MAX Ottawa stands in solidarity with activists rallying against anti-Black racism and police violence globally and here in Canada.
MAX Ottawa as an organization aims to maximize the health and wellness of gay, bisexual, Two-Spirit, queer, and other guys into guys, both cis and trans, in the Ottawa region. We recognize the importance of seeking equity and justice for Black, Indigenous, and other marginalized GBT2Q communties, as the systemic discrimination they face negatively impacts their ability to achieve maximum health and wellness.
Since our launch in 2017, we have been committed to facilitating conversations and actions around the inequities faced by African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) and other racialized cis and trans guys into guys. As such, we held a pre-Pride 2017 community forum on the realities and experiences of GBT2Q guys of colour in Ottawa. This dialogue then led community members to the creation of Keeping it 100!, a space by and for ACB cis and trans guys into guys. In addition, in 2019, Board, staff and community members developed our own Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy that helps keep us accountable.
Yet, much more needs to be done. We are committed to work with ACB queer and trans individuals and community partners in Ottawa to discuss and identify local needs, priorities and potential solutions we can bring forward.
Let us not forget that the fight against anti-Black oppression is also our fight as members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Queer individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS, have organized before in Ottawa, and elsewhere, to fight police violence. Today, as an organization, community, and individuals, we must all take action to address systemic racism by speaking out and standing in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities.