The History of Our Breath
During Black History Month, we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.
This Black History Month we want to speak to the importance of our breath.
Breathing is an exchange of the experience, knowledge and contributions of Black people. At the 2017 Ontario Regional Council, Bermuda Public Service Union Vice President Linda Bogle Mienzer delivered a powerful speech about allowing people to breathe in their full identity in order to live. We see globally that is contested for Black people. The epidemic of extreme police violence, most recently epitomized by George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police, proves that “I can’t breathe” is still an urgent rallying call for systemic change. Breath is vital and it is essential for life.
Black History Month should not only be about struggle, is about the resilience of people, but it is also about the determination, the success and accomplishments of Black people.
Just like the millions of people who marched, declaring boldly, that Black Lives Matter, our goal is for Black members to feel comfortable in their diverse identities to breathe in all of our spaces, including at their workplaces, union events and activities.
We will celebrate Black history, Black present and Black future, not only during the month of February, but every day.
This year, Unifor reaffirms our commitment to listen, acknowledge, support, and make space for Black people in our locals, workplaces, communities. We have many Black leaders in our union and we are committed to supporting their success.
Unifor will be featuring Black Unifor members from across the country in short videos speaking to their “History of their breath” on our social media channels.
Please share those and this powerful message, the attached shareable and please support virtual Black history events and organizations in your community.
Happy Black History Month.