The entire Building Up family passionately condemn all forms of oppression and anti-black racism. Our program participants, staff, and board stand united, motivated and committed to contribute to a fully inclusive and equitable future for every member of our city, the construction industry, and the people that engage directly with our work.
We have all had a lot to think about these past few weeks, not just as an organization, but as people affected by the on-going systemic racism and violence in Canada and around the world. It’s been an intense time of anger, grief, heaviness and reflection. Unfortunately, it is not a shock, as this has been happening for far too long.
Globally, the overt hatred and violence waged against George Floyd and so many others, has acted as a catalyst for honest reflections and the push for systemic change. For our team, it has reminded us of our responsibility to be part of these conversations and solutions, and to mirror the change within Building Up that we want to see within the construction industry, and the world.
We see first hand that anti-Black racism is pervasive and how it significantly impacts our trainees on their pathways to their careers. We hear, on a daily basis, how our trainees of colour are faced with clear discrimination in the construction sector. We want to name the systems for what they are and develop the tools to advocate. Now is a time to pause and to come together with vulnerability and a genuine desire to listen, learn and unlearn biases that affect the experience of people that travel through our ecosystem.
Most importantly, the area of our ecosystem that we can entirely control is our own operations at Building Up. Our Building Up family and community are significantly impacted by anti-Black racism and we would like to hear from you about your authentic experience at Building Up and how we can do better to create an equitable and safe environment. We will be convening conversations and bringing in external facilitators and thought leaders to help facilitate this process. This is a long term process that will involve our entire team – including participants and Board. It is a welcomed journey and we hope that you will join us in that work in whatever way you can in your own life to learn from our history and build a more inclusive future.