Courtney Walcott is a team member and works incredibly hard at everything he does. He has been volunteering with us for about a year now and led our CBE petition, K-12 hub and educational workshops. He is currently running for Ward 8 Councillor in Calgary. We love and support Courtney for all the amazing work he has done with us and beyond. Courtney is a high school teacher (in ward 8) by profession, and has been a very active advocate in anti-racism, equity-work, accessibility, environment, economy, thriving culture of Calgary and more. Honestly, if you're in Ward 8, there is no better candidate. Like his page, support his campaign, donate $5 if you can, and in October make sure you vote for him.
Courtney Walcott is a teacher at Western Canada High School in the heart of Ward 8, a basketball coach, and a community advocate. As a Councillor, he will fight for a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous Calgary. Find out more at courtneywalcott.com.
We're so thrilled to be working with Artist Jae Sterling on the #YouBelongInCHV Art Bench Program launching at The Crescent Moon Festival, Feb 12 - 14, 2021. The Crescent Moon Festival is a grassroots small-works art festival in Crescent Heights Village Calgary that pairs local artists with organizations that promote, support and celebrate diversity, inclusion and equality.
This year, they will light up 10 art benches throughout the BIA for socially-distanced, self-guided tours all weekend. This event will be marketed as part of the city-wide Chinook Blast Festival in February.
DONATIONS during February 2021: Be sure to check out and support Jae's work. Any donations we get during the month of February will be given directly to Jae for his phenomenal work.
You Belong Bench Artist
Jae Sterling is a multidisciplinary artist and founding member of the SANSFUCCS collective. A musician at heart, he has also extended his art form over the years to include painting (acrylic & oil), digital design, mixed media, and writing. Through his early years in Kingston, Jamaica to the landscapes of North America, Jae spent the past few years developing his artistry by weaving his experiences growing up in Jamaica, South Florida, and coming into adulthood In Canada into all his projects. In 2020, Sterling embarked on an ambitious, year-long multimedia exhibition, Riding Horses With White Men (RHWWM). This exhibition is currently on a cross Canada. Jae was recently commissioned to paint a 3000 square foot mural, titled The Guide & Protector, in Calgary’s Chinatown, celebrating Black lives, making him the city’s first Black male solo muralist.
Jae is working with the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation on his You Belong Art Bench.
We're looking for four BIPOC Canadian Artists who draw to help us create the second edition of Race Issues (COVID-19 racial microaggressions theme). Each artist will get paid $500 for creating 10 comic memes. If you are interested, please email us with information about you, your work and portfolio and why you want to take part in this project.
Finalized artists will be selected and contacted by end of February. Please use the form attached or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist fees come directly from our donations, therefore we can offer $500 per artist. Thank you to everyone for their interest.
Two of our team members (Courtney Walcott and Iman Bukhari) recently had the opportunity to complete an online workshop in partnership with Alberta's Teacher's Association on how educators can talk to their students of race and racism in a classroom setting. The workshop discussed:
Did you miss our free Cultural Competency Virtual Fair during September 2020 for Alberta Culture Days? No problem. We recorded the sessions for this! This interactive fair will help folks of all ages gain insight into, appreciate and interact with a few different cultures and belief systems they might not normally have a chance to connect with.
This fair was funded in part by Government of Alberta for Culture Days 2020
The Defund2Fund Coalition is a diverse collection of Calgarians - made up of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Non-People of Colour and 2SLGBTQ+ organizations and individuals - who share a vision of a more resilient, more humane Calgary.
We call on Calgary City Council to reallocate funding from the Calgary Police Service (CPS) budget to communities.
Our coalition is seeking a 30% reduction to the CPS budget, to be reallocated throughout our communities, to rebuild trust, and to rectify systemic barriers in the financial capacity of Black, Indigenous, other racialized communities and 2SLGBTQ+ people. Reallocation of a portion of the CPS budget is supported by CPS. Chief Mark Neufeld told Calgary City Council that, should they reduce police responsibilities, “then we can certainly divert the dollars.”
