This statement from Rotman Commerce Pride Alliance (RCPA) is in solidarity with the Black community in Canada and the United States concerning the unfortunate fates of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Tony McDade (a Black trans man) and the unknown deceased victims of anti-Black racism.
As an undergraduate student organization based on 3 pillars – education, collaboration, and inclusivity – it is important that we use our platform to speak out against white supremacy, which still plagues our society, and show our collective support to the oppressed.
We must recognize how state-sanctioned anti-Black racism looks different across gendered bodies but should incite the same amount of anger regardless of the Black victims’ gender.
We must also acknowledge the specific erasure of the Black trans and non-binary folx from the media narrative of the police brutality. As of the beginning of pride month, we must remember that Black & brown, trans and queer folx have always been at the front of liberation movements such as the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. It cannot be mistaken that the fight for gender equality and racial equality are intertwined and embedded in the same oppressive systems.
We believe that inaction is complicity, so ask yourself what you are doing during this time and, more importantly, why you are doing it.
For non-Black people eager to help:
- Recognize your privilege and speak out. The onus is on you to be actively anti-racist (not just non-racist), and not overwhelm your black friends to undertake emotional labour to educate you about racism.
- If you have means, support the Black community in protest or financially through the families of the victims by using these donation links
- Tony McDade: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-tony-mcdade
- Regis Korchinski-Paquet: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/justice-for-regis
- Black Lives Matter Toronto: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/black-emergency-support-fund
- Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate
- Toronto Protestor Bail Fund: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/toronto-protestor-bail-fund
- Some books to read include:
- Black Boy (by Richard Wright)
- A Raisin in the Sun, (by Lorraine Hansberry)
- Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture (by Angela Davis)
- Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (by Robyn Maynard)
- Assata, an Autobiography (by Assata Shakur)
- Support Black-owned Businesses and Restaurants in the GTA region
- Entertainment Kitchen (Eglinton West)
- Pat’s Homestyle (Queen and Bath)
- Choptime Catering (Mississauga)
- Rasta Pasta (Kensington)
- Lalibela (Bloor and Ossington)
- Diner’s Corner (Yonge and Bloor)
- Chris Jerk (Scarborough)
- African Palace (Dovercourt Park and Bloor)
- Subscribe and listen to these podcasts that dive into important dialogue around racial equity and justice :
- 1619 (by the New York Times)
- Code Switch (by NPR)
- The Diversity Gap (by Bethaney Wilkinson)
- Intersectionality Matters! (by Kimberlé Crenshaw)
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast (by Chevon and Hiba)
We at RCPA view social media as an invaluable tool for education, enrichment and positive change, however being inherently performative too. We hope that when you are lending your voice to the cacophony, you interrogate your reasoning and how you as an individual are going to affect the change you are calling out for. For knowing what it is like to be continuously and relentlessly debased, in words of James Baldwin: “Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure, does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity and fear”.
We urge you all to protest, donate, and advocate in light of this movement. Your voices are powerful, your actions make a difference. We are sending our love to all of you. Stay safe out there and keep fighting against injustice.
In solidarity and love,
The RCPA Executive Team