June 25, 2020
RE: Together, One Community Rally – Call to Action
Dear Community Leaders,
The Lethbridge Diversity & Inclusion Alliance commends Evan Wardley and the organizing committee for their efforts towards the Together, One Community rally on June 27th, 2020 and their efforts towards bringing the community together to commemorate Multiculturalism Day. We are also delighted to see the assemblage of our community leaders for this event. Leaders such Mayor Spearman, MLAs Phillips & Neudorf, MP Harder, and Police Chief Woods. Having all of our top profile community leaders gathered for an inclusive event is a fantastic opportunity for the community to know what actions our leaders plan on taking towards the issue that is currently facing us: the issue of systemic racism and discrimination.
While we are pleased that our leaders will be speaking to these issues, we call upon them to speak to action and without platitudes. Our community has been coming together to speak to and discuss this issue, with grassroots endeavors, for many years. Now is the time to hear what actions our elected officials plan to undertake at Parliament Hill, The Legislative Assembly, and at City Council.
In the spirit of the Lethbridge Diversity & Inclusion Charter, we ask to hear from MP Harder on how she will advocate on behalf of her constituents to address all forms of intersectional discrimination and social exclusion on Parliament Hill. We would like to hear from our MLAs as to how they will put aside partisanship at the Legislative Assembly and collaborate towards the anti-racism initiatives in this community, of which have been gutted in recent times and needs reviving. We would like to hear from our Mayor as to what the City of Lethbridge is doing to uphold their signatory commitment to the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities.
Within the current discourse of systemic racism within our police forces, we would appreciate to hear from the Lethbridge Police Services their strong commitment towards serving the diversity of this community. We believe the population of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour (BIPOC) of this community shouldn’t have to live in fear of law enforcement and we ask to hear how Chief Woods plans on bridging the gap and fostering an open and healthy relationship with our communities that is built on transparency, accountability, and free of bias.
We genuinely appreciate our community leaders and elected officials coming together and showing up for this kind of event to discuss the invasive issue of systemic racism and discrimination. However, discourse filled with platitudes and clichés about coming together is no longer enough. We make this statement as a call to action towards dismantling the systemic issues that inhibit the social inclusion of our BIPOC population in Lethbridge. If diversity is truly our strength and inclusion our goal, then there must be no systems or policies in place that might jeopardize that future.
Victor Iyilade Jr. & Jerry Firth