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Eliminate Racism - An Open Letter

Posted: Jun 09, 2020

Erick Ambtman
Executive Director

EndPovertyEdmonton’s founding documents acknowledge “Actions to eliminate poverty and those focused on ending discrimination go hand-in-hand.” (End Poverty in a Generation: A Strategy). To fulfill the mandate to end poverty in Edmonton, we must end racism.

We cannot solve the problem of poverty…unless we honestly unravel the complex and continuing connection between poverty and race.
— Alan Jenkins

We have seen the violence directed at Black people in the United States. It has further catalyzed our city. Our collective will to end racism has manifested itself as thousands of Edmontonians rallying at the Alberta Legislative grounds. Our community is asking us all to take action to end both racism and its effects on too many Edmontonians. At EndPovertyEdmonton, we recognize Edmonton’s current and historic racism, particularly directed at Black and Indigenous peoples. We see the poverty it creates.

As a community we can, and must, work to end racism. We must carefully listen to, and strive to understand, each other. It will require us to be uncomfortable. It will require many of us to revisit our past traumas. It will require many of us to re-think our worldview. It will require many, many difficult conversations, but we cannot be silent.

We’re calling on all Edmontonians’ to join the work. Start by having some of those hard conversations. Press for change to our systems.

We must fill the voids where stereotypes, prejudice and assumptions would tell us what to think by cultivating opportunities to know people who don’t look like ourselves. Hate and division can be defeated when we find our shared humanity. We all have a responsibility to deal with racist beliefs, attitudes and structures. We must address systemic racism head-on.

EndPovertyEdmonton stands with our community in the work to end racism.

Erick Ambtman, Executive Director with
Cheryl Whiskeyjack & Michael Phair, Co-Chairs EndPovertyEdmonton

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