The Lord calls us to face our future with prayer. Through prayer we will move to authentic solidarity with our discriminated-against brothers and sisters. Only with the Lord, in Him, and through Him can we overcome the sinfulness of our human nature. We pray and remember, so that we can grow in authentic integrity since “from one ancestor He (God) made all nations to inhabit the whole earth” (Acts 17:26).
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops of the USA, June 22, 2020
In Ukraine, oppressive regimes of (Russian, Polish) have attempted to obliterate our language, culture, religion, and identity. Many of our people were scattered across the globe as refugees and exiles. Today, Ukrainian migration is voluntary; diasporic Ukrainians enjoy middle class privilege, able to conform to the shape of a Canadian mainstream. As Ukrainians, our own history particularly enables us to stand in solidarity with people who have been robbed of human dignity and social justice because of systemic prejudice and discrimination. With the voice of the Black Lives Matter movement, perhaps more than ever, Canadians are celebrating Black History Month and we, with our Ukrainian heritage, can particularly respond to the need to actively participate in ending discrimination against our Black sisters and brothers. You and I can take responsibility for prolonging or preventing oppression against a population, by reflecting on our own bias. Oftentimes, systemic discrimination happens without thinking, actually without intention, by people who actually mean well. This is “unconscious bias”. In our daily lives and jobs we can begin to stop injustice against Black people by paying attention to the stories and voices raised during Black History Month. Perhaps we have made presumptions about someone’s honesty, integrity, or actions because of their skin colour? As always, we can support leadership and companies that actively work towards bringing justice to black communities that have been undervalued and victimized by the mainstream.
Ukrainians are mobilizing against racism. You can access the UKRAINIAN ANTIRACIST COMMUNITY website here: https://www.ukrainianantiracistcommunity.com/who-we-are
“We are not unique in our role upholding a complex racist society, but we can uniquely fight it. We cannot remain silent. From the neighbourhoods we live in, to the officials we endorse, to the schools we attend, to the police we call, to the businesses we patronize, to the soft attitudes we tolerate, every single person in a racist society has a role in maintaining it. The Ukrainian Antiracist Community therefore joins with countless other communities to dismantle the racist foundations of our Western society”.