CommunityWise Statement Regarding Black Lives Matter: June 2, 2020

We’ve learned that racism is best understood when we center the lives, voices, and concerns of those that are most impacted by racism—Black, Indigenous, and racialized folks—in our localized contexts and communities. But not everyone experiences racism the same way, so we formed racial caucuses within our Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC) Advisory Group as spaces for folks to talk about their experiences with those that share them. Our Black Caucus has been critical in our effort to better understand and address anti-Black racism. You can learn more about our experience with racial caucusing as an anti-racist tool in our AROC resources.

In addition to this, we formed a Community of Care to support the Black, Indigenous, and racialized Members of our Advisory Group who are out in the community sharing their experiences and teaching people about racism, its impacts, and ways to be anti-racist. Right now, many of these folks and people just like them all over Canada and elsewhere are being called upon to explain this moment to the public. They are hurting and exhausted. We encourage whoever is reading this to take the time to do their own learning and unlearning.

Read our full response here.

An important note regarding donations:

While we continue to be grateful for the financial support we’ve received over the past couple of weeks for our anti-racism work, we’re requesting that any donations made in the name of #blacklivesmatter be directed to Black-led and serving organizations. 

CommunityWise is not a Black-led organization (we do, however, serve some Black-led organizations). Our work is focused on addressing racism (including anti-Blackness, but other types too) in the nonprofit sector. We are open to accepting donations from folks who want to support this work but are asking that funds that are being raised in the name of #blacklivesmatter go directly to those communities.

We encourage you to familiarize yourselves with some of our member organizations:

Calgary Ethiopian Community Association

Calgary Hararian Cultural Society

Eritrean Canadian Community Association

Eritrean Cultural and Civic Centre

Oromian Community Association of Alberta

Oromo Society Network

Target Humanitarian Assistance Canada Association

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