I’m feeling hopeful this week as our federal political leaders have publicly stated that anti-Black racism is real in Canada.
Because it is.
Because we need to talk about it.
Because allies help in our struggles for justice of all kinds.
And, I’m hoping it’s more than talk.
Talking is important
Talking is an important part of change.
Having powerful conversations that lean into discomfort, and make room to listen and learn are important.
But talking is not enough.
What will be do as a country? What changes will we see that support these words?
That’s what is needed now.
More than the police
And on that note, it’s often easy to focus on police and individual acts of racism.
These individual acts are important to highlight and stop, especially when they come from officers of the law and other people who work in service of the public.
But anti-Black racism isn’t just about police (carding, random checks, use of excessive force). And not just about individual acts. Anti-Black racism is part of the fabric of our society. It runs deep. So yes, we have to focus on reforms in policing and police training, absolutely, but if we start and stop there, it’s not enough.
Systems support anti-Black racism
Anti-Black racism also exists in systems.
In how we see Black people and how we are taught about the value of the colour of our skin. These seep into policy, programming, into the workplace, education, higher education…the list is long.
Anti-Black racism starts early and is pervasive.
These are the things we have to talk about – and change – because these systemic examples support (and help create) individual beliefs and actions.
Now more than ever it is time to lead and ask questions about school curriculum, post-secondary curriculum, and the ways anti-black racism (and other isms) are perpetuated and supported – and make sure we make significant changes.
And change needs allies.
How are you stepping into your allyship?
A few opportunities to step into allyship:
- The Un•Packing Convo Series: Un•Pack Your Silence Panel b
Specifically for white allies and allyship. I am a panelist.
Sunday June 7, 9-11amEST.
For more info and to register: https://bit.ly/UnpackTheSilence
- Learning to ROAR – exploring effective allyship ( an interactive workshop hosted by me)
Tuesday July 7, 10-12:30EST
For more info and to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/learning-to-roar-exploring-effective-allyship-tickets-107766382150