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Over the past two weeks, the Build a Dream team has been doing plenty of listening, learning, and reflecting about the current state of the world. Build a Dream was built on the foundation of inclusivity. We aim to create a space that promotes anti-racism and anti-sexism. We are committed to fighting racial injustices, especially against the Black community.
Build a Dream has always believed in change, and now more than ever, it is time for change. Racism, injustice, and violence in Canada and around the world needs to end. However, this is not a small task and it will take all of us to create change. To our supporters, donors, participants, and all stakeholders, now is the time to have uncomfortable conversations. To create an inclusive and equitable world we need to acknowledge our privilege, explore our blind spots, and engage in important conversations.
There has been an amazing outpouring of support online for the Black community, but our support should not end there. Build a Dream is committed to supporting Black Lives Matter as an ally. Allyship is a never-ending journey and will involve a variety of actions.
It is not enough to be not racist, we need to actively be anti-racist to create change for marginalized communities. Here are some actions that can be taken on and offline:
It is important in this matter to first and foremost listen to the voices of the Black community. Living through experiences holds much more weight than simply witnessing them. We need to listen to the hurt, trauma, and lived experiences of the Black community and amplify their voice and message.
It is not the job of our black friends or colleagues to educate non-black people on their history and experience. Non-black people including non-black people of colour, need to put in the effort to educate themselves. Reading about black history, black experiences and anti-black racism is important work that individuals need to take upon themselves. There is plenty of literature, resources and material available to begin educating yourself on these topics.
It is important to speak out against racism in your everyday life. Whether it is a conversation with friends, family, or coworkers it is important to call out and stand against racism, even if it is an uncomfortable conversation. Having these conversations is also an opportunity to help educate these individuals and continue to be an ally to marginalized communities. It is also very important to have these conversations with young children. Conversations about racism are not adult-only conversations and should start from a young age. In the resources we have compiled you will find information on how you can talk to your children about racism as well as lists of books for children and young adults.
If you have the means to, donating to organizations and initiatives that support the Black community is helpful. There are a variety of Black organizations and charities to support nationally, internationally, and even within your own community. In our list of resources, we have included some Canadian organizations you can donate to.
Finally, allyship does not have an end date. The Build a Dream team is committed to keeping anti-racism at the forefront of our everyday practices and continue to be allies to the Black community.
Now is the time for everyone — especially those with a platform — to listen to Black voices, learn about their lived experiences, and take action against inequality in all spaces.
We need to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations that address our own privilege and reflect on the impact it makes on our decisions. We must overcome racism and discrimination.
The time for change is NOW.
The Build a Dream Team
Ann, Kiera, Maaya, Nour, Ryan, Victoria
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