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Capital Pride stands in solidarity with the courageous black voices and allies denouncing and condemning anti-Black racism in the United States and here in Canada. The recent deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, closer to home, in Toronto, have once again shed light on the continued systemic violence and oppression experienced by Black communities.

As an organization representing the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the National Capital Region, and with Pride month beginning today, June 1st, we would like to remind everyone that the queer liberation movement, as with many other human rights movements, was spurred by the activism of Black and Trans women of colour.

While we, as Canadians, take pride in having a multicultural society, we must also acknowledge and condemn the consequences of our colonial history that have created systemic barriers, hostility and violence toward Black Canadians, as well as Indigenous peoples, and people of colour.

The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent 2016 preliminary report highlights “Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation, and marginalization” and its roots into anti-Black racism in Canada, leading to institutional racism, low-unemployment rates, poor health and disproportionally high incarceration rates of Black Canadians.

Let us remember that racism has no borders. It is our collective duty to dismantle racism to keep our hopes and dreams alive. The only way to do so is to ensure that we are treated fairly and equally.

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes, Capital Pride Executive Director

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