Canadians haven’t just been sitting idly by and watching the protests south of the border. They’ve been participating too, with thousands attending demonstrations in Canadian cities from coast to coast.
But there are ways to educate yourself and lend support to the Black Lives Matter movement that don’t involve gathering in large public groups... you know, just in case you’re still concerned about that whole global virus pandemic thing.
In Canada, there are dozens of anti-racism organizations currently providing crucial information and networking, and with the conversation about systemic racism (which is very much a thing north of the border, despite what some may have you believe) and racial injustice swirling faster than it has in decades, now’s the time, as rapper and activist Killer Mike so eloquently put it, to “plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize.”
Here are 12 Canadian anti-racist organizations that are helping to do just that.
Canadian Anti-Racism Network
The Canadian Anti-Racism Network Education and Research Society tracks hate crimes across the country and advocates for the end of systemic racism by pushing for legislative change. The group, which is responsible for some of the largest anti-hate demonstrations in Canadian history, also has an educational arm that develops anti-racist education materials, working with various institutions across the country.
Learn more and donate: https://stopracism.ca
Black Lives Matter, Regional Chapters
There are multiple Canadian regional chapters of Black Lives Matter, the group that was born in the States in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, and remains dedicated to being a platform to “dismantle all forms of anti-black racism, liberate blackness, support black healing, affirm black existence, and create freedom to love and self- determine.”
Currently, there are over 40 chapters around the world, including three here in Canada in Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo.
Learn more and donate: https://blacklivesmatter.ca
Black Health Alliance
If you’re passionate about health and well-being, check out the Black Health Alliance, which is all about equality in health. This community-lead charitable org works to minimize the discrepancy in healthcare that black Canadians face.
Learn more and donate: http://blackhealthalliance.ca
Toronto-based Afri-Can FoodBasket has been feeding the socially vulnerable black and Caribbean communities in the city since 1995. Donations go to helping keep healthy meals on the table.
Learn more and donate: https://africanfoodbasket.ca
Prisoner Emergency Support Fund
Incarcerated people are at a disproportionate risk of contracting COVID-19, and black Canadians are vastly overrepresented behind bars. Though provinces and territories around the country are now taking measures to depopulate their jails safely, prisoners that are released still lack adequate support for their transition, with many requiring access to funds for housing, food, clothing, and physical and mental health support. This fundraiser assists prisoners re-entering the community and those that are behind bars during the pandemic.
Learn more and donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/prisoner-emergency-support-fund
Nia Centre for the Arts
Nia Centre for the Arts supports and promotes artwork by black Canadian creatives. It’s based in Toronto and is the country’s first black art centre.
Learn more and donate: https://niacentre.org
Black Youth Helpline
This nation-wide org supports young black people and their families by providing on-demand access to support networks via phone or email. Its core values are built on respect, education, and health. You can get involved by donating your time or money.
Learn more and donate: https://blackyouth.ca
Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation, which was created by the federal government in 1996, has a whole page on its website dedicated to its “strategic direction” in 2020-21. Based on current events, it’s more important than ever that it be achieved.
Learn more and donate: https://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/
Federation of Black Canadians
The FBC is a national non-profit run by Canadian black organizations, whose purpose is “to advance our diverse social, economic, political & cultural interests.” The org focuses on opportunities and challenges facing the economic, social, and political interests of black Canadians.
Learn more and donate: https://fbcfcn.ca/
Black Legal Action Centre
The Black Legal Action Centre offers free legal services for low-income black Ontarians. They work on a variety of cases pro bono from wrongful dismissal to evictions to mistreatment or racism by law enforcement.
Learn more and donate: https://www.blacklegalactioncentre.ca
Black Women In Motion
This TO-youth-headed organization lends support to black women and those recovering from sexual trauma by providing healing spaces, compiling resources, and gathering economic opportunities.
Learn more and donate: https://blackwomeninmotion.org
The Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)
Montreal-based BCRC benefits the city’s black English-speaking youth with resources and programs meant to activate full potential. It has a number of initiatives, like Project Woke, which prompts black youth to come up with solutions to the nation’s racial issues.
Learn more and donate: https://bcrcmontreal.com/