The recent times have created unease and disconnect like nothing we've ever seen. Everything we've been dealing with is new for us all. As an organization, you've all been great. My message today isn't about COVID or its effect on the rhythm of our life. Over the past couple of weeks, we've witnessed and watched an uprising that speaks to the foundation of fairness and equity, the underpinnings of our movement. It has caused us to pause, listen, learn and reflect.
Systemic racism exists. Until we challenge and eliminate racism in all aspects of society, we will not achieve justice and equality. You cannot have one without the other. At Special Olympics Ontario we know that the lives of our Black, Indigenous and racialized members of society and our movement unequivocally matter. Despite this, racism continues to exist and impact their lives and health and we all have a role in changing this.
As an organization, Special Olympics Ontario upholds and commits to the values of inclusion and equity and uses the power of sport to foster social change. We also have an important role to play in the anti-racism movement.
Our organization, volunteers and athletes have always advocated strongly for positive change, on and off the playing field. This time is no different. To those who feel apathetic, let's think harder. To anyone who thinks this is someone else's problem, think again. We've been a leader in many areas, it's time to do the same again. We are committed to expanding the ways we can dismantle all barriers for our members to ensure our organization is truly inclusive. We stand with our Black and Indigenous Special Olympics athletes, volunteers and families, and with the anti-racism movement.
Special Olympics Ontario commits to anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and anti-racism work within and through our organization and communities. We understand that this work is on-going, requires reflection and a strong resolve, and is absolutely necessary. We recognize that this work is a priority, and that our organization has a vital role in creating a framework for successful anti-racism practices at all levels.
Special Olympics Ontario is committed to doing this work and taking the next steps to learn, unlearn, educate and provide platforms for dialogue to ensure that all our members and future members are given opportunities to succeed. Only then will we reflect the true definition of inclusion.
Our work has just begun, and we look forward to sharing our actionable next steps with our stakeholders soon.