BY ARCHNA PATEL, RN, MN, BScN, BSc, CPMHN(C), RYT
Policy and Political Action Executive Network Officer
Supported by all MHNIG Executive Members.
The MHNIG shares the concerns that have arisen in response to recent events in the United States and here in Toronto. MHNIG members express our condemnation of anti-Black racism and overall racism and discrimination that pervades all groups in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour). We stand in solidarity with our BIPOC community members.
We especially recognize that the recent events in the USA have had ripple effects here in Canada and in the world. The recent incident with George Floyd, like that of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others, brings into sharp focus the tragic reality of racism and the historical legacy of enslavement of Africans and others in our country. We join in on seeking justice and working toward lasting change in our society.
These recent events have caused an enormous burden of pain, fear, and anger, in addition to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in racialized communities. We also acknowledge that these events are unfolding in a context in which Black people in Canada and around the world continue to be subjected to systemic injustices. Perhaps even more devastating is that this continued and deliberate disregard for our common humanity does not astonish us. Furthermore, the RNAO MHNIG recognizes that racism, anti-black racism, internalized white supremacy, social inequity, and trauma all contribute to increased risk for mental illness and addictions and perpetuate oppressive practices in the care we provide. We support all efforts to address systemic racisms within public services such as police, health care, and society.
It is especially important in such times that we reaffirm our commitment to anti-oppressive practices, equity, diversity, and inclusion; that we support each other to work together to confront and eliminate racism, and all forms of discrimination and internalized white supremacy; and that we take responsibility to educate ourselves about the historic and current expressions of racism and oppression.
We express our support, not only in this statement but also for the global movement against injustice and inequality towards all BIPOC -black, brown, beige, etc., and indigenous people. We hope this watershed moment will lead to lasting change. But we also know that hope is not enough. We must educate ourselves about racism and prejudice. This is the call for change that we must all answer and the work each of us must engage and do.
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr
Archna Patel will be starting a BIPOC book/movie club with the book: The Skin We’re In. She will then lead us by broadening the book and movie club to raise issues for all BIPOC. Please contact her to bring suggestions and ideas and if you are interested in the BIPOC book/movie club.
1. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Edited by Clayborne Carson
2. Gandhi An Autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth
3. The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
4. Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out by Ruth King
5. A Place Called Heaven: The Meaning of Being Black in Canada, by Cecil Foster
6. Deep Diversity: Overcoming Us vs. Them, by Shakil Choudhury
7. Dear White People: A Guide to Interracial Harmony in “Post-racial” America by Justin Simien
8. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge