C.I.A.O.

Canadian Italians Against Oppression

Our Core Values

  1. We acknowledge that our group is on Tiohtià:ke, unceded Indigenous land, the traditional territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka, and the meeting place of many First Nations including the Kanien'kehá:ka of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron/Wendat, Abenaki, and Anishinaabeg. Tiohtià:ke is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island. We understand that a land acknowledgment is but the first step in continuing to work on bettering our relationships with Indigenous peoples. We hope that our own initiatives through C.I.A.O. will raise awareness on the lasting effects of colonialism and genocide on Turtle Island.

  2. This group will work for the continued collaboration, support, and trust of its members, and will work to practice these values in our everyday and in our group work.

  3. This group will embody the bell hooks definition of feminism as not only the fight to gain equality across genders, but to end all forms of sexist oppression, therefore looking at it within the frameworks of racism, classism, ableism, ageism, homophobia/transphobia.

  4. Our work will center the lens of intersectionality in our dialogues and language. 

  5. Our practice will be anti-colonial and anti-racist in its language, actions, and goals. 

  6. We will engage in socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable practices.

  7. We will practice active self questioning and engage by thinking critically throughout the learning process. 

  8. We will practice active listening with one another, and any/all of our collaborators.

  9. We will make it part of our focus to work with and engage with the Elders of our community in an engaging and authentic way. 

  10. We will make it part of our focus to work with and engage with various other communities in an effort to better understand each of their needs.This includes interdisciplinary collaboration and collaboration between different religious/cultural groups. 

  11. Collaboration is made by all parties consenting: we are not inserting ourselves in spaces that do not want us there and/or do not need us. 

  12. We will continuously work to make our group as accessible as possible. This includes accessible meeting spaces, accessible language, and accessible financially. 

  13. When hosting an event, we will pay the guests/participants an appropriate fee. No one works for free or for experience/exposure. 

  14. We show respect to our collaborators. We will work to find ways through language and de-escalation, to continue and maintain collaborations and relationships. We will also care for our collaborators and their needs. We all benefit from a healthy community of collaborators.  

  15. We will be open to and accept feedback from the community-at-large. When we are faced with a mistake on our part, we will acknowledge our mistake and correct it in the most appropriate manner based on the circumstances. 

  16. We will work within the framework of restorative justice: we acknowledge that everyone can make mistakes and should be given the opportunity to redeem and engage in a healing process. 

  17. We acknowledge the privileges we have had access to and the privileges/spaces given to Italian communities in our city, province, country, world.

  18. We acknowledge that this will be continued work and that allyship is practiced, not performed. 

  19. We are aware of our inherent biases - racial and otherwise - and will continue to confront our biases. 

  20. We will not hold back on voicing our opinion, concern, or frustration. Empathy, compromise, honesty, and boundary-setting will be essential to our conflict resolutions. 

  21. We will practice punctuality and transparency about our professional capabilities at any given time. 

  22. We will continue to reassess the power structures within our own group in order to maintain equal ground for all members. 

  23. Our projects will be a reflection of everyone in the group. This means both that every member can suggest initiatives and also that we represent the group in our actions and words elsewhere.

  24. We will use de-escalation techniques if facing violent words or actions in the group.

Our Goals

As members of Canadian Italians Against Oppression, we hope to: 

 

  1. Create a space to learn and teach each other as Italian-Canadians. 

  2. Address the history and ongoing effects of fascism in the Italian-Canadian community. 

  3. Collect resources that explain the complex relationship between Italian-Canadians, racism, and white supremacy. 

  4. Engage the Italian community in Montreal to collectively work against racism, especially anti-Black racism. This includes going to protests, signing petitions, reading, bringing information to our workplaces and community hubs.

  5. Engage the Italian community in Montreal to collectively work against transphobia, homophobia, and sexism.

  6. Engage with existing Italian organizations in Montreal, and Italian-Canadian organizations more generally - to be able to access more people, funding, space, and collaborative efforts. 

  7. Understand where Italians hold power and space in Montreal and Quebec, and work to engage those people and places to work to become anti-racist. 

  8. Connect with and create opportunities for the QTBIPOC community. 

  9. Work in and with specific boroughs with a high concentration of Italians currently being gentrified and work on fostering equitable, affordable housing for all. 

  10. Foster a place for feedback, learning, and growth.

  11. Challenge all structures (institutional, cultural, social, economic) within our community and those we engage with.

  12. Foster inter-generational discourse and relationships with our Elders.

  13. Make work (art, conversations, online events) that is accessible to our community.

  14. To spark open-ended conversation and engage our community in self-questioning practices and open dialogues.

  15.  Make something we are proud of.

  16. To nurture creative friendships; connections that are beyond bureaucratic collaborations.

  17. Use Italian/immigrant values in our practice. 

  18. Acknowledge that we are not the gatekeepers of the Italian and Italian-Canadian communities or identities.