As noted in the statement endorsed by HALCO and others in the HIV movement, this is a critical moment for Ontario’s HIV sector to stand in solidarity with Black communities and speak out against anti-Black racism.
As we continue to use our collective tools and voices to dismantle HIV stigma and to challenge the status quo, we must begin to speak out louder on behalf of and with Black communities and organizations like Black Lives Matter. We must collectively acknowledge high and persistent HIV rates in Ontario’s African, Caribbean and Black communities and the ways that anti-Black racism and persistent health inequities contribute to this reality. Our collective voices must also rise in resistance to anti-Indigenous racism, transphobia, and countless other forms of oppression in our community.
While the state has indeed perpetrated violence against Black communities, we must acknowledge the role of our organizations in perpetuating this violence. As community-based organizations, we must examine the ways in which our own silence makes us complicit and commit to identifying and addressing occurrences of anti-Black racism within our sector and organizations.
As also noted in the statement, we strongly:
- Affirm this statement in solidarity with Black communities and with the Black Lives Matter movement
- Commit ourselves to challenging anti-Black racism and violence through our actions
- Commit to ensuring that Black communities who access HIV-related services in Ontario can do so without fear of discrimination
For the full statement, see here.