Marchers took to the streets of Halifax on Friday to march for justice and create awareness surrounding the issue if systemic racism.
The group called on all community members to fight for racial justice. They’d also like to see a key piece of legislation updated.
March organizer Raymond Sheppard says there are many untold tragedies from people who endure racism, such as being underrepresented in employment, education and the justice system.
“We are also dying because racism causes injury to our hearts, minds and spirit,” Sheppard said.
Angela Bowden, who was at the rally, says she will continue to fight for those who can’t.
“In 1996 I lost my son as a result of systemic racism and that has been my journey since then,” she said. “To make sure that he didn’t die in vain and that his life did matter, and so I speak so that those who can no longer speak have a voice.”
Bowden also says she knows the first-hand effects of racism.
“I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of systemic and institutionalized racism in the workplace, and so I think that it’s important that we understand that it’s not only just name calling that racism really effects our lives,” she says.
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Sheppard says that it’s time for people to be held accountable.
“I think people in the non-African Nova Scotian community have to take responsibility for their privilege and use that privileged to help all people,” Sheppard says.
The group is calling on Premier Stephen McNeil to introduce legislation to update the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.