Our position against anti-Asian racism

Stop Asian Discrimination

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal condemns anti-Asian systemic racism and all forms of racist violence against Asians, Asian-Americans, Asian-Canadians.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian rhetoric has escalated in North America, as we witnessed racially-motivated hate crimes all over Canada and the U.S. In Montreal alone, police recorded 22 crimes specifically targeting Asian people between March and December of last year — 19 more than the year before. In Vancouver, anti-Asian hate crime incidents rose by 878% compared to last year, from 9 to 88. And this does not take into consideration the cases of aggression against the Asian community that have not been reported to authorities. 

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal joins the thousands of people who marched in downtown Montreal last Sunday to honour the lives and grieve the losses of Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yuan, Paul Andre Michels, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong Ae Yue.

We stand in solidarity with our Asian community members – artists, workers, audiences and friends, whose contributions make our work possible. We express our unwavering support for the work needed to create a safe and inclusive environment in the Montreal theatre community, and stand with all creators fighting for social justice and equity.

Finally, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal condemns the Quebec government’s continued denial of systemic racism in Quebec, as voiced by Premier Francois Legault in 2020 and recently by the newly appointed Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, Benoît Charette. PWM will be following the work of Quebec’s anti-racism committee critically.  

We also encourage our community members of all backgrounds, but especially those who benefit from racial privilege, to educate themselves on the long history of systemic anti-Asian racism in Canada. Folks wishing to learn more and contribute to local resources are invited to look at the list below.

Report a racist incident, consult anti-racism education resources, and celebrate Asian-American people at Act2endracism.

Visualize the spectrum of experiences felt across Asian Canadian communities during the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting covidracism.ca. The documentation collected through the project will inform future efforts for collective action against anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.

Read the resources put together by Project 1907, a grassroots group made up of Asian women seeking to elevate underrepresented and undervalued Asian voices in mainstream political, social and cultural discourse, including amplifying the voices of women.

Peruse the Represent Asian Project, a website celebrating, advocating and elevating Asian representation in various fields.

Participate in the bilingual Facebook group Groupe d’Entraide Contre le Racisme Envers les Asiatiques au Québec, a platform for mutual aid. The group advocates informative and constructive exchanges.

Scaffolded Anti-racism resources (an extensive list of resources organized by stage).

Anti-racism resources for white people (another comprehensive list of resources).

Black lives matter.

Artists have forever been agents of cultural change with the ability to illustrate political truths, direct resistance, and inspire reform. 

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal stands in solidarity with our community in demanding justice and change. We  condemn Quebec Premier François Legault’s denial of systemic racism in Quebec.

We stand with all creators fighting for social justice and equity. 

If you are looking for ways to get help, or want to provide support please visit the following links:

Write to your local representatives

to condemn Premier Legault’s groundless comments on the “non-existence of systemic racism in Québec” made on June 1st during an official press conference. 

Here is a template you can use

Write to your city officials to defund the police

Here is a template for the City of Montreal

Resources to keep learning and stay informed:

Consult this great round-up of resources collected by the Quebec Drama Federation

Read and learn about what Black-led associations and organizations are doing. You can consult this master list of Black community organisations in Montreal compiled by BlackMontreal

Consult the website of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR)

Scaffolded Anti-racism resources (an extensive list of resources organized by stage)

Anti-racism resources for white people (another comprehensive list of resources)

#BlackLivesMtlSyllabus– Montreal specific reading syllabus compiled by Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to Present

White Supremacy Culture in Organizations by COCo (Centre for Community Organizations)

Added June 17, 2020:

Articule’s Open letter to artist-run centres in Québec: Moving Beyond Statements of Solidarity (a bilingual resource)

Racial Equity Tools