June 11, 2020
PARA unequivocally denounces racism, intolerance and inequity in all forms. PARA stands in solidarity with all Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).
The recent events in the United States have served as a poignant reminder that we still live in a world where systemic racism, intolerance and inequity exist. This is not only an issue there – this is a reality here in Alberta, including within the educational and health care systems that PARA members inhabit.
Unfortunately, our members continue to experience racism and intolerance. These experiences are both visible and invisible – in the words spoken, the actions taken and the barriers encountered.
Racism, discrimination and unconscious bias exist in our health care system. PARA has focused on working with the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services to ensure that the Values Statement in the Resident Physician Agreement is a lived experience:
The parties to this Agreement are committed to a working environment free of harassment and intimidation where mutual respect and the ability to work together productively are promoted and supported.
The parties support the prevention of harassment and intimidation and the development of processes that promote and support a safe work environment that protects all people from physical, psychological, and emotional harm.
The parties are committed to cultivating an atmosphere of trust, respect, and dignity in all their relationships.
While PARA has worked advocating for both individuals and for all members to create a safer working environment, we understand that this work is far from complete. We are committed to continuing moving forward with this work – both in the initiatives we develop and offer our members, and in our advocacy efforts with our partners.
PARA acknowledges we have not previously spoken out as an Association on human rights, racism and intolerance. As Albertans and Canadians are reflecting on systemic biases, we understand that we have been a participant in a system that is built on, and perpetuates, racial inequities. In this present time of listening and learning, we feel it is critical for us to re-evaluate our actions in order to move forward, grow and work towards active anti-racism as an organization. We know that our silence disappointed many of our members. We affirm our commitment moving forward to reviewing and evaluating our policies and processes, and striving to improve our support of inclusivity, diversity and anti-racism in our operations. We are learning, we are listening and we are evolving.
In the months ahead, PARA wants to hear from you, our members, about ways in which we might provide support as we continue to work on your behalf. If there are stories you want to share or practical suggestions that PARA should present to AHS, PGMEs, or programs, we want to know. Please reach out to us – we are listening.