The BCIT Faculty & Staff Association stands in solidarity with Black communities in Vancouver on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. We express our support to Black communities and everyone in Canada and the US who are speaking up against the systemic violence that Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC) are confronted with on a daily basis.
We know from listening, watching, and reading that people in Black communities are grieving and experiencing distress along with a sense of deep exhaustion. Systemic racism as well as daily acts of racism are not new problems, and we know that we cannot lose sight of the changes that are needed, even when this news cycle ends. The work to combat racism must be done by all of us but especially those of us who are not BIPOC.
The FSA does not have a long history as an organization of actively exploring the ways in which we contribute to, and perpetrate, oppression. In recent years we have supported the creation of Diversity Circles, adopted an Equity Policy, formed an Equity Caucus, and provided opportunities and resources for our members, staff, and elected board directors to learn and consider new ways of being and thinking. We have also attempted to respond swiftly and with humility when incidents internal to our office have taken place. Our work to unlearn and learn must be ongoing and we are committed to continuing it.
We recognize that fighting for, and in solidarity with, those who fight racial oppression and violence will come in many forms. We recognize that the tactics will be different for different circumstances and we believe that the people who have experienced racism and oppression will lead the way.
We acknowledge BCIT’s statement and encourage the entire BCIT community to support the initiatives and actions that call upon each of us to know more and to do better. Post-secondary institutions and the labour movement, of which we are a part, have institutionalized racism and systemic biases to deal with, and we must be a part of change that is actively anti-racist.
There is plenty of reliable and credible information available about organizations to donate to, businesses to support, political actions to participate in, books/articles to read, and people and organizations to listen to. We know that our members, who believe strongly in education and lifelong learning, can be a part of seeking and using those resources. We have chosen not to include a list here, since ours are not the voices you should be listening to right now, but trust you can find them with a little effort – this effort is part of the work itself.
In solidarity, we have made donations to Black Lives Matter – Vancouver and the BC Community Alliance. Thank you to all the people involved in these, and other organizations for their labour; emotional, physical, and intellectual.
Colin Jones, FSA President
Maria Angerilli, Interim Co-Executive Director
Kyla Epstein, Interim Co-Executive Director