We couldn’t agree more. Here are the facts:
Please sign our petition and follow as we fight together for a more resilient Calgary.
Defund YYC – Black Lives Matter YYC - Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation – YYC Black Town Hall – The United Black People’s Allyship Movement – The Black and Indigenous Alliance AB – The Colour Factor – RAAR - Rural Alberta Against Racism – Black People United – Blackfalds Against Racism – Vermillion Unites for Equality – Canadian Voices Against Racism - RDAR, Red Deer Against Racism - Project Calgary - VOICES YYC
What is proactive policing?
While reactive and traditional policing is the act of responding to a crime after it’s been committed, proactive policing is a method of seeking out and deterring crime before it occurs through police presence and show of force. A commonly cited example of proactive policing is “stop-and-frisk”, which is the practice of detaining, questioning and/or searching any civilian on the street for weapons or other contraband. Proactive policing is also the practice of increasing police presence in certain areas to send a message to the public - we are here and we are watching you. Proactive policing relies on the assumption of potential guilt, which is contrary to one of our most basic democratic principles of justice -- that citizens are innocent until proven guilty.
Does it work?
It’s hard to say. It might, but not without significant consequences.
A recent opinion piece on CNN from an American law enforcement analyst and retired FBI agent who mostly worked in New York City stated that “studies [on proactive policing] have provided evidence they can prevent or reduce crime.” Yet, an analysis by the Washington Post found that, while major felonies declined in New York City from 2002 through 2013 (when stop-and-frisk was implemented by the mayor), the reduction did not correspond to the increase in stops by police. According to Washington Post, “crime has continued to fall since a federal judge deemed the practice an unconstitutional violation of civil rights in 2013.”
An analysis by the New York City Civil Liberties Union showed that, at the height of stop-and-frisk in NYC in 2011, over 685,000 citizens were stopped. Nearly 9 out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent. And racialized people continue to be the overwhelming target of this practice.
What are the consequences in the Calgary context?
A proactive policing approach in Calgary would see an increase in patrols in high-crime areas like downtown and the northeast -- where there is a high percentage of racialized and/or marginalized people, many of whom are criminalised and excluded from participation in high paying jobs. This will inevitably lead to an increase in racial profiling of innocent civilians, and erode any sense of trust and community belonging amongst those civilians. Increased police presence and force sends a clear message to these communities, and especially impressionable youth, that there is something wrong with them and they do not belong here. When people feel ostracized from the community, or that they don’t belong there, they lose any sense of responsibility to that community, including keeping it safe. Why would anyone be concerned with a community that is actively telling them they are unwelcome and under suspicion?
This will also add to the already highly disproportionate numbers of Indigenous and Black people in correctional facilities. The initial instance of incarceration often leads to cyclical involvement in the justice system and extreme social inequality. Regardless of the work one has done to make up for a past crime, that criminal record will be a constant barrier to employment, housing, education and other necessities to lift oneself out of this cycle. Ongoing probation continues to send a message to criminalized people: we do not trust you. Add on increased police presence to this cycle and the message is clear: you are not to be trusted. So, why would people are told they are criminals trust the very people who keep telling them they are criminal?
Why does crime happen in the first place?
Trauma and poverty are inextricably linked. Trauma, especially during childhood, changes the way one’s brain is wired. According to brain science, without positive interventions, this causes the brain to continue exhibiting those fight-or-flight responses which greatly increases the likelihood of criminal behaviour as an individual ages. Poverty and unemployment are also strong indicators of incarceration rates.
Racism and poverty are forms of trauma, as are negative interactions with law enforcement, especially when they are unwarranted. If increased policing results in increased trauma, it will inevitably lead to an increase in crime. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
What’s the alternative?
We can effectively reduce and prevent crime without negative long-term consequences by addressing the root causes of crime such as poverty, unemployment, lack of belonging and trauma. It’s not only the more humane and just thing to do, it will actually lead to a more prosperous Calgary for all, and increased trust and engagement with police.
