Last week, the world saw yet another act of racial violence, this time targeting Asian businesses in Atlanta, Georgia. The shooting left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women. OACAS denounces these violent acts and their racist and misogynistic underpinnings. As an association that represents child welfare organizations serving many of our province’s most marginalized populations, these acts of violence highlight the pressing need to continue to do the work of rooting out systemic racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an overall increase in anti-Asian acts of violence and hatred both in the US and in Canada. It has shone a spotlight on anti-Asian racism, which has always existed within our province and country. Without intentional and sustained action, this racism will not only continue, but will likely grow unchecked.
OACAS acknowledges the impact of the collective and individual traumas the horrific events in Atlanta bring. We encourage our members to have intentional conversations with the Asian children, youth, and families they serve about offering additional supports and on-going safety planning that may be needed. We also encourage leaders of our member organizations to reach out to their Asian staff, caregivers, volunteers, and community partners and offer their support during this challenging time.
This past Sunday, March 21, marked the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Let us carry the sentiments and actions associated with that day’s call to action into each and every day going forward. Anti-racism and anti-oppression must be at the foundation of all sectors and systems, including child welfare, in order to serve communities in just and equitable ways.