Black Lives Matter – Resources for Calgary

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CJSW takes great pride in our mandate to amplify diverse and passionate voices from throughout Calgary to discuss topics and share stories that you won’t hear anywhere else.

We believe that our airwaves can serve as a platform for conversation and education about equity, diversity, and inclusion, along with truth and reconciliation.

We are dedicating time to reflect on our actions, to educate ourselves, and to work to improve our ability to be an ally to BIPOC artists and storytellers in Calgary, across Canada, and around the world.

Below you will find a list of resources that we have found to be useful in our journey to become stronger allies for BIPOC artists and storytellers.

YYC Black Lives Matter

Independently run Instagram account sharing news, petitions, resources, articles, and important details on Black Lives Matter protests, parades and vigils in Calgary.

YYC Colours

Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Racist behaviour can be not just overt, such as treating some people according to their race or colour, but also covert, where society systematically treats groups according to some form of discriminating judgement.

YYC Colours is a documentary that is created to start discussions about racism in Calgary and Canada in general. The film took over a year and a half to produce. We spoke to hundreds of people and over 100 interviews were recorded through a community call to action that contributed to the content of the film. The goal is to have people view the film and start having honest conversations about racism and privilege in our society. The subject of race can be very touchy, but if we as a society don’t engage in the conversation and understand the problem, racism will never end.

The documentary also touches on hate crimes, privilege, white fragility, bigotry, xenophobia and islamophobia.

The Unlearning Channel

The Unlearning Channel seeks to inspire critical awareness of white supremacy by challenging, re-contextualizing, and broadening perceptions of race, identity, culture and diaspora. We’re unlearning white supremacy—one podcast at a time. Hosted by Mel Vee & Jaqs Gallos Aquines.

Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC) at CommunityWise

CommunityWise Resource Centre is a non-profit centre that provides affordable office and community space. They provide backbone infrastructure. For example, shared internet access and office equipment, and collaborative capacity building and programming supports to non-profit member organizations. They support around 80 small and grassroots organizations whose work spans a diverse spectrum of social, environmental, and cultural issues.

In March of 2016, CommunityWise Resource Centre started a process of Anti-Racist Organizational Change. With AROC, they have been using anti-racism as an approach to strengthen their commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.

Anti-racism is the active and ongoing process of dismantling systems of racial inequality and creating new systems of racial equity. Anti-racism demands that this work be done at internal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels in order to effectively address systemic racism.

Many non-profit organizations talk about the importance of diversity, inclusion and equity, but many find it difficult to truly integrate these concepts into their work and how they operate. Organizational racism is a documented problem across the non-profit sector in Canada, not just in our local context. Racial inequity is a systemic issue. To address systemic issues, we must go beyond individual-level analysis to observe larger patterns in the systems and societal structures that combine to create unequal outcomes. Organizational change is long-term work. There is no endpoint, especially with anti-racism work.

CommunityWise’s AROC resources are a great place for other Calgary organizations to start when beginning to examine their own operations and how they can engage in anti-racism. You will find anti-racism resource booklets, webinars, and an organizational racism self-assessment for non-profits. They also offer anti-racism training for organizations that are interested in addressing organizational racism and becoming more racially equitable.

Mosaic Talk

A monthly podcast focused on having real conversations about Race Relations in Canada. The show features Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation’s members, special guests, along with Canadian music.

Action Dignity

ActionDignity (then Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary) was publicly launched on March 20, 2002, a day before the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and before the first day of spring, ushering in a season of hope and new beginnings amidst growing intolerance of cultural diversity during the six months after September 11. Nine ethnocultural organizations and several individuals joined in as initial members, together with individual leaders.

Since its inception, ActionDignity has been at the forefront of many initiatives addressing issues of diversity, human rights, racial inequities and public participation. It has built leadership and organizational capacity in Calgary’s ethnocultural communities and enhanced the presence and participation of members of these communities in civic activities, public consultations and elections. It developed innovative approaches that strengthen the role of ethnocultural communities in the design, access and better delivery of services, domestic violence prevention and neighbourhood strengthening. It also participated in important research on the impact of changes to public policies, especially on immigration.

ActionDignity’s programs promote racial equity, inclusion and cultural awareness in public policies and systems and policies. It aims to address systemic inequities in public institutions, government and service systems so members of ethnocultural communities can fully participate in economic, social and civic life.

6 Degrees in Calgary

To navigate the politics of division, we need to have a new kind of conversation about how society deals with fundamental questions of belonging, inclusion, and social connection. We need to talk about our many identities, our many languages, and our many histories, from new arrivals to people who have been here for thousands of years. We need to talk about arts and culture as a shared and shareable language. Calgary, as a vibrant, creative, and ever-evolving city, has much to share about the complexities and challenges of real inclusion, and the role of culture and the arts in fostering belonging. 

In 2019, 6 Degrees and CJSW teamed up for a limited-run podcast series for 6 Degrees Calgary 2019. This limited-run series features both exclusive interviews with 6 Degrees speakers as well as panel discussions from the event itself.

6 Degrees is a global conversation about citizenship and inclusion. We involve the brightest minds and the boldest methods, bringing thinkers, doers, artists, politicians, and activists together in a unique forum.

