A group dedicated to assisting South Okanagan immigrants has joined voices around the world, in demanding an end to racism.
South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS) issued a statement June 9, stating they have, “witnessed the pain and grief of the most recent victims of anti-black racism and white supremacy.”
Canada, the group says, is not exempt from racism and hatred.
SOICS, based in Penticton, has been assisting immigrants integrating into Canadian society for over 40 years.
“Racism, discrimination, intolerance – this negative mindset divides us and has no place in Canadian society,” reads the groups’ statement.
“The horror of George Floyd’s murder, is a sharp reminder of a system and society that led to the enslavement and segregation of Black people; the displacement and genocide of Indigenous people; and in the midst of a pandemic, the unprovoked physical and verbal attacks on Asian people.”
They say their work, which seeks to uplift immigrants and refugees, is inextricably tied to standing against racism and hate. Today, they say they are renewing their commitment to inclusive communities, based on mutual respect and full participation of all people.
“We acknowledge a shared and profound sense of pain. We hear your cry. We stand with you for change, to be vigilant, to be silent no more.”