June 14, 2020
Righteous Gelato reached out to Centre for Newcomers (CFN) last week to seek permission to include CFN as a recipient of profits for their new ice cream, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Before committing to the campaign, we had requested and were awaiting additional information from Righteous Gelato. In the interim, they chose to move ahead with their campaign launch and at one point mentioned CFN in their campaign without our authorization. As soon as it came to our attention, we asked them to remove any reference to CFN as we had not given permission. Righteous Gelato has since ended the campaign and apologized.
Centre for Newcomers is outraged by the death of George Floyd while in police custody. This heart-wrenching event and others like it have once again shone a spotlight on the violence that Black and Indigenous communities experience at the hands of police, which has in turn forced as us all re-examine and confront the systemic racism hidden within the fabric of our society. CFN rejects the racism that persists against Black people, Indigenous people and Persons of Colour, here in Calgary and globally.
CFN acknowledges that racism is not an event, but a system that isn’t limited to the intentional acts of immoral people. It includes inadvertent and indirect acts that are a result of social conditioning that begins in our homes, our schools, and our places of work; seeping into our perspectives of others and producing the implicit biases we must all confront. CFN believes we have an ethical duty to speak up against racism or we are complicit. We are heartened by the many people in our own city and globally who are standing up to racial injustice through the campaign lead by Black Lives Matter.
Centre for Newcomers is a registered charity and not for profit based in Calgary, AB. Our mission is to support newcomers and enhance our broader community through services and initiatives that create conditions of success for newcomers and that foster inclusivity and a welcoming environment in Calgary. We have fought for 30 years to help immigrants and refugees overcome systemic obstacles, and we stand against those who seek to divide, rather than unite, the communities we serve.
Our vision is a community that values diversity, in which people of all backgrounds find and create opportunities to fulfill dreams and participate fully as citizens. To that end, we hope to continue to have meaningful dialogue that leads to real systemic change, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Vivek Warrier, Board Chair
Anila Umar Lee Yuen, President and CEO