This limited-run podcast series is brought to you in partnership with 6 Degrees, a part of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

The Sprawl:

‘Tired Of Empty Words’: Calgarians Urged To Act Against Racism

As downtown Calgary surged with people chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “no racist police,” Black Calgarians urged those gathered to begin a long overdue conversation on racism in the city—and to do more than post on social media.

Read more here.

Calgary Against Police Brutality

Independently run Instagram account sharing news, petitions, resources, articles, and important details on Black Lives Matter protests, parades and vigils in Calgary.

We Stand YYC

Independently run Instagram account sharing news, petitions, resources, articles, and important details on Black Lives Matter protests, parades and vigils in Calgary.

YYC Voices

VOICES is a coalition of people of colour–both trans & cis, queer and straight–committed to advocating for racialized and marginalized communities in the City of Calgary.  VOICES seeks to sustain a visible and critical presence in our community and hold our community leaders and representatives accountable for the racist, colonial systems and structures that perpetuate the oppression to which we are subjected. This coalition advocates for a nurturing, transformative and action-driven space for people of colour to connect, heal, and thrive together and aims to create accessible and inclusive spaces where we educate and decolonize our communities. VOICES builds connections between radicalized and non-racialized communities for collective liberation. 

Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre

The Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre promotes respect for civil liberties and human rights in Alberta through research and education to contribute to a more just and inclusive community.

Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre

Founded in 2006, Woezo Africa focuses primarily on educational initiatives to convey the intricacies of African art forms, providing a creative platform for people from all walks of life to engage in dance, fitness, and education. Our company members draw from a rich background of dance styles from Africa to entertain, inspire, and build confidence. Woezo Africa was founded to re-ignite an appreciation and love for the cultural values of African music, dance, and performing arts. We want to enrich the global dance community through the infusion and celebration of African dance into our world-class performances. We want to share our knowledge of the history of African dance with several communities across Canada.

Sankofa YYC

Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to informing and empowering youth to be agents of change in their communities through various art forms. Through mentorship, art, music, time, and attention, the team at Sankofa work to provide all youth with the opportunities to develop vital skills they need, get support to be able to face the world, and take control of their own lives.

The Immigrant Education Society (TIES)

The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) is a not-for-profit charitable organization that has been serving Calgary for over 30 years. We’ve become an integral part of Calgary’s immigrant-serving community and continue to strive to give newcomers and low-income Canadians the opportunities to find their rightful place in our city.

Somali Canadian Society of Calgary

Founded in 2002, the Somali-Canadian Society of Calgary (SCSC) is a non-profit organization that serves the cultural, psychological and socio-economic needs of the refugees, immigrants and youth in Calgary and surrounding cities. SCSC helps new immigrants throughout the City of Calgary achieve success in their new community by providing information, referral advocacy, social and support services.

Soccer Without Boundaries

Founded in 2010 as a drop-in soccer club to help immigrant and low-income children get involved in the community, they have grown to an organization that provides opportunities to all.

Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth

The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY) is a charitable not for profit youth-centred and a family-focused hub that originated in 1990 and supports over 12,785 individuals annually. For 30 years CBFY has provided a welcoming and inclusive environment for immigrant and refugee children, youth and their families by enriching them with the appropriate skills, information, knowledge and experience as they build a life in Canada. 

Centre For Newcomers

Since 1988 the Centre for Newcomers has been a key resource for immigrants and refugees of all nationalities in Calgary. We view the integration of newcomers as a two-way process of experience, influence and impact between newcomers and the communities that welcome them.  

Immigrant Services Calgary

Since 1977, Immigrant Services Calgary has been providing a wide range of settlement services to immigrants and refugees looking to begin a new chapter of their lives in Canada. We employ a client-focused, integrated approach when working with individuals and their families to help them settle in Calgary.

Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation

We are Millennials and Gen Z activists who are working to improve race relations in Canada. We often collaborate with a variety of ethnic communities on various projects and work to end racism through education, technology and arts initiatives, as well as promote multiculturalism.

Calgary Foundation

The Calgary Foundation is compiling a comprehensive list centering local Black voices and Black-led/Black-serving organizations in our community

Calgary Ethiopian Community Association

The Calgary Ethiopian Community Association is a non-profit organization established in 1982, to provide assistance and support to Ethiopian immigrants. Throughout the past several years, the association has grown in steps, flourishing from its humble beginnings to today’s vibrant organization, providing a full spectrum of wrap-around social services, ranging from newcomer integration, language studies, and chances of sponsorship, to employment assistance, skills and training, youth development and a myriad of other support services. 

Eritrean Canadian Community Association of Calgary (ECCAC)

CCAC was founded in 1983 by a small group of Eritrean-Canadians residing in Calgary with the aim of creating a space for Eritrean newcomers as they resettle in their new country. ECCAC is an independent, purely non-political, non-religious and non-profit seeking association established to ease the settlement and integration process to all newcomers to Southern Alberta.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

CIWA is a culturally diverse settlement agency that recognizes, responds to, and focuses on the unique concerns and needs of immigrant and refugee women, girls, and their families.

The Coalition for Equal Access to Education

The Coalition for Equal Access to Education started as a grassroots community organization in 1993 that advocated against funding cuts to ESL education in Alberta. For the past 26 years, we have been at the forefront of developing better access to education and civic engagement opportunities for immigrant and ethnocultural children and youth.