Current events emphasize the stark reality that racism pervades our society. Racism and police brutality are not only American problems – they are problems in Canada as well, and a daily reality for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in Canada.
The global pandemic has created health concerns, financial struggles, and emotional stresses that disproportionately affect BIPOC. Recent incidents of anti-Black racism and police brutality reinforce collective trauma for Black Canadians, who have long lived with a reality of ongoing injustice and inequities. As educators and psychologists, we cannot sit silent as people around the world rise up to fight for Black lives. We need to listen and do the work of learning how we each contribute to and perpetuate these inequalities. And we must speak out against injustice and work to promote equity and inclusivity in our classes, in our institution, and in our society. We must all do better. And while there are no simple answers to this complex problem, here are some first steps to help guide our way forward. We hope these will help.
Cathy Costigan, Danu Anthony Stinson, Louise Chim, & Erica Woodin
Department of Psychology, University of Victoria
Step 1: Donate
Step 2: Learn
Anti-Black racism in Canada and around the world
1. Desmond Cole’s book The Skin We’re In, which addresses systemic anti-Black injustices and police violence in Canada , as well as a related film directed by Charles Officer, and a recent article on the book.
2. Yes, Canada Has a Racism Crisis and It’s Killing Black and Indigenous Peoples – By Pam Palmater
3. Can We Talk About Canada’s Racism Problem At Universities? – By Victoria Rodney
4. Navigating Racism On Campus Can Be A Lonely Experience – By Anita Jack-Davies
5. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle is an educator and activist who offers a variety of learning opportunities, curated on her Instagram page.
6. Making Sense of the Senseless – By Colleen Flaherty
7. Canada Has Race-Based Police Violence Too. We Don’t Know How Much – By Natasha Simpson
1. Dear White People, This is What We Want you to Do – By Kandise Le Blanc
2. Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race – By Books for Littles
3. Your Kids aren’t too young to talk about race – By Katrina Michie
4. My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest – By Lari Lakin Hutcherson
Step 3: Act
Individual action to address racial injustice
2. 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice – By Corinne Shutack
Talking about anti-Black racism and police brutality in your classes (if you aren’t sure how this subject may be relevant to your class, we are happy to help)
1. Advice for supporting your Black students right now (concrete advice in the replies) – By Gerald Higginbotham
3. 15 Classroom Resources for Discussing Racism, Policing, and Protest – By Sarah Schwartz
4. Research-based solutions to end police violence – By Samuel Sinyangwe
5. Anti-Racist classroom reading list – By Nura Ali and Annie Canto
Systemic interventions in clinical practice
1. Corneau, S., & Stergiopoulis, V. (2012). More than being against it: Anti-racism and anti-opression in mental health services. Transcultural Psychiatry, 49, 261-282. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461512441594
2. Motulsky, S. L., Gere, S. H., Saleem, R., & Trantham, S. M. (2014). Teaching social justice in counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 42, 1058–1083. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000014553855
3. Ratts, M.J., Singh, A.A., Nassar‐McMillan, S., Butler, S.K. and McCullough, J.R. (2016). Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies: Guidelines for the Counseling Profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 44: 28-48. https://doi:10.1002/jmcd.12035
4. Sue, D. W., Alsaidi, S., Awad, M. N., Glaeser, E., Calle, C. Z., & Mendez, N. (2019). Disarming racial microaggressions: Microintervention strategies for targets, White allies, and bystanders. American Psychologist, 74(1), 128–142. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000296
5. Whiteness Matters: Exploring White Privilege, Color Blindness and Racism in Psychotherapy by Margaret Clausen