Experiences Canada’s Black Lives Matter & Anti Racism Conversations – produced in both English and French – aimed to increase the capacity of youth to engage in Anti-Racism conversations by providing them with an opportunity to learn from emerging and established leaders and from their peers.
The series of 7 webinars are accompanied by easy-to-follow discussion guides, educational materials and resources from anti-racism organizations. A key objective for this series is to amplify the message and voices of the Black Lives Matter Movement and Anti-Racism Activists in Canada.
For each topic, we have providing lesson plans and discussion guides to assist educators in integrating the various topics into their curriculum plans. Our aim is to encourage conversation and inquiry among Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, while ensuring a brave space for youth to communicate.
We encourage you to view the webinars with your students, and continue the conversation in your virtual classrooms using our lesson plans and guides.
Program Question: What is Anti-Racism?
Program goals, definitions, acknowledgement, role of the educator, conversation guidelines
Lessons and activities can be adapted to any course or community group activity and are flexible to different timelines to best suit the class or group.
At Experiences Canada, we’re committed to helping young Canadians open their minds, exploring the diversity of language, culture, and lived experiences within our country. We believe that systemic racism is best addressed at the earliest age, encouraging mutual understanding and respect through direct opportunities to learn from one another. In recent days we’re reminded of why this work is so important, and how we always need to be thinking of how we can do better.
A key objective for this series was to amplify the message and voices of the Black Lives Matter Movement and Anti-Racism Activists in Canada and raise greater awareness for the work of these organizations. These resources aim to inform and address many of the same issues highlighted in each weekly event, and provide still more ways for youth to take part in meaningful conversations and engage with their communities.
What is Black Lives Matter and its Impact in Canada
Following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer in the United States in 2013, the global Black Lives Matter movement rose up to combat violence against the black community.
The BLM movement in Canada co-founded by Janaya Khan and Sandy Hudson has an equally pervasive impact in Canada: “I am telling you, the brutalization of Black people and the anti-Blackness that we face, it’s not that different because of the little imaginary line that separates what is called Canada and what is called the United States,” explains Sandy Hudson. “Our cultures are very, very similar. The thing that is very different about Canada is the denial that we are faced with when we tell people outside of Black communities that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.”
Introduction to Racism
The field of Anti-Racism is constantly changing, with new terminology being created every year as more stories of how racism affects individuals and communities. Race hasn’t existed for forever, its inception coincides with the creation of modern colonialism and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. This was a period of cultural and physical genocide of millions of Africans, with race being created to rationalize this inhumane treatment. The resulting effects on Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities have translated into sociological, psychological and biological differences. These differences and discrimination still occur today as they are bound to the constitutions of countries worldwide, but are continually being challenged as individuals increasingly discuss what has happened and continues to happen to those of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities.
Justice & Security
The Justice System is meant to keep Canadians and residents within Canada safe and secure. However, racism within the system of justice and security is what motivated this global movement. Within the justice system, there are multiple examples of systemic, institutional and individual racism that have occured and continue to occur every day. From police presence in select school, to the unresolved murders of thousands of Indigenous Women and Girls, to racial profiling that has resulted in disproportionate number of racialized persons incarcerated.
Economic Opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color individuals have increased over the years. As true histories of the experiences of these communities have become widely shared, more interest in the field increases the opportunities for individuals to create their own businesses or organizations. Additionally, among these communities the need to give back to their own is a part of their wellbeing.
The inequities within the healthcare system have long been known to Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. These communities have faced racial disrimination in the form of lack of adequate housing and affordable food supplies; lack of adequate health care and emergency services; lower income levels and lack of access to education and economic opportunities. As media has become increasingly accessible and easier to use, the racial discrimination of these communities have shown Canada has a lot to fix.
The impacts of declining our environment are not experienced equally. Most often it is racialized groups and neighborhoods who suffer the worst quality of life due to increased pollutants from toxic waste, garbage, pollutants and emissions, yet they have the least amount of power to effect change in their communities. For millennia, Indigenous people have been protecting the lands which make up Canada. As colonization of the land and Indigenous People occurred, the destruction of the environment Canada inhabits deteriorates. As more studies solidify what Indigenous People have known, more support for Indigenous, Black and People of Colour activists is found.
In this concluding participant exclusive session, individuals, parents and educators 14-30 eager to take the next step in becoming stronger allies and advocates for change will hear from individuals and groups who work on building connections between and with BIPOC communities. Participants will then have the opportunity to discuss different scenarios that occur in our everyday lives to effectively learn how to become allies using the suggestions from our Allyship specific speakers and those featured on previous weeks discussions.
Continue the Work
Think about your privileges and talents and figure out a way to put them to work! Get creative! Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Thanks to Our Partner
We are grateful for the generous contribution of The RBC Foundation to support The Black Lives Matter/Anti-Racism Conversation Series that not only helps to amplify voices and perspectives about Anti-Racism in Canada, but is also contributes to building youth skills, capacity and experience for future jobs and opportunities.