YWCA Cambridge logo and tagline: national advocacy. Community Action

Statement in Response to the Racist and Sexist Attacks on Community Leader, Selam Debs

January 31, 2022

YWCA Cambridge supports Selam Debs and condemns the violent racism and sexism she as a community leader has been subjected to.

Today, Debs shared screenshots of some of the deplorable messages she’s received following a social media post she wrote last week in which she criticized the “Freedom Rallies” happening across Canada and the US and their links to white supremacy and white nationalists. The messages Debs has shared are only a few of the thousands she has received.

We condemn the people who have attacked her. We condemn white supremacy and any ideology that seeks to harm, subjugate, or separate people.

These acts of violence are happening within our communities and throughout this Region. We can all say that “hate doesn’t belong here,” but it’s important that we also recognize that it IS here and that our neighbours who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, those who are trans, 2SLGBTQ+ and those who have disabilities are experiencing it and are far more likely to encounter it in their daily lives simply by existing. That is why the anti-racism work that community leaders like Selam Debs provide is essential and we must condemn those who, through threats of violence and abusive language, try to silence it. 

We stand with Selam Debs.

We encourage our community to take action, to speak out against anti-Black racism and discrimination in all its forms. 

Now is a good time to seek out and support Black women-owned business and to support organizations doing anti-racism work, like The Coalition of Muslim Women KW whose  reportinghate.ca/ initiative seeks to record incidents of hate and discrimination that are racist, Islamophobic and anti-immigrant, and ensure that those who are impacted are supported. 

We also encourage our supporters to read Selam Debs’ full statement she posted to social media today and to take the actions she has outlined. Her statement can be found here. 

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