Here's how you can support the Black Lives Matter movement in Canada
Demonstrations have broken out across Canada in recent days to protest the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black citizens at the hands of police — but community organizers continue to remind people that fighting anti-Black racism requires far more than attending one protest and posting on social media.
And for those who are new to the fight, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to standing up, amplifying Black voices and truly being an ally.
First, it's important to know the facts.
According to a 2018 report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Black people in Toronto were found to be involved in seven out of 10 cases of fatal shootings by police between 2013 and 2017, though they made up just 8.8 per cent of Toronto's population in 2016.
Betwn 2013 & 2017, a Black person in Toronto was nearly 20 times more likely than a White person to be involved in a fatal shooting by Toronto Police Service, despite being 8.8% of the pop. Let that stat sink in on this #BlackoutTuesday #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/wwy2zteKxF— David Meyers (@DavidMeyers6) June 2, 2020
And according to a CBC investigative series titled Deadly force, police were involved in at least 460 fatal interactions with civilians across Canada between 2000 and 2017.
To combat the myth that racist policing only happens south of the border, activist Desmond Cole compiled a list of Black, Indigenous and other people of colour who've been killed by police in Canada — and it's painfully long.
So what can be done?
Black community organizers have made it abundantly clear in recent days that preformative social media activism just isn't enough to address the injustices plaguing our society today, and Canadians from all walks of life now more than ever need to practice what they preach.
There's a long list of organizations to support across Canada in order to help further the cause, starting with regional chapters of Black Lives Matter.
The global organization was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of the police officer who murdered Trayvon Martin, and regional chapters in Canada include those in Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo.
Those hoping to uplift these chapters can choose to donate money, volunteer their time or provide other supports.
But beyond specific BLM organizations, there are many ways residents can support the anti-racist movement currently sweeping the continent.
For example, Black Liberation Collectives (BLC) are an international movement of students challenging anti-Black racism in post-secondary institutions.
The Black Youth Helpline aims to prevent the social and psychological breakdown in communities through a focus on education, health and community development.
And the Federation of Black Canadians is a national, non-profit organization, driven by organizations across the country that advances the social, economic, political and cultural interests of Canadians of African descent.
Canadians can also donate to the Prisoner Emergency Support Fund (Ontario) or the Prairie Province Prisoner Support Fund to help support prisoners reentering the community and those that are still behind bars during this COVID-19 crisis.
Hey #Toronto— Jon Remedios (@JonRemedios) June 2, 2020
If you're looking at act locally, have already donated or are unable to donate
You can write your counselor about the allocation of the city budget that goes towards policing in this city#BlackLivesMattterhttps://t.co/JkDMkzqtGL
There are countless other organizations working to fight racism in Canada that need financial and volunteer support, most of which can be found easily online.
Other ways to support the movement include purchasing goods from Black-owned local businesses, reading books written by Black authors, speaking up against racism in your everyday life and having difficult conversations about issues that may cause some discomfort.
Dear white people,— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) June 2, 2020
For days you’ve asked me what you can do to help. I’ve finally found an answer.
Let your guard down and listen. pic.twitter.com/74SVv8XOqp
And above all, it's more important than ever to know when to be quiet and instead listen to Black peoples' concerns, thoughts, feelings and demands.
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