In a statement released this afternoon, Curb outlined the importance of racial justice and asked political parties, their candidates and all independents, to respond to their 27-point platform.
“In November 2012 Curb released its first ever Racial Justice Platform prior to the December 17, 2012 election,” said the statement. “We knew that race would come up in the 2012 election, as it continues to do in the 2017 election, and Curb was seeking to direct the discussion in a more constructive and proactive way.
“We hoped that the concrete actions outlined in the 2012 Platform would allow political parties and their candidates the ability to consider, comment and endorse the 15-point plan and more importantly take actions on the 2012 recommendations and move the discussion forward to create greater equity and justice.
“Unfortunately only one recommendation was fully achieved, the decriminalisation of marijuana. In May 2017 legislation was finally passed with bipartisan support.
“A few other recommendations have been driven by community-led initiatives such as support for a reconciliation process. Failing any concrete political action, Curb moved to a community process and began the Truth and Reconciliation Community Conversations in January 2017.”
The statement continues: “Movement towards a greater use of restorative practices in our criminal justice system has occurred with support from Chief Justice Ian Kawaley and Senior Magistrate Juan Wolffe, as well as restorative justice processes in the Corrections Department. However, the choice of a methodology, process and timeline has yet to be publicly put in place for the entire criminal justice system.
“We hope the introduction of equality impact assessments might become a reality and receive bipartisan support as there has been a commitment by the Progressive Labour Party to introduce legislation.
“Many of the other 2012 recommendations were critically important to bringing about racial justice and equity, i.e. a Workforce Equity Bill; scholarships for Bermudian students to study overseas after completing Bermuda College; mandatory reporting of wealth; a capital gains tax; repeal of Section 315F of the Criminal Code stop and search legislation; and a racial equity index to ensure progress is occurring.
“Curb believes that if more of the 2012 recommendations had been implemented it would have gone some way to staunch the exodus of so many Bermudians, and mitigate the distrust, economic disparity and social unrest that has been increasing in our community over the last several years. If Bermuda is to become truly united, there must be healing, equal opportunity, educational advancement, economic equity and the ability to measure progress.
“We urge the politicians and candidates to study and consider the 2017 recommendations and we encourage the people of Bermuda to ask the candidates questions about their commitment to racial justice and equity in our society.
“We hope that both political parties and the candidates will study the 2017 Racial Justice Platform and publicly provide comment and support so that Bermudians understand their position on these matters that are of great importance to anyone who cares for equality and the future stability of our society.”