This is the Time for Real Change, Give space, listen, read, learn, support, donate, call out, reach out

The ELAN team and Board are united in their shared revulsion at last week’s murder of an unarmed Black man by police in Minneapolis. This incident has sparked international outrage because every country in the world, and every city, has its own share of victims and oppressors, its own glaring inequalities and shameful ongoing  failure to eliminate systemic racism, racial profiling and violence against Black people, Indigenous peoples and peoples of colour.

A December 2018 study by Concordia University exposed the long and oppressive history of racial profiling in Montreal, focused on the culturally diverse Montreal neighbourhood of Saint-Michel. The report was deeply troubling yet quickly filed away. In October 2019, Montreal’s police department (SPVM) released an independently commissioned study revealing that Black, Indigenous and Arab people are four times more likely to be stopped by police than white people. Described as shocking by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, the report marked one of the rare times Montreal’s police force publicly recognized that some of it officers may harbour biases toward the city’s minority communities.

Eighteen months later, there is little evidence of improvement.  

As the entire world protests the reprehensible killing of George Floyd, let us not forget our local victims who died at the hands of our police. To name a few: Anthony Griffin, Fredy Villanueva, Bony Jean-Pierre, Pierre Coriolan, and Nicholas Gibbs.

Now is the time for us to implement real change by supporting Black-led organizations with donations, by continually educating ourselves and our children about the realities of racism, by actively listening to marginalized voices, by calling out racism in real life (not just on social media), and by contacting local officials about acting on systemic change.

Signed unanimously by the ELAN Inclusion Committee

Established in 2018, ELAN Inclusion Committee’s mandate is to promote and advance inclusion within the organization, its activities and projects. Through action and advocacy, the committee addresses issues of discrimination, racism, and oppression that directly impact the arts and cultural communities of Quebec. Interested in sharing ideas to improve inclusion / joining ELAN’s Inclusion Committee? Please contact Swati Khanna at