06/03/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2020 16:55
Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua issued the following statement to address anti-Black racism and in response to the Blackout Tuesday movement on social media:
'Over the past few weeks, communities in the United States and Canada have once again been gripped by an issue that is not new. Rooted in centuries of systemic inequality and perpetuated by gross and ill-minded ignorance, anti-Black racism is a grim reality in our society.
'Yesterday, concerned citizens from around the globe took to social media to join the Blackout Tuesday initiative in solidarity against racial injustice and to stand in unity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
'For far too many people of colour, anti−Black racism, discrimination and inequality are part of daily life. The spectrum is wide - from microaggressions to atrocious acts of injustice, police brutality and violence. This is unacceptable. As a community, as a country, and as a world, we can and must do better.
'It is incumbent upon each of us to stand up and take meaningful action against this type of injustice and inequality - parents and the children they raise, educators and the students they teach, voters and the representatives they elect. We must be accountable for our actions and inactions, which also serve to perpetuate the issue.
'At the City of Vaughan, we acknowledge that our residents are not exempt from these realities. We continue working closely with residents, community organizations, and other levels of government to address the issue of anti-Black racism.
'In Vaughan, we place a great deal of importance on diversity, inclusion and the condemnation of racism in all its forms. We continue to forge connections and pursue opportunities that demonstrate our commitment to foster a community that is inclusive and genuinely appreciative of the diversity that enriches us.
'As part of the City's commitment to advancing a culture of co-operation, earlier this year, we adopted the Vaughan Inclusion Charter in support of the Inclusion Charter for York Region, which is a community initiative to create a fair and equal environment for all. To ensure we achieve this, Council has formed a Diversity and Citizen Engagement Task Force.
'I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and injustice that has been inflicted on oppressed individuals by aggressors, but I remain hopeful that, collectively, we can and will do better. Love will conquer hate. Right will overcome wrong.
'We will continue moving our city forward without leaving anyone behind.'