The Immigrant Migrant Women’s Association of Halifax (IMWAH) acknowledges that COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light a range of existing inequalities on Turtle Island (Canada). IMWAH shares the deep concerns being expressed in our community k’jipuktuk (Halifax) and around the world against systemic racism, racial profiling and ALL forms of discrimination and violence against First Nations, Inuit and Metis, Black African Canadians and newer immigrant racialized communities.
Immediate actions must be taken to dismantle systemic racism and injustice towards these communities in the public education system, health care system, academic institutions, the police force, the media, the legal system, in politics, and in the economic systems including the creative industry.
We join our voices in demand of the following actions:
We urge our municipal, provincial and federal governments to reduce police funding and to redirect funds to community-based organizations. We appreciate efforts to “reform” and engagement in sensitivity and bias training over the years. Yet, we acknowledge that the new calls for trauma-informed approaches, body cameras and dialogue with community members are not sufficient to reduce anti-Indigenous, anti-Black, and anti-im/migrant racist violence inflicted by law enforcement. It is now the time to spend money on making our communities stronger and finding new ways of meaningful, restorative, non-violent justice for all.
We urge our municipal and provincial governments and police institutions to engage in public consultations with the community and those who have expertise in the field regarding systemic racism and the future of policing in our province. Such consultations will provide an opportunity for diverse voices to contribute to the development of a working definition on what will involve defunding police institutions. Community consultations will demonstrate a commitment to a democratic process, greater police accountably, and improvement in the redistribution of police budget to support civilian-led social services that are better equipped to respond to marginalized communities.
We urge our government officials and leaders of all institutions and corporations to go above and beyond in leading, working and supporting marginalized organizations as we work together to eliminate the long dehumanizing acts towards racialized Canadians and marginalized im/migrant populations.
IMWAH stands in solidarity with our community and those impacted by all forms of racism and discrimination. We are deeply affected but strengthened in our mission and vision in building and safeguarding a welcoming community where we can all belong and flourish.