Sustainability Today: Uproot the prejudice of colour


“...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

These are the famous words of Martin Luther King Jr. that caught my attention when I was reading his speech “I have a dream.” It left me teary eyed and the fact that it resonates decades later is something to be taken seriously.

In all honesty, the author writing this article is in no way an expert to highlight the ordeals that people of colour experience. But we can start by being allies and vouching for fair and equal treatment for all.

Navigator. Londons student lifestyles magazine.

The Black Lives Matter movement was sparked by the murder of George Floyd; it shows there is much more to be done to shed prejudices in society. This prejudice is not just a reflection of attitudes, it is systemic and goes beyond affecting other spheres of people’s lives. In 2019, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention noted that Black women in the US are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than White women. A government report states that “in 2020, approximately 63 per cent of Canada’s Black population reported experiencing discrimination five years prior to the beginning of the pandemic or during the pandemic.” And according to a PEW Research Centre report, white households in America are 13 times as wealthy as Black households.

Sustainable Development Goal 10 (Reduce Inequalities) addresses this issue, but unless we shed our biases and mindsets, changes at the ground-level won’t come into existence. This Black History Month, you can start by staying open minded, listening and learning from others, and respecting their lived experience. Most importantly, recognize and contemplate on the privileges you may have because of your skin colour and question those embedded beliefs.

Supporting leaders who work to reduce inequality and stand up for everyone’s rights is an important step to take. And as former secretary- general of the United Nations Kofi Annan said, “...racism can, will, and must be defeated.”

Days to look forward to:

  • Feb. 4: International Day of Human Fraternity
  • Feb. 6: International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
  • Feb. 6-17: Residence Energy Conservation Challenge
  • Feb. 10: Semester for Sustainability Booth (Theme: SDG 8 and 9 - Decent work and Industry innovation)
  • Feb. 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • Feb. 19: World Whale Day
  • Feb. 17: Semester for Sustainability Booth (Theme: SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities)
  • Feb. 20: World Day of Social Justice
  • Feb. 21: International Mother Language Day Booth location and time: B Building, London Campus; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.