A percentage of the police budget must be reallocated to social programs that address the root causes of crime through an anti-racist, trauma-informed lens, rather than continuing to increase funding to the never-ending cycle of the justice system and agencies that don’t actively address systemic and interpersonal racism on a daily and operational basis.
This approach is proven to work: for example, Glasgow, Scotland's most populous city, lowered its murder rate by 50% through "smart law enforcement" combined with "programs targeted to youth, family health and other services in problem places."
This may mean that the City of Calgary needs to look at new organizations, lead by people with lived experience of, and expertise in racism, for this movement to be effective. It will be a process, rather than an overnight phenomenon. But it is necessary for the health and wellbeing of all citizens in Calgary. We know that criminalizing people does not work in the long term and “proactive policing” sends a message that certain people and certain areas of the city are not to be trusted. Let’s move Calgary forward and use a modern approach to policing that builds respect and resilience into the community we all call home.
His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi and The City of Calgary Councillors,
Thank you for hosting the public hearing on systemic racism on July 7 - 9, 2020. Although discussing racism is often uncomfortable, painful and re-traumatizing, we greatly appreciate the attention paid to this critical conversation and are awaiting the next steps.
Our team watched the recording of the hearing, in addition the livestream, and went through the written submissions to provide you with data based on the speakers’ stories. Please note these are initial estimates based on both the livestream and written submissions. In the graph below, the number represents the total number of people who stated their concerns during their presentation, as well as the percentage of times the concerns were mentioned.
As illustrated in the graphs above, an overwhelming number of participants had concerns about systemic racism in the Calgary Police Service. There were also specific key issues mentioned within each broad concern, including:
Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
Did you know that Calgary police officers shot and killed more people in 2018 than any other city in Canada? Alarmingly, this was also more than in either Chicago or New York, the two largest police departments in the US.
This is not just an American problem.
This past week, Calgary City Council heard from over 150 Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) who detailed countless incidents of abuse, mistreatment and discrimination at the hands of Calgary police. The trauma caused by law enforcement was undeniable on their faces and in their voices as they courageously shared their stories in hopes of meaningful change.
Above the Law is a new documentary on CBC that examines three cases of police violence in Calgary. The film clearly illustrates how Calgary Police have both taken and ruined the lives of so many Calgarians. This has a wide-reaching impact on not just their loved ones, but their communities as well.
We know that police brutality disproportionately impacts the BIPOC community. Yet, Calgary police are not mandated to collect race-based data which significantly limits their accountability. Their budget is nearly 10 times that of social services and affordable housing combined, despite the fact that these types of programs are proven to address the root causes of crime more effectively and humanely. It’s also more cost-effective, enabling your tax dollars to be reallocated to other important services.
Of the 15,963 contacts with the public recorded by Calgary police in 2018:
Police are not trauma counsellors, social workers or mental health practitioners. We’re recommending The City puts out a request for proposals from the BIPOC community for culturally specific social services that can address the root causes of crime related to homelessness, mental health and poverty. A percentage of the Calgary police budget should be reallocated to the selected proposal(s).
YOU can help make Calgary safer for not just the BIPOC community, but all Calgarians who’ve experienced police brutality. Share this documentary with the hashtag #DefundCPS to spread the word so that the defunding movement in Calgary is unignorable.
DefundCPS by Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
In 2018, 72% of interactions with Calgary Police were related to disorder (unruly behaviour) and/or vulnerable persons. Another 16% were related to drug use. This means that almost 90% of interactions with Calgary Police are directly related to social issues such as homelessness, poverty, mental health challenges and substance use disorders – often a result of untreated trauma.
Police officers are trained to deal with violence and danger to the public. They are not trained to be trauma counsellors or social workers. Policing is not a preventative measure but rather a reaction to a crime that has already been committed.
Black and Indigenous people are disproportionately targeted and impacted by the justice system, including policing. Many don’t feel safe calling police when they’re in danger because the police represent a greater threat to their safety, and possibly their lives.
