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CAGC Statement: Black Lives Matter

June 4, 2020

Statement from the CAGC BOD to our membership regarding the current human rights crisis affecting Black Members of our personal and professional communities:

As members of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors, we are witnessing a world in pain – the pain of racism and injustice. It’s hard to find the right words, but our hearts are open to the experiences of the Black community.

As a profession, we acknowledge the roots of medical geneticsin the eugenics movement of the early 20th century. We continue to confront the pain and discomfort of this history, and to evolve as a profession with the core pillar of unconditional positive regard for our patients. As written in our code of ethics: Above all, genetic counsellors are expected to demonstrate respect for others, regardless of race, religion, creed, sexual preference, gender, ability, and socio-economic or genetic background. Today, we acknowledge that our aspiration to this ideal has been imperfect, and insufficient.

As professionals who depend on effective communication, genetic counsellors feel lost at times when words seem inadequate. We must remember that a vital part of communication is to listen. We must respect and hear the stories of our members and patients who are living with racial injustice. We must remove ourselves from our places of comfort and privilege and confront our inherent biases, recognizing that we have been shaped by a culture that has done great harm and injustice to many. We must acknowledge that our profession does not reflect the diversity of the population we serve, and we must
work to address this.

We stand with our Black patients and colleagues, and the Black community around the world, in calling for an end to police brutality and racial discrimination. Black Lives Matter. Being anti-racist is an on-going process and we are working on being better allies and better advocates. This conversation is only beginning. There is much work to be done.

Our organization will be making a donation on behalf of our members to the Federation of Black Canadians (https://fbcfcn.ca/) in the amount of $1000.

Financial support by our members could be directed to the following local organizations:
https://www.blacklegalactioncentre.ca/
http://blackhealthalliance.ca/

2020 CAGC Board of Directors

Melanie Care   Alessandra Cumming   Anastasia Richardson   Candice Jackel-Cram   Catherine Hudon
Deanna Alexis Carere   Ingrid Ambus   Julia Tagoe   Marie-Jacqueline Thomas   Sohnee Ahmed