By Jordyn Taylor, Young Worker Committee (YWC)

The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) is shining a light on issues that often get pushed into the shadows and aims to break down stigma associated with important issues in our communities.

Black lives matter is a movement aiming to promote racial equality.

Whether it is safety, clean water, adequate housing, or job opportunities, there are many existing inequalities that black communities and their allies are aiming to dismantle. 

It is time we recognize and acknowledge that racism still exists, not only in our big cities but also in our rural communities.

Have you ever felt like there was a target on your back because of your skin colour? Have you felt discriminated against while walking down the street? Grocery shopping? Or while working? If you've answered no to any of these questions consider yourself fortunate! Because unfortunately racism hits home with our friends, neighbours and coworkers on a daily basis.

How does racism affect our work place?

Racism has a terribly negative affect in the work place, including long term psychological damage. Racism affects a person’s ability to work safely due to the mental, physical, and emotional impacts – racism takes a toll on a person’s self-worth and confidence affecting their overall quality of life. Acts of racism not only affect the individual targeted but also bystanders – it is vital that if we see/hear racism, we do our part to name it and confront it, and to ensure the person being targeted is safe.   

How can we prevent racism in the work place?           

  • Focus on diversity and inclusion – ask your employer to host an anti-racism training.
  • Educate – read and watch books, articles, and movies developed by the black community.
  • Ask questions.
  • Be a team player – solidarity is key to addressing racism.
  • Report any acts of discrimination or racism to your supervisor or manager.
  • Understand the definition of both racism and discrimination.
  • Communicate effectively.

When and only when Black lives matter, do all lives matter.

Elimination of racial discrimination starts with you.

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