Where did the phrase “defund the police” come from?
The concept of defunding police originated with Black activists and can be found as far back as the 1960s. It has gained momentum and credibility today as smartphone cameras and social media have exposed police brutality to a wider audience.
What does it mean?
Defunding police means reallocating a percentage of that funding to social services that address the root causes of crime, like education, mental health supports, affordable housing, youth programs, accessible transit and employment opportunities.
The majority of Calgarians’ tax dollars go towards policing – the single largest line item in the City’s budget at $401 million – while affordable housing and social services receive a measly $42 million. Calgary Police have little accountability as City Council doesn’t require them to specify exactly what they are spending that money on. Police budgets should be capped and transparent so citizens know exactly what their tax dollars are spent on. Government should be involved in deciding what the money is spent on to increase accountability.
Read more: Defunding the police in a Canadian context (E-Learning Resource)
Why is it important?
Policing is a foundational example of systemic racism in Canada, meaning that the policies, practices and procedures carried out by police lead to disproportionately negative outcomes for BIPOC. We cannot claim to be a free and equitable society when BIPOC are constantly at risk of brutalization at the hands of those they pay taxes to for protection.
Experiencing mental illness, homelessness, poverty and trauma are not crimes. And, if we are truly innocent before proven guilty, using a counterfeit bill should not be a death sentence.
Government-mandated collection of race-based data in policing is essential to ensure that police are held accountable for effective and equitable crime prevention.
Will defunding the police really work?
Yes. Alternative response services already exist in many parts of the world, like Oregon, California and the United Kingdom. Crises are responded to by trained, demilitarized professionals with expertise in de-escalation and compassion so there isn’t fear of further violence.
Calgary already has several (currently underfunded) programs that provide successful and cost-effective alternatives to policing, such as:
Permanent supportive housing provided by Alpha House, CJHS and other agencies funded by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF). CHF found that this type of housing decreases interactions with police by 72%,days spent in jail by 84% and court appearances by 59%.
Did you know? The City of Edmonton has already voted to redirect $11 million of the police budget to community services.
How can I help advocate for my tax dollars to be reallocated away from police?
Support, participate and donate to defunding movements in your city.
Email or call your local politicians to ask them to:
As part of Calgary’s commitment to anti-racism, The City of Calgary is holding a public consultation on systemic racism through a meeting of the Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services which is scheduled to start on July 7 and 8, 2020.
How to register to present at the meeting:
Registration is now over. Thank you for registering.
How to view the agenda:
Here it is.
How to speak to the City Council committee:
Here is a document to help you prepare for speaking to City Council.
How to listen in, but not present:
We recommend all Calgarians to watch the council meeting live on the day of.
Sharing experiences of racism can be a really difficult and scary thing to do. Here are some tips that might help you stay grounded and present as you speak:
To my fellow Calgarians,
My name is Courtney Walcott. I am a public high school teacher in Calgary. In collaboration with the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation (CCMF), we started a petition on June 19, 2020, to ask the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) to create an Anti-Racism Task Force. In just a few days, we amassed over 7,000 signatures. The petition was featured on CBC News, Global News, Red FM and others. The success of this petition is due, in no small part, to the efforts and commitment of CCMF. They continue to strive for change in the education system through anti-racism work.
CCMF released a study last year that illustrated Alberta teachers’ awareness of racism in their schools and the lack of tools to address it in their classrooms. Teachers indicated that they were fundamentally unprepared to create an inclusive curriculum due to a shortage of available resources.
Six days after we released the petition, the CBE committed to doing the work necessary to create an equitable and anti-racist environment in schools, and created a Collaboration for Anti-Racism and Equity Support Advisory Council (CBE C.A.R.E.S.). This is a great first step — as long as the commitment is followed with action. And the teachers, students, parents and citizens who signed the petition have demanded that action in the form of accountable, data-driven and immediate change.
