#FaceRace is an open challenge to all Canadians to confront racism amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
FaceRace occurs simultaneously with the global fight against anti-Black racism helmed by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and stands in solidarity for dismantling white supremacist structures that subjugate all racialized peoples. CCNC-SJ believes that as part of being allies, we must commit to the lifelong work of learning and unlearning, including recognizing the ways we have benefitted from anti-Black racism, and to call out anti-Black racism among our own communities, families, and friends.
Most Canadians responded to the world public health crisis through quickly adapting to prevention and containment measures – including frequent hand washing, social distancing, self-isolation, and wearing face masks and other protective gear – under the guidance of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and provincial and municipal health authorities.
However, some Canadians reacted to the outbreak and discovery of initial cases in Wuhan, China, by spreading disinformation, threatening, blaming and targeting Chinese Canadians, other Asian Canadians, and Indigenous Peoples, with racially based micro-aggressions, escalating to hate incidents and violence.
The Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice (CCNC-SJ) reached out to partners Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic in Toronto, Vancouver-based Civic Engagement Network (CEN) and Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) to co-ordinate community responses to racism in Canada.
The #FaceRace Campaign builds knowledge and awareness about anti-Asian racism in Canada prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also aims to empower victims of racism to identify and fight racism, while promoting community resilience.
CCNC-SJ acknowledges that we operate upon the traditional territories of many Indigenous nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and we recognize the special nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. We work in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and are committed to working towards the full implementation of the Calls to Action by Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Amid fear and panic of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian racism among Canadians wrote itself into our common history.