Tyson (he/him) has recently joined CommunityWise in the role of BLAC Capacity-Builder and Trainer. This role is supported by funding through the City of Calgary Anti-Racism Capacity Building Fund. Read on for more information about Tyson and an update on the evolving relationship between BLAC and CommunityWise’s Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC) process.
Tyson has been working and volunteering in supporting neighbourhood life for as long as he can remember! His interest in community comes at the intersection of justice and community development, and his work is based on equity, wellness, and agency. His personal slogan is: “Promote Justice, Edify Others, and Befriend the Lonely”. Tyson has been a committed member of the AROC process since 2016, and is excited to further the process and build capacity for the newly created cooperative BLAC (Black Leadership Alliance Council).
BLAC and AROC
Since 2016, Communitywise Resource Centre has been undertaking a process of Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC). The AROC process is an emergent and continued demonstration of our commitment to racial equity.
Over the course of the previous 5 years, CommunityWise has created space for Black, Indigenous, and racialized folks, as well as allies, to build community, develop a process for how organizations can be more racially equitable, and train several non-profits across Calgary and the region on the lessons drawn from that process.
CommunityWise is continuing our commitment to this emergent process by supporting the creation of the newly formed Black Leadership Alliance Council or BLAC.
BLAC was formed in 2020, as a response to a culture of anti-Blackness and inequitable structural mistreatment of Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities. The Council consists of members from the Anti-Racist Organiational Change (AROC) process that was implemented at CommunityWise.
Current Council Members:
- Kinya Joanne Baker
- Tyson Bankert
- Allison Duune
- Tyra Erskine
- Carissa Gravelle
- MelVee X
- Ariam Wolde-Giorgis
BLAC operates as an educational cooperative that is working toward empowering Black, Indigenous, and racialized people. BLAC takes an equitable, anti-oppressive approach to sharing our knowledge and experience. All the members of BLAC have personal and professional experience facilitating anti-racism, bias and equity trainings.
They gauge organizations for a state of readiness, challenge conventional forms of leadership that maintain a culture of whiteness, and create a dialogue of listening, deep introspection and action.
CommunityWise has hired Tyson Bankert to lay the foundations of BLAC as an independent organization and to explore the next iteration of sharing AROC’s lessons to the broader nonprofit community. CommunityWise is excited to support BLAC and move forward in reciprocity, commitment and trust. Keep posted to CommunityWise’s feeds to hear more about BLAC’s journey!