Access Copyright’s Statement on Anti-Racism

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

We are called upon as a society to listen to, to empathize with and to embrace fellow citizens who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC). Access Copyright acknowledges the need for immediate and foundational changes to the obstacles, violence, oppression and discrimination they face every day. We say to our fellow citizens who have suffered at the hands of systemic racism: we acknowledge and believe your struggle, we embrace your stories and we stand in solidarity with you.

We know it has taken some time for this statement. We have spent the past months reflecting as an organization on how Access Copyright can commit to action, stand in accountability and change fundamental parts of our practices so we can be mindful and sensitive to our creators and publishers who have faced racism within their communities. While we still have much to learn and reflect upon, we have started taking steps to facilitate meaningful and permanent change within our organization and in the wider publishing community.

At Access Copyright, one of our goals is to provide a diverse repertoire of works to educators, students, businesses and other licensees. As part of that goal, we pledge to reach out and encourage more authors, visual artists and publishers who are BIPOC to affiliate with our organization so their stories and works are available to our licensees.

With this commitment, we want to affirm that the stories, variety of experiences and histories of BIPOC are part of the fabric of Canadian culture and need to be accessible to all. We commit to highlighting these writers, artists and publishers on our platforms, especially on Access Copyright’s website, Fanship and social media accounts. We know there is an urgency and need to listen to these affiliates and creators whose stories are often sidelined by society at large.

We are aware of the need for understanding issues of privilege, racism, and inclusivity within our organization. We have created a staff committee tasked with setting quarterly goals and tackling issues surrounding diversity and inclusivity as they arise and making sure meaningful change will never fall out of sight.

We know these are only the first steps on a long overdue, and necessary journey towards ending systemic racism. Access Copyright shares this statement so we can hold ourselves accountable and will report on our progress periodically to outline the changes we have made towards tackling anti-racism and embracing diversity and inclusivity. With these steps, Access Copyright stands in solidarity with Canadians who are BIPOC and pledges to be part of the solution to address racism and discrimination that persists in Canadian culture.