Anti-Oppression Committee Statement to Members

Statement to membership 

Some of you may have noticed Karma’s silence in the wake of the horrifying instances of police violence against Black and Indigenous people, which, since the murder of George Floyd on May 25th, have been the subject of popular uprisings around the world.

Many of you have also expressed your desire for Karma to be more active on this front and to be more engaged in matters of social justice and equity. Social justice is part of the fabric of our organization and, as a democratically run co-op, the values of our membership need to be reflected in how we operate. 

While the Karma board did not release a statement following George Floyd’s murder, it did take the following action: At the June 3rd Board meeting, the Board decided to create a committee to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion within our co-op and assigned the task of defining the terms of reference to a subset of Board members. The Terms of Reference of the “Anti Oppression” Committee were passed at the July 8th Board meeting. The change of name from “Diversity and Inclusion” to “Anti-Oppression” reflects an intention to focus on confronting systems of oppression, both within our co-op and in our broader society. 

The founding members of the Anti-Oppression Committee recognize that anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism is deeply embedded within our society. We also recognize that institutional violence against Black and Indigenous communities is a reality across our city, country and continent. We also recognize that addressing systemic racism and oppression at Karma starts with recognizing that our membership is substantially less racially and economically diverse than the city in which we exist.

The first goal of the committee is toEnsure Karma policies and practices set the organization up to be in opposition to and to do the work of dismantling white supremacy, patriarchy, cis and heteronormativity, settler colonialism, capitalism, ableism, and other forms of oppression deemed relevant by the committee.”

In order to achieve these goals, the committee intends to carry out research, in the form of an “anti-oppression audit within Karma, to determine how systems of oppression are present and function within Karma”, and then to make recommendations for training and education, as well as changes to policies and practices within Karma. 

Please see the linked Terms of Reference document for more details on the committee’s goals and strategies. The founding committee members recognize that this document will forever be a work-in-progress. We have set things moving in a direction that we believe to be a good one, but we also recognize that we ourselves embody many of the privileges which we see over-distributed within the Karma membership. We welcome everyone, but especially folks from marginalized groups, to join the committee and work with us towards our goals. 

If you would like to join us on this committee, or if you feel comfortable sharing your experiences or information about racism or other forms of oppression within Karma, please contact us antioppression@karmacoop.org 

With you in love and solidarity. 

 

Anti-Oppression Committee