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Future directions of BCLA and Anti-racism: a message from the BCLA President & Incoming President

October 6, 2021

Dear BCLA Members,

BCLA needs to become an anti-racist organization. As President and Incoming President of BCLA, we believe in that goal and are personally committing to hold board and staff accountable to doing the necessary work. In conversations with the Board, we can tell you that they are all in agreement that this must be done, and acknowledge this will take ongoing effort, as there will always be more to do. Over the past year many of you have expressed how important this is to you, and we want you to know that we have heard you and agree.

At our September meeting, the Board agreed on the importance and urgency of this work and allocated $10,000 for the remainder of 2021 to begin this work, including hiring a consultant. Going forward we will have dedicated funding in our annual budgets to support the ongoing work that we will be doing.

We will be working with the consultant to establish a plan and will be sharing a timeline with BCLA members to hold ourselves accountable and ensuring ongoing action. Staff will also be reporting to the Board on progress at every meeting. We anticipate the plan will include anti-racism training for Board and staff and opportunities for input and feedback from members. We expect a review of BCLA structure, policies, and procedures with a focus on anti-racism will be necessary.

We expect we may establish a committee in future, but first we need to take the time to engage the membership to tell us what is needed and what to prioritize, and we will ensure that formation of any committee includes an open call for participation.

We want to express our thanks to the Black, Indigenous, and racialized members who have invested time and energy to bring us to this point – your contributions and feedback have helped to set us on a better path.

BCLA has made mistakes, and despite our best efforts we know we will likely make more as we move forward. When we do, we will listen, learn, and strive to do better.

Best regards,

Todd Mundle, President

Tracey Therrien, Incoming President