While every call to action in our petition has not yet been satisfied — race-based data collection is required to effectively analyze and address systemic racism in our institutions — we have faith that the CBE will follow through on their promise to stakeholders.
Thank you to everyone for adding their voice to this cause by signing and sharing the petition. While the petition is officially closing, we will continue to hold our institutions accountable for dismantling systemic racism.
If you would like to get involved, the City of Calgary is holding a public forum on systemic racism on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 9:30 a.m., thanks to the hard work and determination of CCMF. Please share this information with your family and friends who have experienced racism so we can ensure their voices are heard and appropriate policy changes can be recommended. Follow CCMF on social media for further details on how you or your loved ones can participate:
Courtney Walcott and the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
Historically, the education system has been used as a tool to propagate discriminatory and prejudiced ideologies. It is well known that the ideologies and policies of the past were based on discriminatory schools of thought regarding the differences between race, gender, and class. With this as a guiding understanding, we seek to put together a task force to specifically analyze which aspects of public-school policy continue to adversely impact our minority students. The foundation of this task force will be through the collection and analysis of race-based, gender-based, and economic-based data to determine and isolate problematic structures within the public education system. It will only be through the analysis of the policies in place, the history of their creation, and the impact on minority groups within this system that meaningful change can be made.
The task force will also look at methods of building school culture and developing the necessary school-based resources to impact the ongoing learning of students and staff. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of school-based equity committees, the ongoing process of learning about and the deconstruction of implicit bias, and the development of professional learning programs that can be facilitated to all CBE staff on the subject of anti-discriminatory work, as well as locally develop an anti-discrimination course, and a review of the K-12 Alberta curriculum to address necessary changes to reflect the diversity of the Alberta student body.
To coordinate and strengthen anti-discriminatory work through data collection, analysis, and policy creation in accordance with the aim of disrupting systemic prejudice and discrimination.
1. Build a comprehensive data set based on race, gender, and economic status.
4. An analysis of curriculum programs and the impact they have on student success
6. An analysis of course enrolment based on race, gender, and economic class in an effort to identify trends and possible systemic limitations to our distribution of equitable opportunities.
7. Research the origins of current educational practices to develop a historical analysis of potential discriminatory policies that may remain in our current system.
8. Analyze trends in hiring practices to identify potential bias in the hiring process
Potential Task Force Members
The task force would ideally be a combination of educators, policy makers, and analysts from the community.
Potential collaborative opportunities exist through partnerships with our local Universities (Mount Royal University, University of Calgary) through their Public Policy, Education, History, and Sociology faculties and student base.
This task force would need to be dedicated, and not run as a secondary duty of employees from the Calgary Board of Education. To complete this work in a timely, organized, comprehensive, and effective manner, this task force should be the sole focus of its members during its initial run. Too often is this the work of a committee meeting once a week for a year, yielding nothing.
This work is challenging. It is disruptive. However, at its core, it is the work that will have long term effects that align with the goal of public education. Public education has the rare power to direct society towards a better future. This power cannot be taken for granted in light of daunting circumstances. Sacrifices and investments must be made into developing our future. Until we seek to understand the problem, we will never truly be able to fix it.
We must do this work.
Courtney Walcott, Social Studies & English Language Arts Teacher
Western Canada High School
June 10, 2020
His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi and The City of Calgary Councillors,
The City of Calgary is home to an ethnically diverse population. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016, over 30 per cent of our population identified as a visible minority and about three per cent as Aboriginal. However, racist incidents, crimes, and constraints continue across the city. The City of Calgary municipal government has created a few policies and strategies to promote diversity and inclusion, but our great city needs concrete and ongoing anti-racism action. We want to help the City in coming up with solutions.
The Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation (CCMF) has created a petition asking the City to hold a public consultation on systemic racism and discrimination. Within a week, the petition has amassed close to 70,000 signatures. We have also seen thousands of Calgarians rally in peaceful protests for Black Lives Matter and racial justice to show a societal fatigue of certain systemic occurrences and widespread desire to eradicate or improve conditions for Indigenous and racialized citizens, even during a pandemic. This consultation will allow Calgarians of all backgrounds to participate in the development of concrete solutions to improve the economic, social, cultural and political conditions of Calgary residents, particularly members of Indigenous and racialized communities. Calgary is a great city but we have the chance to build an even better one that is more inclusive, equitable and prosperous.
CCMF is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers working to improve race relations in Calgary and Canada. We utilize education, technology and arts to create cultural understanding and mitigate racism. Being on the forefront of anti-racism advocacy and multiculturalism, our foundation often works with ethnic communities on projects.
We implore the City of Calgary to hold a public consultation on systemic racism and discrimination and be part of this important movement. Our recommendations for the public consultation are as follows:
We want a city that is proactive, instead of reactive. While there are no magic or quick solutions to addressing systemic racism, we are confident that holding this public consultation will provide much-needed guidance to inform next steps on how the The City can play an active and vital role in improving life for all Calgarians. Thank you for your consideration and our organization would be happy to support this initiative in any way you need.
Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
The City of Calgary is home to an ethnically diverse population. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016 over 30% of its population identified as a visible minority and about 3% as Aboriginal . However racist incidents and crimes continue across the city. The municipal government, The City of Calgary, has yet to tackle the discrimination that these population face. We understand The City has created a few policies and strategies to promote diversity and inclusion, but there is no concrete action taken. We want to help The City in coming up with solutions.
Please sign this petition to be part of the movement to tackle systemic racism and discrimination in Calgary. We ask The City to hold a public consultation on systemic racism and discrimination. This consultation will allow Calgarians of all backgrounds to participate in the development of concrete solutions to improve economic, social, cultural, and political conditions of Calgary residents, particularly members of Indigenous and racialized communities, and build a more inclusive equitable and prosperous city.
Please sign and share!
We get a lot of folks wanting to learn more about racism, but want to make sure the resource is legitimate and easy to understand. We have also seen a trend of shaming others for not knowing. We do not believe this is the way to creating positive changes. Here are some common terms to help you understand and become an ally. We use these definitions in our school presentations so they are easy to understand!
Before you understand racism, you need to understand race. But what is race? We sometimes hear people say race is a social construct, but what does that mean?
► Race has no basis in biological reality, therefore has no meaning independent of its social definitions. There is no gene or cluster of genes common to all blacks or all whites. Were race “real” in the genetic sense, racial classifications for individuals would remain constant across boundaries. Yet, a person who could be categorized as black in the United States might be considered white in Brazil or coloured in South Africa
►Although race is socially constructed, it significantly affects the lives of people of colour and Indigenous people, particularly in the West.
►The concept of race was created to establish a hierarchy in society.
Here is a great video that further explains this.
We often hear politicians say racism is about ignorance. But it's not just about social attitudes. Instead racism is:
►A system in which one group of people exercises power over another on the basis of race.
►A set of beliefs, false assumptions, and actions based on an ideology of the inherent superiority of one racial group over another.
►Consists of policies and practices, rooted in established institutions, that result in the exclusion or advancement of specific groups of people. Ex - discriminatory laws, residential segregation, poor health care, inferior education, unequal economic opportunity and the exclusion and distortion of the perspectives of non-dominant Canadians.
This is a term we don't hear very often. But it's incredibly important. And even more so, it's important to understand the difference between racism and racial discrimination:
►Racial discrimination can happen to anyone who is discriminated against based on their race and is usually an individual act. Racism is more persistent as it is not only an individual behaviour or act, but a way of thinking and is institutionalized/inherent in Canada.
►In Canada, anyone can experience racial discrimination but only people of colour and Indigenous people can experience racism.
We hear the word privilege be thrown around often, especially white privilege, but many people don't understand how they themselves are privileged.
►Refers to gaining benefits, advantages, and rights by default at the expense of others, because one belongs to the perceived “us,” “normal” or “natural” state of the “mainstream” and/or dominant culture.
