Canadian Red Cross Statement on Racism and Racialized Violence

June 03, 2020

The Canadian Red Cross joins people in Canada and around the world in expressing our sadness and standing in solidarity with the millions of people who continue to experience anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, and racialized violence.

Racism violates human rights and is a threat to the safety and wellbeing of our communities. The Canadian Red Cross rejects racism and prejudice in every form and stands firm in our commitment to the Fundamental Principles that guide the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement of which we are a member: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

The death of George Floyd in Minnesota has been felt deeply across borders and has been a stark reminder of the persistent issues of racism and prejudice in our own society. Acts of racialized violence are further evidence of the painful reality that racism remains present in our communities and that we hold a collective responsibility to acknowledge and confront it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already exposed many inequalities created by systemic racism, both overt and subtle. In Canada, people of colour have been disproportionately impacted by crisis. This highlights the continued negative toll on certain communities who face much higher risks to health and well-being.

The staff and volunteers that give their time and energy to the humanitarian mission of the Canadian Red Cross are deeply connected to our mandate to improve the lives of those most vulnerable and to alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. This work takes many forms, but it always involves listening, especially to those who face the most suffering. Diversity is also a core part of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and something that is celebrated as a strength of our organization. Creating safe space for the voices of Black, Indigenous, people of colour and other racialized communities is critical, now more than ever.  The Canadian Red Cross remains committed to being open and providing impartial humanitarian assistance while continuing to work towards deep rooted and long lasting change in the communities we serve.