Support initiative to end anti-Asian racism
I am writing to seek your support for a new CPAC initiative – advocating for the interests of Chinese Canadians and combating anti-Asian racism, which is often overlooked as a serious issue within Canada in the larger anti-racism discourse.
The issue of anti-Asian, and particularly anti-Chinese, racism has afflicted us since the arrival of the first wave of Chinese immigration into Canada. Generations of Chinese and successive waves of Chinese immigrants have struggled against it with limited success. The recent rise of anti-Chinese racism during COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency for us to address this issue now.
In addition to the more covert forms of racism seen in normal times, which include individual as well as systemic prejudices, stereotypes, biases, microaggressions, discriminatory policies and practices, “glass ceilings”, underrepresentation in positions of power, and so on, anti-Chinese racism during the COVID-19 pandemic has become overt and more brazen.
A disturbing number of our seniors, children and people of all ages have been targeted and violently attacked, harassed, spat on, yelled at, and bullied. Chinese businesses and places of worship have been vandalized. There is a sharp increase in hate crimes and hate incidents against not only Chinese, but also people who look like Chinese – East and Southeast Asian and Indigenous Canadians.
In response, CPAC has written twice to the Prime Minister of Canada, as well as the Premier of Ontario, the Mayor of Toronto and all the GTA school boards, raising the issue of anti-Chinese as well as anti-Asian racism, and demanding government actions. Our efforts have received positive responses and helped pressure political leaders to publicly condemn any form of anti-Asian racism, including the City of Toronto’s launch of a campaign against anti-Asian racism, and our school boards strengthening antiracism education in GTA schools.
We have conducted a series of 13 webinars, informing people of the various forms of racism and training them on how to recognize and respond to racial harassment and discrimination, attacks, and other forms of racist behaviours.
We are also a founding member of Asian Canadians Together to End Racism (ACT2endracism), a national coalition formed in April 2020 to combat COVID-19 related racism of all forms. As a key member of the coalition, we have played a leading role in all the campaigns, statements, consultations and public education activities. We have provided TV and radio interviews and distributed masks, brochures, and bookmarks.
In addition, we were part of the organizing team for the first Chinese Canadian Leaders Summit in 2019 and the development team of the first civic leadership training program for Chinese Canadians by ACCT Foundation.
Our mission is to address systemic barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion in Canadian society through research, training, education and other collaborative activities. While we focus on Chinese Canadians, we recognize that hate against any persons or groups of people cannot be tolerated. We are an ally to all anti-racism initiatives.
Our goal is an equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian society where everyone can participate fully and realize their full potential, and where Chinese Canadians can assert their role in building such a Canada.
In spite of human rights legislation and employment equity initiatives, study after study has shown that racialized persons still suffer from discrimination in hiring practices, in workplaces and in advancing to leadership positions. While measurable advances have been made for the advancement of women, there has been little progress in the advancement of racialized persons over the past two decades. Despite being condescendingly considered “model minorities”, Chinese Canadians in particular continue to be “othered” as perpetual foreigners and suffer from low representation in positions of power or leadership that belies their significant numbers demographically.
Such inequities cannot continue.
To that end, we have committed $50,000 in 2020 and started a research study on Chinese Canadian representation in senior leadership positions in the public, private and charitable sectors in the Greater Toronto Area.
We want to do more and do it continuously for the long term.
We believe this mission is critical to all of us. But it will not be easy. It will take unremitting work to make any meaningful change, and it requires significant financial resources to sustain.
Therefore, we ask you to join us and support us on this mission by making a donation to the CPAC Foundation.
Our goal is to raise $100,000 to do research, training and education to catalyze systemic changes.
We have taken the first step. Your gift will help us carry on with the important work that we have started, to eradicate racism and racial discrimination in Canada, for us, our children, and future generations.
Please DONATE with your credit card, or make a cheque payable to CPAC Foundation, 4150 Finch Avenue East, Toronto ON M1S 3T9
You can also support this mission through your workplace giving campaigns by designating CPAC Foundation as your donee through Benevity or the United Way. CPAC Foundation’s Charity Registration Number is 86430 6626 RR0001.
Thank you for being a part of our mission to make Canada a more equitable place for all.
With gratitude for your support,
President of CPAC