarity, and accountability to our community,
The Directors of Literacy Alberni Society

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