On November 18, 2020, Somerset West Community Health Centre hosted a community conversation on Anti-Asian Racism: the Past, Present and Future. It was the 4th conversation the centre hosted since last September to engage the community in a discussion on racism and anti-racism. Previously, we had discussed 1) racial trauma and community-based healing (read the highlights here); 2) what does COVID-19 tell us about systemic racism? (view the livestreamed video here); and 3) an Indigenous perspective on dealing with grief.
This conversation was a response to the escalation of anti-Asian racism we have seen in cities across Canada including Ottawa since the emergence of COVID-19. According to the Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Chapter, more than 600 incidents of anti-Asian racism have been reported across the country since February 2020. Three percent of these racist incidents occurred in Ottawa with the majority of the anti-Asian racism targeted Eastern Asians and people who look like them.
Anti-Asian racism is not a new phenomena in Canada. It has existed throughout Canadian history, and intensified during different periods in time. In this community conversation, we wanted to understand the idea of anti-Asian racism, the role it plays in the Canadian white settler society, and our responsibilities in building solidarity across struggles for racial justice.
Please watch the recording from the event below and click here for Speakers’ Bio and resources shared during the conversation.