“It is time for all of us to do our part to improve the human experience,” stated Winnie Daniel Sunday night, during the West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA) town hall meeting, moderated by Elysia Bryan-Banes. Close to 400 participants attended the meeting on Facebook.
The event was well represented by many VIP’s hoping for a change in the West Island Community, too many to list. (see the link to the feed for the complete view of all in attendance).
Black lawyers, judges, educators and politicians shared the screen and showed their concern for microaggressions towards the black community and demanded action. While it was a peaceful meeting, it was not without force.
Many presenters, such as Dr. Fadji Koffi, shared their experience with system racism. Dr. Koffi relayed a story of being the only student in her class not to be contacted for a stage while pursuing her engineering degree. And she had to use her father’s connection to get her foot in the proverbial door.
Former Canadian Football player and law student, Balarama Holness was very vocal on his thoughts regarding housing insecurity, public security, life expectancy, unemployment and food security.
“We are hurting, we need help,” shared Holness.
Holness was pivotal in collecting over 22,000 signatures to force a public consultation on racism.
One central issue that kept coming back time and again was the lack of black representation. Dorval Primary School Director, Wusua Mitchell, shared her experience in having a clear lack of black teachers and principals. MNA Greg Kelley called to attention the fact that in Quebec City, there are currently zero black police officers. Mayors Jim Beis, John Belvedere and Alex Bottausci explained what their respective cities would be contributing to the solution. MP Francis Scarpaleggia expressed his concerns and answers from a federal level.