A statement from the Outlink Board of Directors: On Racism in our Community and our Organization.
Calgary Outlink would like to acknowledge the current ongoing discussions and experiences of racism within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and the harm caused to racialized members of our community. This harm continues to come at the hands of our largely white-led community organizations and the white supremacist colonial structures and systems they uphold. We are grateful to the people publicly sharing their first-hand accounts of racism inside Calgary’s 2SLGBTQIA+ non-profits and how they reveal ways that white supremacy perpetuates harm in our organizations. This includes our organization.
Calgary Outlink has a history of causing harm to racialized members of our community. We have been complacent and silent since 2015 when we were the perpetrators of explicit racism within our organization and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
We want to apologize for our historical and current participation in racism and upholding white supremacist colonial structures and systems. We apologize for the harm we have caused, and continue to cause, to members of our community. We have been operating from a place of white fragility, which has continued to cause further harm in our community.
We can do better.
Calgary Outlink is committed to creating a culture of accountability that centers the experiences of racialized members of our community. It is important to us that this accountability be informed by those who have been harmed by us and that learning must lead to anti-racist action. We also acknowledge that the emotional burden, the resources required to do this work, and re-living the harm should not be requested of, or placed on, racialized members of our community.
While we acknowledge this work should not be placed on the racialized community, we want to prioritize the voices and experiences of the community members who we have harmed. If you are willing, we would like to encourage communication or public statements from any and all current or former clients, volunteers, staff, board members, and/or anyone else who has engaged with Calgary Outlink to share their experiences in whatever capacity they are able. We understand that the labour involved in this process is not yours, it is ours.
We encourage other 2SLGBTQIA+ serving organizations to examine their own investment and complicity in perpetuating white supremacy. These systems of power are bigger than any of us individually, but are supported by all of us collectively. We are moving forward with the intent of transforming the way our organization identifies, acknowledges and handles systemic racism. We hope you will join us in this process of learning and defining what accountability looks like as we shift to a culture of accountability directly informed by those who have been harmed by our organizations.
If you would like to contact the Calgary Outlink Board of Directors directly, you can contact us at: email@example.com.
We will do better.
Calgary Outlink Board of Directors