Racism exists all over the world – Canada, Ontario, and Toronto are no exceptions. Canada’s economic foundations and societal fabric were built on a platform of brutal colonization of Indigenous peoples, Black enslavement, successive waves of exploitation of workers from newcomer communities, and systemic racism that is embedded in every institution today.
Social Planning Toronto acknowledges that police brutality is a devastating symptom of the long-standing and long-ignored reality of anti-Black racism, which has re-ignited deep trauma and suffering for Black people in our city. We completely support the statement issued by Black health leaders calling for the declaration of anti-Black racism as a public health crisis.
Report after report and analysis after analysis have shown that we are not one city, but a city divided by stark inequity across multiple dimensions, including race. Social Planning Toronto will continue to advocate for the robust collection of race-based and neighbourhood-level data, and for redirecting resources from our massive police budget to community-level solutions informed by that data, in areas such as public health, community space, affordable housing, and civic engagement.
It is essential that the City of Toronto maintain a strong commitment to resourcing and supporting the work of the Indigenous Affairs Office and to fully implementating the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.
As an organization, we remain committed to listening to people who are most directly impacted by systemic racism, supporting Black and Indigenous leadership, amplifying their voices and the solutions they are proposing, and holding decision-makers to account for implementing solutions that dismantle systemic racism in the numerous places and ways that it exists today.
No single act and no individual can accomplish this – a commitment is required from every corner of society. We are dedicated to using our power and resources as an organization to stand in solidarity with Indigenous, Black, and racialized Torontonians across all of our city-building efforts.