RVAC’s mandate is to protect, maintain, and promote the interests of racially visible members of PSAC in the National Capital Region (NCR) in partnership with other equity groups aiming to eliminate harassment, discrimination, racism, in order to attain equal rights.
We fully stood in support of, and participated in, the march against not only police brutality, but the inequities and discrimination faced by our brothers and sisters time and time again. We uphold the intent of The United Nations Decade for People of African Descent which is: “Recognition. Justice and Development”, which has designated people of African descent as a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.
We empathize with brothers and sisters in the United States but we also recognize that issues of systemic racism are here in Ottawa, Canada as well such as the racial profiling of Jamal Boyce, a black student at the University of Ottawa, who was left on the busiest campus road in handcuffs, by campus security, for two hours.
RVAC during this time is asking:
- Union leadership to recognize the importance of reaching out and sending messages of ongoing support to visible minorities who may be experiencing outrage, fear and frustration.
- Union leaders and activists to speak up and reach out to other Components, Locals, regions, as well as any other union representatives to connect with the membership who self-identify as visible minorities.
- George Floyd’s death is one in a long line of tragic instances where people of colour have lost their lives at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve the living. At this time RVAC is asking for a definitive recommitment from union leadership to addressing systemic barriers and biases that feed into racist practices and ideologies.
- We are asking from elected union leadership for genuine discussions around racism, and discrimination; discussions that include unconscious bias and prejudice practices in the union’s rank and file, while still advocating for change throughout all departments, and to create safe spaces for these discussions.
RVAC needs its’ allies to stand with us in the fight against this insipid belief and practice.
It is the hope of RVAC that these tragedies allow for a metamorphosis where everyone can ultimately become agents of change.
Joanne Robinson, Co-Chair PSAC-NCR, Racially Visible Action Committee
Antoine Gomis, Co-Chair PSAC-NCR, Racially Visible Action Committee