Authored By: Jeunesse Montgomery-Spencer
The Importance of Black Lives Matter & Blackout Tuesday
Yesterday was Blackout Tuesday.
It was a call to action created by the music industry encouraging people to ‘hit pause’ on online promotion, vapid social media posts, business and entertainment. This was done to give space and time to the black community, following the senseless murder of George Floyd to the hands of racism, and countless others. It was also an opportunity for the rest of the world to listen and learn about the injustices that have existed for black people for a very, very long time.
Many people, myself included, participated in this day in various ways: by posting a ‘blackout’ square to social media, sharing informative resources, links to petitions, and groups to donate to or support in the black community.
I’ve gathered a few for you here:
Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com
BLM is *‘an affirmation and embrace of the resistance and resilience of Black people.’ There are three chapters here in Canada – in Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo.
Black Youth Helpline: https://blackyouth.ca
A group that helps to foster positive futures for black children and youth.
Black Women in Motion: https://blackwomeninmotion.org
This is a group that supports black women, by black women. It is a healing space that allows women to flourish and get into the workforce.
Across Boundaries: http://www.acrossboundaries.ca
Across Boundaries provides equitable, holistic mental health and addiction services.
@BlackOwnedTO on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackowned.to/
This is an Instagram account that shines the spotlight on black owned and operated businesses in Toronto.
You can of course, donate to any of the groups above, but additionally:
The Official George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
The ACLU And The ACLU Of Minnesota
These two groups are coming together to conduct a fair, transparent investigation following the death of George Floyd. Your donation will help with these efforts.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund
This group is currently working with National Lawyers Guild and Legal Rights Centre to help bails that are set on protestors.
COVID-19 Black Emergency Response Fund
This fund was organized by BLM Toronto and they provide financial support to Black people in the GTA who have lost their income sources due to COVID-19.
I also encourage you to have some honest and maybe uncomfortable conversations. Talk to your kids. Talk to your black friends. Talk to your black co-workers. LISTEN! And pay attention to what’s going on.
If you are a black person, I see you. I am a mixed woman (my father is black and my mother is white), and as someone who does not obviously present as black, I do understand my privilege. I will use my platform to educate, share my experiences, speak and make room for you to do the same.
*as described by BLM
Listen to Jeunesse speak with Tucker & Maura about her experiences as a Black woman in Canada.
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