The Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all communities around the world who are demanding an end to anti-Black racism and racist police violence.
The murder of George Floyd has highlighted the centuries-long racism embedded in American society. But we know that racism is embedded in policing practices in Canada as well, and in the systems that keep Black people, People of Colour, and Indigenous Peoples living in poverty and homelessness. Violent deaths of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Colour in Canada at the hands of police include: Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Jason Collins, Eishia Husdon, D’Andre Campbell, Randy Cochrane, Sean Thompson, Machuar Madut, Greg Ritchie, Chad Williams, and many others.
Our country’s lack of meaningful action on this crisis means racism continues to oppress and harm. We see this play out not only in homelessness, but in housing, criminal justice, employment, access to healthcare, and economic opportunity and education. This is a moment in time where it is critical that we amplify the Black Lives Matter movement. We can’t end homelessness without acknowledging and addressing the pervasive systemic racism built into our country, rooted in colonialism and the oppression of racialized peoples.
Our work with members of the Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network
informs us that Black, Indigenous, and Women of Colour are disproportionately impacted by homelessness and housing insecurity. This is linked to the over-policing, aggressive surveillance, and over-incarceration over these groups. We stand with the families and communities of those who have experienced this violence and share their outrage against these systems of institutionalized violence.
As a Network fighting to end homelessness for women, girls and gender-diverse people, and as individuals, we commit to being anti-racist and calling out implicit bias in ourselves and others. We seek to acknowledge and check our privilege, and create more space for people experiencing oppression to thrive as they define it. We must continue to learn and reflect on more concrete steps we can take as allies. We commit to interrupting the cycles of violence and challenge systemic racism, to stand in solidarity with Black people, act urgently to address the injustices in Canada’s housing systems, and work towards a just and equitable end to homelessness in Canada.
The clarion call that Black Lives Matter has been heard around the world. In this historic moment, we call on all levels of government to urgently dismantle all forms of anti-Black racism embedded in Canadian systems and structures. We must build pathways towards racial inequity and racial justice through equitable investments in community resilience and housing, poverty reduction, equitable health care, education, and economic opportunities.