Here at Community Justice Alternatives of Durham Region (“CJA Durham”), we acknowledge and understand the collective hurt and frustration of the black community across borders and waters. We do not condone police brutality and understand that this is due to systemic anti-black racism. For CJA Durham, diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental values that define our organization in the eyes of all people in the community; which aid us in achieving our mission as an advocate of community peace and restorative justice. With this said, CJA Durham realizes that simply being aware of racial and diversity issues while being culturally mindful is not enough.
Racism is not just a conscious hate for people of colour but is a complex social and political system that has been set up over generations to work on behalf of white people at other people’s expenses. White privilege is one thing, but ignorance is another. We all, collectively as a community, need to understand that the system doesn’t care if you’re white and you have black friends, colleagues or clients. We can do more!
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, racism may still be the bigger issue in the world today as even it, finds a way to most seriously affect black people and all people of colour and infect how white people deal with our black brothers and sisters. We, alongside all our member organizations, stand in solidarity with our black community, our clients, our friends and our colleagues to say enough is enough.
We’re not just listening, seeing and hearing about these issues but will be comfortable starting uncomfortable, respectful, open, honest and healthy conversations about racism, addressing discriminatory practices, policies, beliefs and attitudes within ourselves and within the people in our community. We can initiate ways where we can individually and collectively promote a positive change.
CJA Durham along with our colleagues and community partners at Durham Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Community of Practice and the member agencies of Ontario Community Mediation Coalition stand together with our black friends and neighbours – in our communities, throughout Canada, the United States and all over the world to condemn police brutality, violence and systemic oppression with words and actions to continue to transform and reset institutionalized racism.
2020 Listening Circles of Inclusion — respectful, open, honest, healthy and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about racism, addressing discriminatory practices, policies, beliefs and attitudes within ourselves and within our Durham Region community and surrounding communities.