As CMG members of the Joint Employment Equity Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, we stand in sorrow and solidarity with the millions of Black people who are striving for the right to be viewed as equal in our society, to not be killed by the police simply for walking down the street, and to have the same access to decent jobs, housing, food security, education and health care in the same measure as White people enjoy.
We have all watched with horror and sorrow the explosion of pain and anger in the United States following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. We understand this convulsion of grief and fury that has engulfed our American neighbours in the wake of this horrific action. We understand that this is also the result of the intergenerational trauma that comes from five centuries of never fully reconciling with the historic reality of slavery and what it has done to the Black citizens of America, and also here in Canada.
We hear the anguish of the young people who despair that things will never change, and we understand the unfairness of what it feels like to bear the pain of being judged by the colour of one’s skin and not the content of their character.
We also know the pain in the Black and Indigenous community in Toronto in the aftermath of the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and we add our voices to the growing demand for an open and transparent inquiry to understand what happened on that afternoon in her mother’s apartment. No family should live with the anguish of not knowing what happened to their child. Unfortunately most people don’t understand the origin of the mistrust between the police and the Black community, that it the result of the long and tangled history of settler colonialism, slavery, and the anti-Black prejudice that is the modern soup we are swimming in. Compassion and concern for our Black union brothers and sisters is the most important solidarity action we can take, not only right now but every day in the future. We all need to understand that we are bound by this shared history together.
The mandate of our committee is a simple one: We believe in holding the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation accountable to its highest ideals, to be representative of the faces of this modern country Canada, to recognize that our shared history is full of the same abuses of human rights that have taken place in the US, and to move beyond this historical way of lessening peoples’ skills and experience based on the colour of their skin. We want the CBC to understand that its biggest asset is the brains and lived experience of all of us, and to be a place which values all voices and lived realities and does not privilege only those voices who are deemed expert because they are White.
We need and want to hear from you, to hear your ideas and your challenges and your thoughts on what it means to be Black and working at the CBC. We want to honour your experience and to keep pressing CBC management to be an example of what a modern Canadian media company is, not only looking like the diverse face of Canada but sounding and feeling that way as well. As the events in the US have shown, it is collective action that forces change, and we want the Corporation to reflect the beautiful diversity we know exists across our nation.
The Joint Employment Equity Committee works to make CBC workplaces positive and inclusive.
CMG members of the Joint Committee for Employment Equity at CBC/Radio-Canada: