Tuesday, May 30, 2023

African-Canadian lawmakers should meet with their American counterparts

To that end, members of the Black Parliamentary Caucus from Canada visited Washington, DC this week for a historic meeting with the Black Congressional Caucus from the United States of America. They set out to learn from each other as legislators and advocates on issues that affect their black communities.

The United States is one of those places, one of those countries that we look at that has a much larger and more stable group of black legislators, said Senator Rosemary Moodie, co-chair of the administration, at a reception held earlier this weekend. Embassy of Canada

We were intrigued by the fact that we were struggling with so many similar issues, many of them really annoying, stubborn, stubborn things, and we wanted to reach out and partner and see how we could learn from them. Roris Moodie, Canadian independent senator.

Canadian Senator Roris Moodie, center, is co-chair of the parliamentary black caucus. Senator Ratna Omidvar on the left, Senator Peter Harder on the right.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Fred Chartrand

“We are not the only ones to face problems”

Roris Moodie discovered that many of the members of the United States Black Caucus have family in Canada, while members of the Canadian Black Caucus also have family in the United States.

So why aren’t we talking, why aren’t we participating, asked Ontario Canadian Senator Roris Moodie, co-chair of the Canadian Black Parliamentary Association.

Canada’s Black Parliamentary Caucus started in 2015 with five members, Moodie said, but has since grown to 14. It runs as a nonpartisan group, bringing together MPs and Senators who are black Canadians or allies with black Canadians who advocate for issues. important to black communities across Canada.

For its part, the Black Congressional Caucus came into being in 1971, and now has more than 50 legislators from the US House of Representatives and Senate.

They have done many positive things for African Americans, said Liberal Rep. Greg Fergus, former co-chair of the group, who also traveled to Washington.

I think that we have succeeded in some of the initiatives that we have undertaken, and we can learn from our American cousins ​​how to make sure that we build the right coalitions. Fergius

According to Steven Horsford, a congressman from Nevada and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, a group of African-American members of the United States Congress meets every week to have lunch and discuss issues, in the most important, most important hour of that meeting. Capitol.

Addressing guests gathered at the Canadian embassy, ​​Horsford said the two groups had an incredibly productive working session discussing the role black lawmakers play in advocating for the communities they serve every day.

I am excited about the opportunity to continue doing the work. Let’s leave the meeting with a clear idea that we don’t have to meet our problems alone. We are all here to work to keep our communities safe and provide economic opportunity to the wealthy and underserved, said Steven Horsford, Nevada Congressman and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Greg is busy

Greg Fergusa, a liberal ambassador who also traveled to Washington, highlighted the work of African-American lawmakers in favor of their communities.

Photo: The Canadian Press / PATRICK DOYLE

Black leaders meeting with civil rights

The Canadian parliamentarians also traveled to Howard University, an institute for the research of the black historical community, in which they met the leaders of American civil rights organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP for the English acronym) and Urban National. Covenant (NULL).

We learned a lot about Canada, about black Canadians, about their challenges, struggles and hopes, said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League.

I think we are surprised by the similarities. Problems with the police, the judicial system, poverty, lack of representation and voice. I think the similarities in conditions and struggles are much clearer to us than before this meeting: words from Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League.

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, recalled that his organization was founded in Canada’s Niagara region because African-Americans could not safely gather on US soil.

While this conference is historic, it is also an opportunity to continue to build on our mutual concern that all people be treated with dignity, regardless of national or ethnic origin, added Derrick Johnson.

Source: CBC / M. Gollom

Accomodation: RCI / R. Valencia

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