George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. Nina Pop.
These are the names of five human beings who, in the past few months, have lost their lives for no reason other than the colour of their skin.
The deepest atrocity is that this is not a new phenomenon. The systemic violence that Black individuals and communities are confronted with on a daily basis needs to stop.
We stand in solidarity with Black communities and join in the collective grief over innocent lives lost. We denounce white supremacy and police violence in all its forms. Racial violence is a persisting result of colonial systems, and the systemic racism that continues today requires our immediate attention. It is not lost on us that Black and Indigenous communities are also disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the climate crises.
Our vision is for a future where we live in right relationship with ourselves, each other, and nature; understanding that these are intricately connected. To be in “right relations” with one another, we need to listen, learn, and act in support of Black, Indigenous, and POC communities that are deeply harmed by racial violence and colonialist systems. This work is not, and can not, be separate from the deep inner personal work that we uphold.
As a team of predominantly white and non-black people of colour, we often ask ourselves what it means for our organization to be in service to transformative social and cultural change. We are committed to proactive anti-racist action and have been actively working to create new programming to combat these issues within our organization and the communities we serve. Our dream for a just and equitable future demands that we do this work.
To meet this particular moment, we will also be adjusting our upcoming free online ‘hockshop this Monday to provide space for some of these important conversations.
We are inspired by the words of maverick spiritual teacher Rev angel Kyodo williams:
“What is required is a new Dharma, a radical Dharma that deconstructs rather than amplifies the systems of suffering, that starves rather than fertilizes the soil of the conditions that the deep roots of societal suffering grow in.”
Linked here are some resources for starting and deepening anti-racism work. You can also donate to Black Lives Matters Vancouver here. We all have a part to play.
We pray that you are all keeping as well as you can through the challenge of this time.
With love and solidarity,
Peter, Andrea, Penelope, Ling
Hollyhock Senior Leadership Team
Editor: Loretta Laurin