We’ve been watching the Black Lives Matter protests against systemic racism and police brutality this week. For the Avenue team, it’s been a time of reading, listening, discussing and figuring out how our operations and publication can be more actively anti-racist. We’re thankful to the Calgary individuals and organizations who have shared so many helpful thoughts and resources this week, and we hope you’ll find them as compelling and enlightening as we did.
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The post highlights the documentary YYC Colours that is available on YouTube, The Unlearning Channel Instagram account and podcast, CommunityWise Resource Centre and Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC) framework and ActionDignity, a local non-profit working to address inequality and racism in the province. Habib has also created a guide on how to write to your MLA in support of provincial anti-racism initiatives.
Speaking of ActionDignity, the organization has shared a formal response to ongoing protests that includes actionable items that can be taken to help in the effort to combat police brutality and racism. You can read it in full here.
The organizers of the Wednesday, June 3 protests have since launched the Calgary Black Empowerment Fund on GoFundMe. Funds raised there will be used to support Black community initiatives, Black culture and arts, Black non-profits, equity training and future political activism.
The city’s library system has curated three lists of media you can access with a free library card in Calgary. They include children’s books on racism and a Black Lives Matter reading list, both on OverDrive, plus an essential Black Lives Matter film list available on Kanopy.
This evolving list features 35 different Black-led and -serving organizations that work on anti-racism and community building, including some mentioned elsewhere in this article.
Afros in Tha City Shares Numerous Resources, Helps Raise Funds for Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation
We covered Afros in Tha City back in February and have been tuning into its posts this week. The organization is sharing messaging, protest information and resources for Black people like free reiki sessions and free therapy. Organizers also worked with several local groups to raise thousands of dollars for Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation during a virtual Versions party and an ongoing GoFundMe campaign. Sankofa is a non-profit charity that supports children, youth and young adults who are visible minorities with multiple barriers to success.
Elise Ahenkorah’s SheMeetsYYC and Inclusion Factor
Local Entrepreneur Elise Ahenkorah has been sharing anti-racist messaging primarily on the Inclusion Factor Instagram account. Inclusion Factor is a consulting group that trains businesses on how to be more inclusionary of underrepresented voices. Her other endeavor, SheMeetsYYC, is a group offering mentorship, workshops and community connections to women of colour makers, artists, entrepreneurs and innovators. The next SheMeetsYYC event is Connected in Colour, taking place virtually on July 17.
Inspired by Syma Habib’s initial list of existing anti-racism work you can support, the Esker shared a list including The Coalition for Equal Access to Education, the Black.YYC business directory, Black-and-Indigenous climate justice foundation Future Ancestors Services Inc. and many other organizations.
This non-profit society was formed in 2019 by former Calgary Stampeder and current investment advisor Jon Cornish and some of his peers. Cornish spoke to CBC about the organization and an experience with racism earlier this week. In 2020, the organization is focused on mentoring minority students with guidance and aid in-kind. You can learn about becoming a member of Calgary Black Chambers, read blog posts from members or sign up for its newsletter at calgaryblackchambers.ca.
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This graphic illustrates just some of the Black-owned restaurants in Calgary. There are more businesses mentioned in the comments and in a Google map found at the link in the account’s bio.
While there are only five entires on the Calgary page so far, users can click the “Add My Business” heading to submit a Black-owned business they run or love.
Calgary Anti-Racism Education (CARED) is a project run out of the University of Calgary by Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre. It offers numerous resources to individuals, businesses and attorneys on anti-racism. The core stream is outlined here, including a step-by-step guide on beginning your anti-racism journey.
The organization is based in Calgary and offers services across the country. It has launched a change.org petition to ask the City of Calgary to hold a public consultation on systemic racism so the communities affected by this can share their thoughts on how to address the issue. Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation is also the creator of the YYC Colours documentary mentioned earlier in this post.