By Ninu Kang – Ninu is currently leading an anti-racism initiative in Surrey; as a senior leader at MOSAIC, she has over 25 years of experience working to fight racism
As we watched the killing of another Black person, George Floyd, by police officers in the US, the protests and public uprising from across the globe have been inspiring. People of all colours stand in solidarity and demand equal justice to end the deeply embedded racism and hate against Black people and their communities.
Here in Canada, we have our own history of racist and discriminatory policies that are deeply embedded within our social structures -- such as our education institutions, justice system and medical system.
As videos emerge of racialized individuals or groups of people being attacked verbally or physically through racism, xenophobic or Islamophobic acts, people who witness this often don’t know what to do and end up doing nothing --perhaps later feeling guilty as a result.
What to do?
If you find yourself in one of these situations, you can be more than a bystander; here are some tips:
- Make eye contact with the person being verbally attacked; let them know you support them
- Assess the safety of yourself and others around you; you don’t want to escalate the situation
- Be calm as ‘calm creates calm’
- Move closer to the victim to non-verbally show that you are near and supportive
- If you say something, comment on the behaviour you are seeing and not label anyone
- Stay with the victim and ask how you can help
- If the incident leads to police involvement, consider being a witness and let the person or police know how they can contact you.
MOSAIC Takes Action
MOSAIC’s organizational Vision is that together we advance an inclusive and thriving Canada. We provide a range of services, along with engaging communities, to respond to various issues, including the rise of racism and hate in Canada. To learn more about MOSAIC, please visit mosaicbc.org/about.
If you have been the victim of a crime, MOSAIC can provide emotional support, information about your rights, legal information and referrals to help in your recovery through out Multicultural Victim Services Program.
Additionally, MOSAIC offers free, confidential counselling support and multicultural outreach services for women who have experienced, or are at risk of, abuse, threats, or violence in an intimate relationship, sexual assault or childhood abuse. To learn more, please visit mosaicbc.org/stv.
MOSAIC is one of Canada’s largest settlement and employment agencies helping immigrants, refugees and newcomers. MOSAIC enriches communities through services and advocacy, furthering the success and sense of belonging of newcomers and individuals from diverse backgrounds. Learn more at mosaicbc.org/about.