Racism in all its forms is not unique to the US. It is a systemic, ingrained issue that persists around the world — and Canada is no exception.
On May 27, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old Black-Indigenous woman, fell to her death from a 24th-floor balcony following an encounter with the Toronto police.
A study by the Ontario Human Rights Commission revealed that Black Torontonians were 20 times more likely to be shot by police than the city’s white inhabitants.
"This is an ongoing crisis in US society, but I think it’s really important for us not to forget this is very much a reality for us here in Toronto and Canada, as well," Robyn Maynard, a podcast producer and author of Policing Black Lives, told Global News. "This ongoing comparison that favours Canada to the US really just erases the rampant injustice that Black communities continue to face right now — the grief, the fear."
In April alone, police shot and killed three Indigenous people in just 10 days in the city of Winnipeg.
Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or to go missing than people from any other demographic, according to the final report by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
These statistics are jarring and provide just a fraction of information surrounding racism in Canada.
Addressing racism goes much further than looking at police brutality or racial-based violence on the surface. It is a systemic, deep-seated issue and it impacts the way Canada as a country provides health care, as well as access to vital resources like education, water, legal services, and much more.
If you are able to donate, here is a list of organizations you can choose to support — but in no way is this list exhaustive.
And if you are not able to donate, there is plenty more you can do. Support racial justice, educate yourself, stand up and have difficult conversations — and demand action from your elected officials.
1. Black Women in Motion
Through an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework, Black Women in Motion works to empower and support Black women and survivors of sexual violence.
2. Black Legal Action Centre
As a non-profit community legal clinic, the Black Legal Action Centre delivers free legal services for low- or no-income Black residents in Ontario.
3. Black Youth Helpline
Black Youth Helpline promotes access to innovative, professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families, and schools.
4. FoodShare Toronto
Toronto-based activist group Not Another Black Life has partnered with FoodShare Toronto to offer Black families GoodFood boxes as they self-isolate due to COVID-19 following the Justice for Regis March in Toronto on May 30.
5. Black Lives Matter regional chapters
6. Justice for Regis
You can donate to the GoFundMe campaign started by Renee Beals, sister of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, to help her family seek justice.
7. Black Health Alliance
The Black Health Alliance is a community-led organization that looks to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada.
8. Black Artists’ Network Dialogue
The Black Artists’ Network Dialogue seeks to empower and provide a spotlight on the contributions of Black artists in Canada and internationally.
9. Toronto Protestor Bail Out Fund
This bail-out fund is a GoFundMe campaign created to provide financial assistance if protesters get arrested or become incarcerated. If no arrests are made, the funds will go to Korchinski-Paquet’s family.
10. Unist’ot’en 2020 Legal Fund
While protecting their unceded territory, the Unist'ot'en community has been confronted with increasing legal fees. You can help by donating to the Unist’ot’en 2020 Legal Fund.
11. Indigenous Awareness Canada
Indigenous Awareness Canada wants to help Canadians learn about the country’s Indigenous people through online Indigenous awareness training and in-person workshops.
12. Circles for Reconciliation
Through small gatherings (and now online), Circles for Reconciliation aims to foster trusting, meaningful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
13. Across Boundaries
Across Boundaries offers holistic and equitable mental health and addiction services through anti-racism, anti-Black racism, and anti-oppression frameworks. The organization also speaks to the impacts of racism and discrimination on mental health and well-being.
14. Black Business and Professional Association
The Black Business and Professional Association focuses on equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education, and economic development.
15. Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19
This GoFundMe fundraiser was put in place to act as an emergency, micro-grant program for Black people in British Columbia who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
16. Black Space Winnipeg
Black Space Winnipeg is a grassroots organization that works to create open dialogue on the daily experiences of being Black by providing a safe space for people of colour through a variety of community-based events.
17. Black Liberation Collective
The Black Liberation Collective is a movement of students tackling anti-Black racism in post-secondary institutions that can be found internationally.
18. TheComeUp-Youth Empowerment Initiative
The Come Up is a youth-led group that is a subset of the Africa Centre in Edmonton. It works to empower and encourage African and Caribbean youth.
19. Freedom School Toronto
As a youth- and parent-led group, Freedom School Toronto works to combat anti-Black racism in the school system, providing year-round opportunities to help generate systemic change.
20. Federation of Black Canadians
As a network of organizations, the Federation of Black Canadians works to advance the interests of Canadians of African. The federation prioritizes community building, higher education, health, economic security, reducing racism, and criminal justice reform.