CANFAR’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
Looking back at this past month, we have a lot to reflect on and more work ahead of us. June marked Pride month, National Indigenous History month as well as a global movement of protest in support of Black Lives Matter and against racial injustice — all while we continue to grapple with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives.
CANFAR is humbled by the opportunity to continue to learn and grow, and to do better by the communities we serve, to achieve our mission in ending the HIV epidemic in Canada for ALL communities. Racism is not an issue unique to the United States — anti-Black racism exists in Canada too. As a national foundation working towards ending Canada’s HIV epidemic, we recognize firsthand how issues of systemic racism, colonialism, homophobia and transphobia have a direct impact on population health outcomes, including the HIV epidemic. Black, Indigenous and other people of colour (BIPOC) experience some of the highest HIV rates in our country. Racial inequality creates health inequities that hinder CANFAR’s mission to ending Canada’s HIV epidemic once and for all.
We are committed to continuing to listen and learn from the communities most affected by the HIV epidemic and we must examine the ways in which our own silence makes us complicit. We condemn the violence and systemic racism towards the marginalized in our communities. Some of our immediate actions include: working closely with BIPOC among our network of ambassadors and partners to gain a deep understanding of how their communities are impacted and assess how CANFAR can support them specifically; educating the public about the disproportionate impact of HIV on BIPOC communities in Canada; addressing and dismantling the structural barriers that stand in the way of successfully implementing treatment and support for BIPOC — and for all — affected by HIV; combatting racism within our communities and leading by example by adopting anti-racist practices inside and outside our organization.
It requires more than a month of commemoration to bring about lasting change and we recognize that. But you can count on us to continue to do the hard, but necessary, work of educating ourselves and ensuring that our national response to Canada’s HIV epidemic is responsive and inclusive of ALL members of the community.