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YWCA Canada’s public apology regarding list of Black-led organizations

Published on 01/06/2020 by YWCA Canada

Content Warning: Anti Black Racism

Two days ago, YWCA Canada posted a list of Black-led organizations that support Black-identified communities. YWCA Canada did not properly cite authorship of this list; the list was created and vetted by Black womxn in a private Facebook group, without respectful acknowledgement and citation of their expertise, time, scholarship and labour. It was a private conversation that was made public without consent of the authors. YWCA Canada is deeply sorry about the harm caused by this act.

This act impacted Black womxn by perpetuating historical patterns of white supremacy and anti-Black racism. It led to Black erasure in Canada. It contributed to Black womxn feeling unsafe in digital spaces and continued appropriation of the work of Black leaders in feminist spaces.

We need to do better.

The team at YWCA Canada are committed to the difficult work of internal change. We want to thank everyone who reached out about our mistake. We recognize this meant additional emotional and intellectual labour from those who were harmed. The National Office of YWCA Canada will be engaging in an internal review process to name anti-Black racism within our organization. This work will confront individual biases with non-Black employees, personal self-reflection. As well, training for unlearning historical patterns and addressing organizational change.

We hope to address our wrongs in an attempt to rebuild trust and grow from this incident of harm as an organization. We welcome additional feedback and are committed to engaging in continued dialogue around this incident. Kindly feel free to email nationaloffice@ywcacanada.ca. In the coming months we will consult with our membership, community partners and stakeholders to develop an action plan and clear strategy to address Anti Black Racism. We will be providing additional details in the coming weeks with clear timelines. Thank you for your time in reading this statement.

Credit: Photo by Sticker You on Unsplash

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