To our Catholic Community,
Further to our united response with Catholic trustees throughout Ontario earlier this week, we are writing on behalf of the HWCDSB Board of Trustees and school system to express our outrage and deep sadness at recent acts of anti-black racism throughout our world.
Our Board of Trustees and dedicated staff throughout our school system share the conviction that all people are created in the image of our loving God. As such, racism, oppression and all forms of discrimination violate the dignity of the human person.
Commenting last week Pope Francis rightly and strongly stated: “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”
As a Catholic school system, we provide resources to nurture the building of community and to support our work in the area of equity and inclusion, but we recognize that we must do more in this area. We must do so in order to “enable all learners to realize their fullness of humanity of which Jesus Christ is the model.” We do so as well to promote equity in opportunity and to do our part to eliminate racism in all of its ugly forms.
We acknowledge that racism and specifically anti-black racism is a reality for far too many and know that we, as a Catholic School System, can and must do better. It is time to turn our sadness into concrete action. We are committed to listening and learning from those who have and continue to experience racism. It is our intention to include the voices of black, Indigenous and other minority populations from our school community in the development of equity and anti-racism programs that support and build on our past efforts.
We are heartened by the messages of encouragement, support and even admonition that we have received from our community and the many offers to help and support us in the crucially important work now before us.
We pledge with our colleagues to do all we can to denounce the evils of racism and discrimination and, in word and action, bring hope to the oppressed of our community and our world. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Hope we pray for the wisdom and courage to “Act justly, love mercifully and walk humbly with our God.”
Patrick J. Daly
Chairperson of the Board
Director of Education