The board and staff of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia stand in solidarity with all people seeking justice in the face of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, police brutality, and white supremacy.
As an organization, we are listening to Black, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities who continue to remind us the crucial and difficult work of both confronting and overcoming racism and injustice is ongoing and requires active engagement.
We grieve every life taken by white supremacy, racism, and police and community violence. We acknowledge that systemic and institutional racism continues to be responsible for the subjugation of Indigenous people, including those in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. Systemic and institutional racism has also been responsible for the oppression and destruction of Black communities such as Africville. We acknowledge the writers in these communities whose artistic works and contributions to anti-oppressive practices continue to lay the ground for work to come.
We understand that literature has long been privileged as the art form of ideology. It is partly through the pen and the press that racist and oppressive ideologies have been systematized, aggressively promoted, normalized, and subtly reinforced. We support literature as a tool for challenging and decentering such ideologies and for organizing communities around better ideals and actions.
We support those who speak out and engage in action to bring an end to systemic racism and white supremacy. The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia has an active role to play in this critical process of creating a more equitable future. To this end, we have outlined some strategies for our organization to undertake now and in the near future.
Right now, we will
- build and strengthen current relationships with Black and Indigenous writers and organizations (such as the Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute, and more)
- amplify the voices of BIPOC authors on our website, through our social media, and in our newsletters
- continue to recruit writers from diverse communities to join our board of directors, to contribute to our award and program adjudication, and to lead our creative writing workshops and professional development sessions
Moving forward, we will
- coordinate anti-oppression training opportunities for our staff and board members
- review and update our policies and protocols to ensure they embody anti-oppressive and anti-racist practices within our organization
- revise and finalize an inclusion statement for all WFNS programming
- treat this statement as a working document to be developed and adapted for permanent inclusion on our website (alongside our publicly available mandate, mission statement, and core values) so that we might be held accountable in our commitment to learning more, doing more, and remaining transparent about our actions
The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is committed to being a catalyst for positive change in Nova Scotia’s arts community and the province as a whole, all the while acknowledging we have much to do in that regard. We will listen and we will learn. We will continue to work to amplify and celebrate marginalized voices.