“Ignorance of each other is what has made unity impossible in the past. Once we have more knowledge […] about each other, we will stop condemning each other and a united front will be brought about.” -Malcolm X
During the past two years, racial injustice has been on full visual display both profoundly and gut wrenchingly. It has galvanized the world to stand up in outrage. It has also made us look introspectively at the foundations of our economic, political, cultural and social structures to examine and address systemic injustices. To some degree, there has been an organic meeting of minds across age, gender, class, race and culture.
This is all occurring during the period, 2015-2024, which the United Nations declared as the Decade for people of African Descent. The declaration is an important step in the international community, recognizing that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.
After the outrage, what’s next? Platitudes are not enough, the outrage we witnessed must not be allowed to wither and become a thing of the past – instead it must be harnessed to create tangible change through a shifting of consciousness and concrete action to dismantle the structures that have allowed anti-Black racism to survive and thrive for so long.
The spotlight on the historical and continued systemic injustices faced by the Black community has awoken a desire to do something in many community members who want to do more, but may not know how. Antiracism work requires bold leadership and allyship. Now is the time to Get Up, Stand Up for meaningful and lasting change.
Pauline Jones, Board Director
Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association