FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 December 2021
Many racialized Islanders grow frustrated with the lack of action and accountability when racism occurs. Without appropriate intervention, it becomes an unbreakable, vicious cycle. An independent Commissioner would greatly accelerate the racial justice work currently underway.
Through our work we hear of BIPOC community members experiencing racism in education, healthcare, the justice system, housing, sports, policing, and in both public and private workplaces. This would be the first body in the history of the province to have the authority and mandate to investigate and adjudicate instances of racism, and there are clearly many societal spheres within which they would be working.
Stephanie Arnold, Facilitator (President) of our Board states: “Having a Commissioner on Systemic Racism would be a game-changer. Along with the policy changes the Anti-Racism Table is driving and the tireless advocacy efforts that groups such as Black Cultural Society and BIPOC USHR are conducting, this much-needed role adds another level of racial justice work on the Island. It has been difficult to provide community care and community navigation services knowing the triggers of systemic racism are deeply embedded and unlikely to disappear anytime soon.”
We continue to support the Government’s racial justice initiatives and are prepared to assist the Premier and his Office in the establishment of an independent Commissioner. Indeed, we would additionally support the hiring of assistants, as well, as the work is plentiful.
BIPOC USHR is a PEI-based not-for-profit organization, providing support and advocacy to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) folx living on Prince Edward Island. Their aim is to serve BIPOC communities on PEI in ways that will enable them to thrive, not just survive.
Dr. Sobia Ali-Faisal