Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services recognizes that oppressions based on race, ethnicity, creed, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender orientation, immigration status, country of origin, religion, mental health status, age, and ability are systemic in Canadian society. These form a system of interlocking oppressions that are mutually enforcing and cannot be addressed in isolation. Therefore, the struggle against racism should be integrated with the struggles against other forms of oppression. Any struggle against oppression must be informed by an anti-racist framework.
Oppressions are embedded in the dominant culture and social institutions in a way that is so pervasive that they are often invisible and affect everyone. They affect the perception of the world of those who knowingly or unknowingly carry around the baggage of oppressive attitudes and stereotypes which make them prejudge individuals and situations. These perceptions lead to behaviours that validate and propagate oppressive behaviours.
Racism, xenophobia, classism, sexism, homophobia and heterosexism, ableism, and ageism cause pain and humiliation and have far-reaching consequences. Each one in its own way, prevents equality in opportunity, access to asylum, immigration opportunities, education, jobs, housing, health care and social services, and limits participation in decision-making bodies. In addition, Access Alliance recognizes the impact and inter-connectedness of these multiple oppressions.
Access Alliance is an organization committed to:
- The elimination of all forms of oppression in its provision of programs and services in order to create and maintain a safe environment that facilitates open and respectful participation of staff, clients, volunteers, students, community and board members
- Advocating for change, acknowledging that inequitable practices and resource distribution and utilization create systemic barriers for different communities
- Supporting other work that is being carried out, including networks, coalitions and community initiatives that are committed to the elimination of oppression specifically, and in all its forms
- Being proactively engaged in anti-oppression training for staff, board, volunteers, and students
- Conducting education with our partners, clients and general public about the impact of the various oppressions
- Challenging various forms of oppression in the media, government campaigns and policies and in other institutions
- Examining and improving all practices, policies and protocols, on an ongoing basis, to ensure compliance with this policy.
At Access Alliance, this is an ongoing process as we work on this issue both internally and externally.