On behalf of the National Council of the Union of Health and Environment Workers I want to wish everyone a Happy Black History Month. February each year is an opportunity to celebrate the work and acknowledgements of Black people who continue to struggle for fairness and dignity and respect at work and throughout society. And to join their voices as they call out racial injustice and fight back against discrimination and harassment of all racialized members.
We commit ourselves again this February to building fair and just society and a respectful workplace where everyone has an opportunity to succeed. As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “The time is always right to do what’s right.” And that time is now.
Black History Month is also an opportunity to reflect on the strength and resiliency of people of African and Caribbean descent in Canada, while committing to fight against systemic discrimination and racism in our communities. They have fought and won many victories in the community and the workplace, but there is still work to do. In the federal public service Black workers have faced decades of Black employee exclusion from career advancement opportunities. They make up 3.5 per cent of the federal public service and yet only hold 1.6 per cent of executive roles. The time is right for that to change, too.
We encourage you all to actively support Black History Month events and activities within your workplace and community. You can also celebrate Black History Month by supporting Black-owned businesses and educating yourself about noteworthy Black figures and their contributions to Canadian society. You could read and share books by Black authors or make a donation to organizations that support anti-racism activities and fight for equality.
However you choose to participate, we hope you will join us in celebrating Black History Month.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at the e-mail below.
Help us build UHEW together!!