Over the past weeks, members of the Bridges for Women staff and board have been reflecting on our shared grief over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Chantal Moore, and other Black and Indigenous people at the hands of police. We know that these deaths were not isolated incidents; they are brutal reminders of the utter brokenness of our social safety system.
As an agency, including staff members and members of the Board of Directors for Bridges for Women, we stand firm with the Black Lives Matter movement. We acknowledge and condemn the pervasive structural violence inflicted on Black women, Indigenous women and racialized people in Canada.
Bridges for Women has a strong organizational foundation from which to pursue anti-racist work. The therapeutic work pursued by our staff team uses a trauma-informed lens that recognizes racism as a form of trauma and acknowledges overlapping forms of oppression. We also know that there is much more work to be done. We are committed to focusing attention and resources to integrating anti-racism principles into our policies, practices, and programs. We seek to move forward with humility, vulnerability, and commitment to ongoing anti-racist learning, practice, reflection, and action. As we learn, reflect on, and develop our plan for growth and change as an agency in this area, we will keep our clients and the public updated.
Anti-racism work is long-term, unsettling and uncomfortable. It activates our sympathetic nervous systems. We recognize that systemic racism permeates Canadian culture and society in ways that are both overt and insidious. This work can be difficult, but it is essential, and we are ready to do it with support from within and outside our organization.