As the hashtags and protests begin to wane, a group of Fredericton-based activists hopes to keep the conversation around anti-black racism going.
“It’s a time of change,” says Husoni Raymond, one of the group’s organizers. “This is the first time since I’ve been here that there’s been a conversation around anti-Blackness specifically in New Brunswick, which is a prevalent issue.”
“When I first came here I found out a lot of people are ignorant towards anti-Black racism in New Brunswick.”
The group is still in its infancy, but has already launched an online petition calling for action on the municipal and provincial level to take steps to tackle the issue.
“The protests didn’t end racism,” Raymond says. “We need meaningful action. We need to challenge the system and change how the system operates.”
Some of the calls to action detailed in the petition include incorporating the history of slavery and segregation in New Brunswick into the public school curriculum, mandatory anti-racism training for police and government officials, and the funding and development of Black-friendly safe-spaces in Fredericton.
The petition has been signed over 3,000 times in less than a week – prompting a response from New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs.
“I would like to thank the organizers of this petition and the thousands of people that have signed it for raising these important issues and bringing much needed awareness to them,” Higgs says in a statement.
“As a government we will review the requests made,” he added.
Raymond says the group hopes to be in touch with activists in other parts of the province soon in an effort to unify the movement throughout New Brunswick.