Now is the time for all Canadians, but especially non-racialized Canadians, to listen, learn and reflect on how white privilege and systemic racism contribute to injustice and inequality in this country. We need to look inwards and challenge our biases, fears, assumptions and privilege. We need to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations.

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Across the US, Canada, and the world, citizens are protesting and taking a stand against racism and discrimination. Canada is a diverse, multicultural nation, but Anti-Black racism and racism in all its forms remains a pervasive issue.

Our vision at posAbilities is a world in which all people lead good and full lives. We are committed to building an inclusive community where all persons are welcomed and valued for who they are. We embrace diversity—it is an asset that strengthens our communities.

Tomorrow, June 6, marks the last day of this year’s National AccessAbility Week. During this week, we celebrate diversity and inclusion, but we also recognize and support the work that still needs to be done to remove barriers. It’s important to remember that inequities based on ability, race, gender and other factors are not separate—they overlap. Intersectionality is the idea that some people face unique challenges because they exist at the intersection of multiple social identities. For example, a Black or Indigenous person with a disability will encounter more complex prejudices than someone who is white.

Additionally, a crisis can push existing social issues to the surface. Canada has made strides forward when it comes to addressing systemic racism and discrimination, but these issues persist. Asian Canadians have been targets of race-based violence and discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes these incidents are overt, but sometimes they are subtle microaggressions that reveal prejudice. Standing up against racism means challenging biases in ourselves and others.

We join B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Janet Austin, in taking the #DifferentTogether pledge:

“I ask you to join me, alongside leaders in government, business and social services, in pledging to uphold the Canadian values of diversity and inclusion and to oppose racism and hate in all its forms. We are stronger when we are #DifferentTogether.”

– the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia

You can download the pledge on the Lieutenant Governor blog and share your commitment on social media using the hashtag #DifferentTogether. Then think about how you can follow through on that pledge in your daily life. Working to create more inclusive communities is an ongoing effort we must all participate in. Seek out, listen to, and learn from individuals whose lived experience is different from your own. We are stronger when we are #DifferentTogether.