Big Brothers Big Sisters is dedicated to supporting life-changing mentoring relationships for thousands of children and youth across the country. Many of the young people we serve and the mentors we support represent communities across Canada that are and have been affected by Anti-Black and Anti-Indigenous racism and the vestiges of colonialism.
As an organization dedicated to building Developmental Relationships with young people, we must not stay silent in the face of the tragedies of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto and of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their deaths highlight the systemic racial injustices faced by people of colour in America and here in Canada. After years of these injustices, their deaths sparked protests across the country for people standing in solidarity for them and the many who came before them in a call for justice in a system that has thus far been unjust.
We acknowledge that these historical and present racial injustices affect the communities we serve and the lives of children and youth who face societal barriers and adversities. We acknowledge that our communities are showing up for each other and are showing up in solidarity even during the time of a global pandemic.
As stated by Dr. Weiston-Serdan, in her book, Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, mentoring organizations need to step up by undertaking systemic advocacy with an equity, diversity and inclusion lens that acknowledges we will never reduce racial inequities with race-neutral approaches.
We renew our commitment to anti-racism and to improving the lives of children and youth, especially those from Indigenous communities, from newcomer, immigrant and refugee communities, from Black, African and racialized communities. We are #BiggerTogether.