As an organization that strives to work with men and boys to challenge toxic masculinity, practice and promote consent culture and find alternatives to resorting to violence and hatred, we are deeply saddened by the events in Charlottesville this weekend, especially the murder of social justice activist Heather Heyer.
As an organization originating from and operating out of Canada, we may think we’re isolated, or protected, from racism and bigotry, but we are not, and we cannot sit idly by as institutionalised and individual racism, bigotry and misogyny find strong footholds and become further normalised.
As always, we are reminded of some of the final words from Co-Founder Jack Layton –
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
Changing the world takes action, and we reiterate our commitment to work from a pro-feminist, intersectional framework in solidarity with social justice movements, women’s and human rights organisations locally and globally until the violence stops.
If you’re looking for ways to take meaningful action, here are few links:
- White Supremacists Still Exist. Here’s What White Parents Can Do About It.
- Experts explain how white people should talk to other white people about Charlottesville
- Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
As a member of the global MenEngage Alliance and Co-chair of the North American MenEngage Network, we stand side by side with our Canadian, US and global colleagues and partner organizations in the social justice movement.
Statement from the North American MenEngage Network:
The North American MenEngage Network (NAMEN) works for justice and equality. The abominable action of white supremacists (predominantly male), and the subsequent murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville Virginia, cannot be tolerated by silence. Our collective hearts go out to all of those who were injured, to Ms. Heyer’s family and loved ones, and all those who were harmed.
As a network of individuals and organizations working to engage men in promoting gender, racial, sexual and other forms of equality, NAMEN stands in solidarity with those pursuing equality and justice, and resists bigotry, hatred and violence in all its forms, whether that is white supremacy, male supremacy, or other forms of systemic bigotry and hate.
We will continue to actively resist institutional and personal manifestations of racist, sexist, heterosexist, transphobic, classist, anti-Semitic and other multiple and intersectional forms of oppression which undermine the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” of all those who live, work and breath in the United States of America, and throughout the world. The North American MenEngage Network embraces the power of a diverse nation of people and the strength and beauty that diversity brings to the establishment of a just and peaceful world. So as our children look to the sky, they see the sun filled clouds and stars at night without fear, and encircle their lives with hope and joy.
The statement can be found on the MenEngage Facebook page.