All across Canada, Black Canadians are making a difference and helping build stronger and more inclusive workplaces and communities.
This year’s theme for Black History Month is Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.
“UFCW 1006A is proud to be home to many incredible members, activists, stewards, union staff and leaders from the Black Canadian community,” said President Wayne Hanley. “Their contributions and achievements are widespread and immense and continue to help make a difference in the lives of our members and their families. Together, we are working to create a fairer and more just and inclusive world for all.”
The first Black History Month was celebrated in Toronto in 1979. In 1995, the House of Commons recognized February as Black History Month.
During Black History Month, we also affirm our commitment to raising awareness about the Black Canadian community’s struggle for equality and justice. Many Black Canadians continue to face barriers to hiring and advancement, profiling while driving or shopping, discrimination at work with Black people making less on average than non-racialized workers.
Other barriers include prejudice and barriers within the education system, being attacked through hate speech and hate crimes. The community also faces unjust profiling and treatment by law enforcement and the justice system.
A recent York University study reported that 90 per cent of Black Canadians believe that racism in the criminal justice system is a serious problem. In a span of 12 months, the Toronto Star reported that more than one in five Black Canadians reported being unfairly stopped by police.
Black people in Canada and North America face threats to their safety, livelihoods and their very life due to racism and prejudice in a way that many people do not.
In a recent CBC article, Ontario Human Rights Commission Chief Commissioner Patricia Deguire noted: "Systemic racial discrimination, racial profiling and anti-Black racism exists wherever Black people interact with Toronto police services."
This Black History Month, we encourage 1006A members to learn more about these challenges, to help raise awareness and work together for equality, justice and fairness.
Government of Canada Fact Sheet: Key Historical Facts about Anti-Black Racism and Discrimination in Canada
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: Black Women in Canada
CBC Documentary: Black Life: Untold Stories