Over the past weeks and months we at RLG, together with the rest of the world, have witnessed the traumatic killings of unarmed black individuals by police officers, and then followed the passionate, inspiring and heartbreaking stories and protests supporting #BlackLivesMatter. The global community is demanding recognition of systemic racism, challenging the historical treatments of our indigenous peoples, and calling for changes to institutions (police, government, corporate and private) that must afford protection and safety for all racialized and marginalized communities.
At RLG, we recognize that we too are part of the history that has institutionalized systemic racism. We must be part of today’s efforts to ensure that human rights, equality, justice and opportunity are afforded to all people, regardless of colour, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or heritage, always.
I and many of us at RLG recognize that we have lived our lives in a privileged world. I personally have never been abused, threatened, denied, challenged, ostracized, or ignored, because of the colour of my skin, the language of my parents, the partner I choose or the way I express my religious beliefs or spirituality. We can close off much of the terror that exists in the world and fill our attention with the comfort and safety of protected, insular circles of family, friends, and well-intentioned companies such as RLG.
Edmund Burke’s often quoted truth, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” calls on not only individuals but also organizations to stand up and be counted among those who will commit to action and a “better” world.
Two years ago, RLG established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to help us better understand our own internal and unconscious biases, challenge our own practices, and hold up a mirror to ourselves and our leadership team.
We at RLG have work to do to be included with those whose actions are transforming our world for the better. We will speak up internally and challenge our own systemic racism and bias. We will commit to conversation and training at all levels, and we will search out, listen to, and learn from insight and perspective that challenges our own comfort and status quo. We will support and fund organizations that are on the leading edge of community and global efforts to acknowledge, understand and eliminate racism and discrimination, and listen to their voices and learnings. For those of you asking how to help and where to start, below are recommendations from our Community Crisis Support Task Force and information on qualified organizations leading in efforts to address racism, discrimination, and the impact on our communities. I invite you to reach out to me and our leadership team, to challenge us, or offer insights or opportunities we may not see.
I thank all our employees, contractors, partners, client and friends who are courageously stepping up and joining us in a journey to better.
President & CEO
RLG International Inc.
RLG Community Crisis Support Task Force
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITIES IN ADDRESSING RACISM
What can WE do in our communities? Answering this question led us to a much smaller list, a list of organizations which focus on one issue we agreed was both fundamental to combating racism and actionable in local communities. These are organizations based on simple principles:
- The only real cure for racism is true friendship: learning to listen, value and trust
- To generate trust, you must get people together in an environment safe for free and open dialogue enabling people to see themselves as others see them and see the world as others see it
- When trust is built, bias and myth are replaced with truth and respect; distance becomes friendship and the foundation is laid for joint efforts to address real community problems
Below are links to master lists of US and Canadian organizations engaged in race relations. Several on the US list have global presence.