As the COVID-19 pandemic exposes the deep inequalities of our world and as the death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement officers spurs a growing global mobilization to end systemic racism, Development and Peace — Caritas Canada would like to reaffirm its belief in a world built on justice, equality and universal human dignity and its resolve to stand in solidarity with those striving to dismantle oppressive power structures.
Recognizing that we, too, can do more to contribute to the struggle for creating an inclusive society here in Canada and in the Global South, we recommit to the following principles:
- We are one human family and each person has an inherent dignity that must be respected.
- Systemic racism and inequalities are rooted in economic and social models that are built on colonial and neocolonial structures that must be dismantled.
- Guided by Catholic Social Teaching, particularly the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, our work must contribute to the dissolution of unjust power dynamics and various cross-linked systems of oppression.
- We must amplify the voices of those who are excluded and marginalized and listen to their needs and priorities in order to support them as agents of change.
- We must challenge the dominant paradigms that govern social, economic and political relations and adopt approaches that are anti-oppressive, that decolonize and that recognize and correct power imbalances.
- To combat social, economic, political and cultural exclusion, we must reinforce democratic processes that are based on participation, equity and social justice.
- We must recognize our own position of power and privilege. We must listen with intent; acknowledge our own constructs and preconceptions; and recognize that experiences, opportunities and access are influenced by race, gender, ethnicity and other forms of diversity.
Partnership and solidarity must, first and foremost, be based on listening; on asking how we can be allies, without presuming to know; and raising the voice of the voiceless by advocating for spaces for them to be heard.
We affirm that we are an ally, that we stand in solidarity, and that we are listening in humility and empathy.