A statement from JIBC President and CEO Michel Tarko
On behalf of the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), I wish to express our profound sorrow and concern over the incidents of race-based violence and discrimination taking place in cities across North America.
As a post-secondary educational institute that provides law enforcement training, I want to make it clear that JIBC does not in any way support the police actions shown in the video of George Floyd’s tragic death.
We at JIBC denounce all cases of racism, whether they are anti-Black or anti-Asian incidents in recent news reports, or the historical inequities faced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada and around the world.
Nevertheless, we recognize that systemic racism and discrimination exists in Canadian society, be it targeting people due to their cultural and ethnic background, faith, sexual orientation, or gender.
This goes against JIBC’s vision of safer communities and a more just society. The Institute embraces diversity, inclusivity and social justice advocacy as qualities we believe are an inherent part of what it is to be Canadian. In fact, these values form part of the education and training we provide to justice and public safety professionals, our future community heroes.
While we promote mutual respect and understanding in the classroom, it is incumbent on each and every one of us to stand up to racism and discrimination in all its forms in our everyday lives. We must speak up when we see injustice, and make it clear that prejudice is simply unacceptable.
The healing of these tears in our Canadian social fabric starts with improving our understanding of each other, to realize what it is to walk in the shoes of someone who has suffered due to systemic racism and discrimination. I encourage you to ask these difficult questions of friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and others. Learn what it is to live that life, and recognize how your privilege may have played a role in that.
In short, be an ally and advocate for those who are afraid or cannot speak up for themselves, and others who experience this systemic inequality. JIBC stands in solidarity with them, and will continue to champion the value of diversity in our society. After all, it is only by working together and shining a light on injustice, and in turn, on what we want in society that we will move forward and leave the darkness behind.
Dr. Michel Tarko
JIBC President and CEO