United For All: Racism and violence requires immediate focus


After four years, the long-awaited verdict in the trial of Ottawa Police Constable Daniel Montsion was delivered today. Montsion was charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in relation to the death of Abdirahman Abdi. Montsion was found not guilty of all charges.

The United for All coalition shares in the pain of our community today, as we again remember the loss of Abdirahman Abdi. 

Following today’s verdict, United for All representatives including Amira Elghawaby, Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey, Michael Allen, Rawlson King and Yasir Naqvi issued this statement on behalf of the coalition:

“Today we recognize that the community is reliving the trauma of Abdirahman Abdi’s death—pain that will last for many more years to come.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and loved ones of Abdirahman Abdi as they continue to grieve.

“We acknowledge that the outcome of this case will continue to put stress on the relationship between police and the community — specifically the Black, Somali, and Muslim communities, and those facing mental health challenges. 

“Under the leadership of Chief Peter Sloly and his executive team, we hope to see continued progress that builds trust and mutual understanding between police and racialized members of our community. 

“For United for All, we stand ready to support this work in the overall context of the coalition’s mandate to build a strategy and programming that overcomes violence, hate and racism in our city. 

“Ottawa has made incremental progress in building a more inclusive community—notably, with the creation of the Anti-Racism Secretariat over the past year. Additionally, United for All has brought organizations together to leverage resources and expertise, to listen to the lived experiences of people in our community, to research and collect data, and to plan for a city-wide response to hate and violence. 

“However, we still have significant work to do.

“Let us continue the work, and find a way forward that sees us overcome racism and violence in Ottawa. Let’s do this to honour the life of Abdirahman Abdi.”

Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey
Senior Minister, Parkdale United Church

Rawlson King
Ottawa City Councillor, Rideau-Rockcliffe

Yasir Naqvi
Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Canadian Citizenship

Amira Elghawaby
Human Rights Advocate

Michael Allen
President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way East Ontario

About United For All

United For All is comprised of a growing partnership of organizations in the Ottawa region that have come together to address the issues of hate-based violence and extremism in Ottawa. The group has a table of champions representing the leadership of our city, as well as member organizations that represent the diversity of our community. In this first year, the coalition will build a city-wide approach to tackling hate and violence with the goal of securing public and private funding to bolster its work. United For All has a long-term goal to build social resilience, to support education, advocacy, research, and ultimately, to overcome hate, bigotry and racism in Ottawa.

For more information on United For All visit unitedforall.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Hayley Robateau
United Way East Ontario




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