June 4, 2020
RE: Anti-Black Racism
The South Asian Bar Association of British Columbia (“SABABC”) is deeply saddened and disheartened by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the many others that have lost their lives as a result of the systemic racism that plagues North America, including Canada. SABABC, as an organization that represents the interests of minorities in the legal and broader community, stands in solidarity with the Black community and its supporters.
As South Asian lawyers, we cannot forget that racism is as present in British Columbia as it is anywhere in North America. In order to truly support the fight against anti-Black racism, we must first acknowledge that the problem exists all around us. Without a dialogue that acknowledges the unique issues faced by minorities, particularly Black persons, the status quo will continue to prevail.
The status quo is no longer an option.
SABABC’s mandate involves not only alleviating the barriers faced by South Asians in the legal profession, but also to reduce the barriers faced by the broader South Asian community in accessing legal services and education. However, as lawyers, we are also sworn to protect the rights and freedoms of all peoples and to uphold the rule of law. In this endeavour, we have collectively wavered. It is within this context that we ask all of our members to engage in the following actions:
- Lend support to this cause by supporting British Columbia organizations such as the Hogan’s Alley Society and Black Lives Matter Vancouver, or other organizations promoting racial justice and equity.
- Educate yourselves on unconscious bias and anti-Black racism.
- Use your position and your skills to promote racial justice and equity.
- Engage with your community leaders, inquire as to how they are battling the racial injustices prevalent in your community and British Columbia generally, and advocate for action.
The current times require us to come together, but we are at risk of being torn further apart unless we act. SABABC will continue to do its part in the fight against racism and support all people of all different and diverse backgrounds.
SABABC Board of Directors