In 1966, the United Nations adopted a resolution setting aside March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and since then, governments and organizations around the world have chosen to mark this day and the week around it with programs both to educate the public and to call for action to eliminate racial discrimination.
As an organization that seeks to build community through the arts, the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM) strongly condemns any forms of racial discrimination and crimes against ethnic communities.
With the horrific events of March 16, 2021, in Atlanta still weighing heavily on us, where six Asian-American women were among the eight murdered, we condemn in particular the increase in incidents of anti-Asian racism that have occurred since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The Chinese Canadian National Council recently reported from data collected since March 2020 a shocking number: 1,150 separate incidents of anti-Asian racism. The Vancouver Police Department reported a 717% increase in the number of cases involving anti-Asian attacks, from 12 to 142 cases. And Statistics Canada released a survey last June in which nearly 30% of Chinese participants said they had experienced an increase in race-based harassment or attacks since the start of the pandemic.
OCSM stands in solidarity with all the members of the Asian-Canadian community among our own musicians, in our organizations, and in the communities we serve.
OCSM believes that music of all cultures and eras can be a part of bringing communities together, and to that end, we reaffirm our commitment to work with our industry partners to make our organizations more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible to everyone in our communities, no matter who they are.