►Privilege is not visible to its holder; it is merely there, a part of the world, a way of life, simply the way things are.
Here is a great exercise that explains white privilege.
Microaggression is a term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups. Here is a comic book we made about daily racial microaggressions. As well, here is a great video that further explains microaggressions.
Do you know we all have bias? We create them from a young age to navigate the world. But what is a bias?
►A subjective opinion, preference, prejudice or inclination, often formed without reasonable justification, that influences an individual’s or group’s ability to evaluate a particular situation objectively or accurately.
►You can be aware or unaware of it.
Here is a great video on racial bias (note: there is a swear word in it, used once)
Stereotypes and Generalizations
We've heard many growing up, whether they are positive or negative, they contribute to a dysfunctional class system.
►A preconceived overgeneralization of a group of people, ascribing the same characteristics to all members of the group, regardless of their individual differences.
►Most of us fit into different categories and have a variety of interests. We might like watching sports but be non-athletic. We might like rap as well as classical music. But when we think about other people, particularly people who are a different race from us, we often have a harder time understanding that complexity. So we put people into categories and thus – stereotypes are formed.
This term is thrown around a lot. It's essentially how oppressive systems are linked together
►The experience of the interconnected nature of identities, and the way they are embedded within existing systems such that they define how one is valued.
►In other words, the interconnected nature of all forms of oppression against particular groups.
Now that you are aware of all this, how can you be an ally? It's important to understand the difference between and Ally and an Advocate.
►Supporting a cause that directly relates to you or affects you.
►Speaks out and takes action for change.
►Listens, supports and advocates, but is not in the spotlight or the loudest voice. Stands with and not in front of.
►How to be an ally:
■Understand your privilege
■Listen and do your homework
■Speak up, not over
■Apologize when you make mistakes
■Ally is a VERB
Want to learn more about racism?
In partnership with Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation and PCCA (Pakistani Canadian Cultural Association) Alberta, thanks to the funds by Stepping Stones, a program of Calgary Foundation and Connect First Credit Union, we were able to give away 60 care packages to newcomer seniors living in Calgary. The two organizations worked together to identify low-income newcomer seniors that were isolated and needed care packages. This was done through a community call to action and phone interviews.
The care packages were put together and delivered with the help of volunteers during the month of May. We were deliberate in ensuring that the packages content were based on the ethnic needs as well as useful sanitation products for COVID-19. We also made sure we supported local businesses when giving out these packages by trying our best to buy only from local small businesses. For example we supported local seamstresses in getting fabric masks made, supported ethnic businesses with getting some food items and local breweries in getting hand sanitizers ,and more.
As well, we had local school children send cards for the seniors that we included in the packages. The packages also included in language information about COVID-19 and how to wash hands and stay safe during this time that were professionally translated. The packages were dropped off at the door and every senior who recieved the package was delighted to receive them.
If you would like to donate sanitary and health items (hand sanitizer, reusable masks, soap, vitamins c packets, multivitamins, tissue papers etc.), then connect with us for drop off location. Contact us here or email@example.com
We are also accepting cards made by kids to add to each package to bring cheer during this time! Contact for address / drop off location. Donations accepted for the next week.
Pandemics arise when a virus is capable of spreading disease across a wide geographic area. Like the spread of viruses, racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks can also be virulent, traveling like pathogens through populations. As fears over the novel COVID-19 have grown, so too have incidents of harassment and violence against East Asians in Canada. While pandemics do not discriminate based on skin colour, racism does. We cannot allow COVID-19 to serve as a vehicle for racism or xenophobia.
We want to hear directly from you.
We are asking Canadians to share their story about experiencing or witnessing racism in our country during COVID-19. You can submit your experience through our online form. Share your stories in the means that best suits you - words, illustrations, pictures, poems, comics, videos etc. Once we have collected these stories, we will share them online through an interactive website.
Have you experienced or witnessed racism during COVID-19 in Canada? Share your story today.