Many in our community have reached out in recent days as they feel the need for an outlet to express their very strong emotions about what is happening in the world right now. Due to COVID-19, many, myself included, aren’t comfortable joining large gatherings such as the peaceful march planned on Friday to honour George Floyd, support #BlackLivesMatter, and bring attention to the racial injustices that many in our city face.
Social injustice happens everywhere. It is constant and I believe that a persistent state of social consciousness and awareness helps end social injustice. I can’t stay silent, and I know many of you can’t either.
The question is: What can we do to participate in Friday’s march visibly and safely?
First and foremost, I suggest you do what feels right for you, especially given the risks of COVID-19. Personally, I am not comfortable joining the large march in downtown Ottawa on Friday. Instead, my family and I will be at the end of our driveway at 3 p.m. on Friday, standing in solidarity with those who march and signaling our support for Black Lives Matter.
I invite you to express your support in similar ways. Whether you choose to march, stand in your driveway, take a walk in your neighbourhood, or put a sign in your window. We can all participate however we are most comfortable doing so and show our support as a community to end social injustice.
Let’s also remember that we must carry this awareness and this commitment forward in the days and weeks ahead. One day of action isn’t enough, but persistent action and commitment can only help make the progress we need.