Many countries around the world have found a strong call to action, a quest for change and a clarion call for solidarity as new pathways emerge from the shared struggles in the face of racial discrimination, police brutality and race-based violence around the world. 75% of Americans believe racial and ethnic discrimination is a big problem in the US. The disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on African Americans also points to underlying socio-economic issues within the country- 23% of the reported COVID cases are within Black communities. The coronavirus pandemic mirrored, yet again, the wide socio-economic berth and inequalities that divide people, communities and racial groups.
From speculations around de-funding the police to inquiries around Black Lives Matter protests around the world, the issue of racial inequality cannot be placed on the back burner; it is a matter so urgent and so poignant, it calls for systemic reforms, policy changes, personal leadership and ethical reflections in shaping new approaches. Existing socio-economic gaps have become even wider in the face of a global pandemic with riveting effects that has left the world seeking answers and looking for solutions, even from the most unusual places.
In Canada, Black Indigenous and People of Colour communities are seeking new pathways, in solidarity with White counterparts, to stem the tide of institutional and systemic racism. Long-standing issues of economic inequalities also come to bear in perpetuating cycles of inequality in the country. The average income of Black Canadians is about 25% less than those of Canadians who are not racial minorities. The median income for Indigenous peoples is about 30% lower than the rest of Canada. Indigenous peoples are some of the poorest in Canada, with many still reeling from the historical impact and legacy of colonialism.
In this webinar, we will explore learnings and emerging pathways and establish a clear call to action in strengthening relationships within and beyond Canada. We will attempt the following questions:
- What are the common struggles and shared responsibilities within Black and Indigenous communities, and new pathways for building a new future? How has the coronavirus pandemic further widened the gaps that existed?
- Why (and in what specific ways) does systemic and institutional racism persist in Canada, USA and other parts of the world, in spite of evidence that shows the need for collaboration, diversity and inclusion in building an equitable future?
- What is the role of business, government and civil society in strengthening relationships with minorities and racialized groups in Canada? How do we do business differently, by building a shared future with communities?