The world is calling for transformation; to fight for freedom, liberation, and justice. Here in Canada, we have our own history of colonialism and systemic racism. Below are resources to educate, enable, and inspire activism:
What is Systemic Racism?
There are two types to consider: Individual Racism refers to an individual’s racist assumptions, beliefs or behaviours and is “a form of racial discrimination that stems from conscious and unconscious, personal prejudice” (Henry & Tator, 2006, p. 329). Systemic Racism includes the policies and practices entrenched in established institutions, which result in the exclusion or promotion of designated groups. It differs from overt discrimination in that no individual intent is necessary. (Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Community and Race Relations. Race Relations: Myths and Facts)
Taken from the ACLRC, they manifests themselves in two ways:
- institutional racism: racial discrimination that derives from individuals carrying out the dictates of others who are prejudiced or of a prejudiced society
- structural racism: inequalities rooted in the system-wide operation of a society that excludes substantial numbers of members of particular groups from significant participation in major social institutions. (Henry & Tator, 2006, p. 352)
Black Canadians face greater economic and social challenges than white Canadians (and other racial groups), including hate crimes. And remember, this is simply because of the colour of a persons skin. Below are infographics from Statistics Canada and CTV:
What Can I Do?
Continue educating yourself, join conversations online and through protests, pledge and register to vote, and donate. Being an ally is an active act, it’s not enough to just say you’re not racist — you must actively be working against it.
Mandatory Pop Culture To Review (BLM, Racism and More):
- What Not To Say To Your Black Colleagues Right Now
- A Goldman Executive Has Advice for His White Colleagues
- Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person
We recommend buying from A Different Booklist, a Black owned independent, multicultural bookstore in Toronto.
- Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- How To Be Anti-Racist, by Ibram X Kendi
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin D’Angelo
- From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way, by Jesse Thistle
- The Good Immigrant, by Nikesh Shukla
- Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, by Mikki Kendall
Film & Television —
- Dear White People
- Sorry to Bother You
- Get Out
- The Hate U Give
- Blacks Brittanica
Organizations to Follow and Support —
- Black Lives Matter Toronto
- Black Health Alliance
- Black Legal Action Centre
- Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto
But What If I Don’t Agree With Any of This?
Push to ask yourself why, and remember, this isn’t about you. This is about the grave injustices faced by a community stemmed in slavery and violence, for hundreds of years. This is about a community fighting for a fair, equitable chance of living a full life. This is about deciding on what side of history you’ll choose to be on, and what you did to make the world a better place.