OTTAWA — Seven senators have announced the launch of the African Canadian Senate Group, created to ensure Black voices are heard in the upper chamber.
The coalition is chaired by Sen. Rosemary Moodie, and includes senators Bernadette Clement, Amina Gerba, Mobina Jaffer, Marie-Françoise Mégie, and Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia.
The group says in a statement released Thursday that it is devoted to fighting racism and discrimination, and engaging with Canadians while advocating for their priorities.
Jaffer says it is important for African Canadian senators to have this space in an institution with a history of not always considering the unique needs and lived experiences of Black people in Canada.
Moodie says their "voices, contributions and priorities" have been ignored by democratic institutions, and the group is dedicated to reversing this trend.
The group's priorities for Canada's 44th Parliament will include seeking a "more inclusive committee process" in the Senate, and working together with community members for progress on issues of "justice, health, and economic fairness."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press