Carolyn and I were asked today if we would be making a statement on behalf of our firm with respect to the Black Lives Matter movement. The very fact that we had to be asked is perhaps indicative of the systemic and societal failures that people of colour and those who are marginalized within our society face every day. For those of us who have the benefits of privilege and entitlement it is all too easy to forget that people who are our friends, our co-workers and our neighbours live in a world where every day they are afraid to walk down the street without being labelled, judged, feared and targeted, often by people who most of us have the comfort of assuming are there to protect our safety and our rights. This is not just an issue regarding the police, justice system or our government leaders. If we stand by and passively condemn the systemic racism that has led to the fear that so many of those that we care about and respect live every day, for no other reason than the colour of their skin, then we remain a part of the problem.
It shouldn’t have to be said. We should know. Black Lives Matter. Change needs to occur. Not tomorrow but today, now. All of us can take some step toward this. We can start by listening and by accepting that right now, inequality and brutality are a very real and daily part of the lives of many black people. Once we accept that, we need to further accept that there is no choice but to change and that unless we are part of that change we remain part of the problem. We all need to contribute to that change. It may be by protesting, by attending vigils, by supporting black owned businesses, by donating our time or our money to black rights advocacy groups, by reaching out or by simply asking (and listening to) what you can do to help and then doing it.
Our firm is small family law firm in Calgary, Alberta. We often represent people who are going through one of the most difficult times in their lives and many times are helping those who are trying escape from untenable and abusive relationships. We do our best to be there for our clients. In these very uncertain and turbulent times we are also committing to be there for our community, for all members of our community. As a small start, we do so by voicing our unequivocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Lest we forget, we are in this together.
Matia Matkovic and Carolyn Allan
Matkovic Allan LLP
*** For those who choose to show their support by attending protests or vigils, please do so safely to protect other vulnerable members of our community. Maintain social distancing, wear masks and wash your hands regularly. ***