Jun 9, 2020, 03:00 PM
Operating in Canada and the U.S. as providers of key social and economic data for both countries, we know that African-Americans and Black Canadians are underrepresented compared to the average in wealth and income, employment levels and educational attainment and are over represented in poor health, involvement with the justice system and homelessness, just to name a few indicators.
These indicators are evidence of widespread individual and systemic racism. The video of the recent murder of George Floyd by a white police officer has forced all who believe in justice and equality to face the reality – anti-Black racism in Canada and the U.S. must be confronted and stopped.
We must act – individually and as a society to end this.
No more denial.
A New York Times Opinion piece regarding the way forward for the US put it this way, “Our nation suddenly caught a glimpse of itself in the mirror and people of all races poured into the streets to say ‘no more.’” (June 9, 2020).
This is true for Canada as well.
What can we do?
As a company, Environics Analytics is mandating the following items immediately:
- Ensure no tolerance for racism in our company – HR to establish and publish a formal and safe process for staff to identify issues and outline mechanisms to ensure issues are addressed.
- Educate ourselves and our children – Acknowledge and talk about the history and current reality of racial injustice. Today our HR team is establishing a Racial Justice Study Circle – participation is open to all EA staff. We will meet regularly to read the relevant literature and thought leadership and discuss what we can do as a company and as individuals to stand up to anti-Black racism.
- Engage with the Black community – Listen to the issues and their voices regarding the way forward. Our Social Committee is today mandated to identify for our Canadian Social Responsibility work for the next 12 months, an appropriate organization in the Toronto black community, for our charitable donations and volunteer work. We will work with our U.S. colleagues to develop a program for our U.S. colleagues to participate in.
- Support data for good – Our EA leadership team is today asked to set goals and monitor progress on how we can, ourselves and through our networks, ensure that the right data are available to identify inequity and inform the way forward.
This is just the start.
All staff, partners and clients are invited and encouraged to provide input on additional steps. To share your ideas, contact us. Black Lives Matter.