To the Black and Indigenous People, and People of Colour Harmed by CCGSD
We are writing to apologize to you and to make commitments about how we will move forward.
In the long history of CCGSD, and as recently as this year, it is clear to us that Black people,
Indigenous people and People of Colour have been caused harm by CCGSD. Today, we write
Organizationally, we experienced a very difficult Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) forum last
year. In the context of this forum, the Support Staff volunteers were harmed by staff and
management of CCGSD. Due to a lack of structural and program-related policies and oversight
on our part, the heritage of white superiority – which we believe influences the actions of the
white majority of Canadians and, as such, the white members of staff and management – was
informing decisions that were being made and how situations were handled.
Additionally, the lack of written policies to provide a decision-making structure was not available
for managers to assist them in countering the bias that exists in the treatment of white staff
compared to the treatment of Black staff. That bias was allowed to continue unchecked, as
unintentional as it may have been. We recognize the difference between intent and impact. We
regret not acting more swiftly to develop the structure that we needed to ensure the safety of our
Black staff at CCGSD.
We apologize, wholeheartedly and without reservation, for the harm we have caused. We
apologize that it has taken us this long to understand how and why we caused such harm. We
do so in the hope that one day we can again work together in the fight for social justice for all
gender and sexually diverse communities.
We also recognize that there have been harms caused to other members of the Black
communities, Indigenous communities and Communities of Colour that have worked with us as
partners, volunteers, staff, contractors, or in any other capacity over the years.
To you we offer our heartfelt apologies and we recognize that while time may have passed, the
hurt is still with you. If you feel unseen or unheard, please tell us your story and we will do our
best to make reparations.
We have committed directly to those who we know have been harmed, and now we commit to
all those who have worked with us in the past, work with us now, and will work with us in the
future: CCGSD will become the social justice institution that the gender and sexually diverse communities across Canada and Turtle Island need and deserve. We commit to centering anti-
racism in our policies, programs, and approaches. We commit to deconstructing the heritage of
white superiority that has existed within CCGSD now and on an ongoing basis. We are grateful
that we do this work, we are honoured to do it, and we are committed to doing it for everyone,
We have been reticent to make announcements about advancements or improvements made
by CCGSD because we did not want to take attention away from the very important Black-led
civil rights movement. However, after hearing from members of our communities and after
discussing it within the organization, we would like to share some improvements that we believe
will help us ensure that CCGSD is living up to those commitments:
This is just a start. Improvement will always be required. Change will not happen without
concrete action and continued accountability. CCGSD has committed to additional
improvements. In the coming weeks, we will be making announcements about the next chapter
of CCGSD, including our new Vision, Mission and Values; leadership changes; and updates on
programming, policies, advocacy and so much more. We are determined to make ongoing and
necessary changes to dismantle the structural and systemic racism that exists within CCGSD
and continue to consciously and intentionally unlearn the heritage of white superiority and
biases that affect our staff members, managers, and Board members.
On behalf of the Board of Directors