[Content warning for anti-Black violence, police brutality – including names of those victimized by police]
The AMS of UBC Vancouver’s Sexual Assault Support Centre (AMS SASC) stands in solidarity here on Coast Salish territories with Black communities in Minneapolis, Toronto, and beyond, in unequivocally asserting that Black Lives Matter.
Sexualized violence and anti-Black racism are systemically tied – through the prison industrial complex, mass incarceration, and police and state violence. As an anti-violence organization, our responsibility is to actively resist and dismantle white supremacy, capitalism, colonialism, and all systems that target Black communities across Turtle Island and globally.
For Black students, survivors and community members, you deserve support, safety, respect & dignity. Below are a few resources and events to rest, restore and practice community & self care right now:
- The SASC’s COVID-19 Counselling Fund is available to you. Apply at the following link: https://amssasc.ca/ams-sasc-covid-19-counselling-fund/.
- Ancestors Dreams is an afternoon convening that brings together subject matter experts, community members and practitioners that are collectively interested in healing and transformative justice, specifically for black survivors/ folxs impacted by sexual violence/harm. Ancestors Dreams is a much needed space for black folxs, within the intention that folxs will have space to engage in critical conversations around transformative justice and accountability, while also holding space for pleasure, sexuality and liberation. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ancestors-dreams-tickets-106568412992?ref=estw&fbclid=IwAR0orlR2uES39HjyyfP2KMutub0xv4exxiE2kk4T3Cn3iGcwktnfjaRQSqA
- Black Healing Spaces with Laurier Brantford’s Centre for Student Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: https://www.facebook.com/LBCSEDI/photos/a.905446459503514/2976725749042231/?type=3&theater
We will continue to post resources on the SASC facebook and instagram account @ams.sasc.ubc.
We also want to explicitly draw attention to the statement issued by the UBC Black Student Union and emphasize their call to action:
“Despite these acts being clear attempts at further oppressing our community, as history has shown time and time again, the Black community will remain defiant, strong, resilient, ever-growing, and omnipotent. As a community, we will continue to fight until our plights are seen and our people have obtained the justice they deserve.
At this time, we ask you to take action by using your voices and platforms to raise awareness and consciousness on the systems put in place that do not act for us all. We ask that you continue to donate to key organizations that are helping people in our communities during this difficult time. And finally, we also ask that you continue to sign petitions that demand justice.”
Read the full statement here:
As such, we invite non-Black folx in our communities to join us in taking action:
- By contributing to Black Lives Matter – Vancouver, BC: https://www.gofundme.com/blmvan
- By contributing to the Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19. “This Black community support initiative is a fundraiser for a low-barrier, emergency, micro-grant program for Black people in British Columbia, Canada, who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” https://ca.gofundme.com/f/covid19-black-community-support-vancouver
- By contributing to Hogan’s Alley Society. “The Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS) is a non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.” https://www.hogansalleysociety.org/donations/696/
- By contributing to the George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd?link_id=0&can_id=428d7f9a8370f9fb78b924041f2fb8da&source=email-stand-in-solidarity-against-police-violence&email_referrer=email_817616&email_subject=stand-in-solidarity-against-police-violence
- By contributing to the Justice for Regis fund: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/cggys2-justice-for-regis
- By contributing to the In Memory of Tony McDade fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-tony-mcdade
- By contributing to the fund in support of Ahmaud Arbery’s family: https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/395160/supporting-ahmaud-arberys-family
- By contributing to Reclaim The Block: https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/
If donating is not an option, here are other actionable ways to educate yourself and uplift the voices that are demanding justice and inquiry into police violence against George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and Breonna Taylor.
- Sign the petition for Justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquet: https://www.change.org/p/justice-for-regis-korchinski-paquet?recruiter=1052678673&recruited_by_id=3379c9b0-67c1-11ea-ada4-a51ce4e18367
- Call Toronto officials and demand an independent investigation into the death of Regis Korchisnski-Paquet, including:
- Gord Perks, City Councillor for High Park: 416-392-7919
- Bhutilla Karpoche, MPP for High Park: 416-763-5630
- Arif Virani, MP for High Park: 613-992-2936
- Police station (11th division) which polices High Park: 416-808-1100
- Attorney General of Ontario, Doug Downey: 416-326-2220
- Sign the petition or call to demand justice for George Floyd: https://www.justiceforbigfloyd.com/
- Visit https://justiceforbreonna.org/ and support their efforts, which include contacting representatives and petitioning for policy change and police accountability.
- Educate yourself about white supremacy and anti-Black racism. @the_fold recently shared four critical titles that address anti-Black racism in Canada:
- Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard, The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole, BlackLife: Post BLM and the Struggle for Freedom by Rinaldo Walcott & Idil Abdillahi, and Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter In Canada Edited by Rodney Diverlus, Sandry Hudson, and Syrus Marcus Ware. Start there and keep learning and unlearning.
- Have uncomfortable conversations with non-Black friends and family to challenge anti-Black racism in your community. Challenge them to join you in doing the reading and learning above.
Anti-racist action must be continuous — not just when violence occurs. The actions above are only a starting point. We must do more to prioritize Black safety by defunding police, ending police violence & the prison industrial complex and constantly centering anti-Blackness in our anti-racist work.
#SayTheirNames: George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Samwel Uko.
With love in solidarity,
The SASC Team <3