The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in heartbreak and an uncertain future for many people. I want to thank you all for the work you have done to mitigate the impacts of this historic event through your work as disaster risk reduction professionals and as individuals. I can assure you as someone who currently works as an Emergency Manager, that your efforts have made a big difference. It has been amazing to see the resiliency of Canadians. Physical distancing may keep us physically apart, but it certainly has not stopped people from finding alternative ways to support each other.
But I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that there are some groups of people who have not been as supported by society. CRHNet’s Board of Directors recently released the statement below in regards to diversity:
Disaster risk reduction is only possible through inclusion and respectful collaboration with all people. Efforts must continue to be made to ensure that all people are able to share their knowledge and experiences in a safe and respectful environment. Diversity is a strength and must be treated as such.
These historic times have shone a spotlight on the systemic injustices that have been carried out on groups of people just because of the color of their skin. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that we move towards real change. CRHNet’s Board of Directors remains committed to ensuring that all groups are welcome to share their knowledge and experiences in disaster risk reduction. We support diversity, inclusion, and respect. The path ahead may be long but we encourage all to listen, learn, and act to ensure a better future for everyone.
CRHNet is committed to helping to build this future. We have a number of existing initiatives to encourage the sharing of knowledge and networking opportunities among diverse partners, communities, and groups. However, our Board remains open to recommendations on how we can improve and to ideas on initiatives to further help ensure that diverse voices are heard in disaster risk reduction. We welcome your ideas and participation.
Patricia Martel PhD, CEM, ABCP