June 5, 2020
Given what’s going on in society right now I feel it is vitally important for people to stand up and say something at this critical and hopefully pivotal time.
I worry about the feeling of safety and support of residents and staff at Brightside, especially those who are not from groups that have traditionally held power and privilege. I think especially of how we demonstrate our commitment to residents and staff of colour and from equity-seeking groups.
As a white person, I know that I need to educate myself, that I need to speak up and that I need to take action to be an ally. I have a lot to learn and I have soaked up a lot of lessons and instruction from people of colour I know. Right now, it is Black and Indigenous voices I turn to for knowledge and information.
With COVID-19, we talk a lot about entering a new normal. This week I learned an important lesson from a Brightside colleague: there is a link between the new normal we keep talking about and our current normal where people who aren’t white experience such a different reality in our society. That particular normal shouldn’t continue. This isn’t an issue for people of colour to fight for, this is an issue where all citizens need to stand up and demand justice, especially those who benefit the most from what our society has to offer. The pressure is on people like me not just to listen and learn, but to speak and take action in solidarity with those who have been ignored or held down for too long.
Chief Executive Officer
The Brightside Team stands together against racism and hate.
In the spirit of self-education and growth, Brightside staff have contributed some personal suggestions for resources on anti-racism.
- Book – “So you want to talk about race” by Ijeoma Oluo
- Book – “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin Diangelo
- Book – “The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power” by Desmond Cole
- Book – “Policing Black Lives” by Robyn Maynard
- Book – “Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin
- Book – “In the Black” by Denham Jolly
- Series – When They See Us (Stream on Netflix)
- Documentary – 13th (Stream on Netflix)
- Documentary – I am Not Your Negro (Purchase/Rent)
- Movie – Fruitvale Station (Purchase/Rent)
- Movie – Selma (Purchase/Rent)
- Movie – 12 Years a Slave (Purchase/Rent)
- Movie – Fences (Purchase/Rent)
- Movie – Malcolm X (on Crave, with subscription)
You can access most of these books, and some of the films, at the Vancouver Public Library. Alternately you can purchase them online or from new and used book sellers.
- Podcast/Radio – CBC Radio: Front Burner
- Podcast/Radio – CBC Radio: Out in the Open
Recommended Listening: Ibram X. Kendi says we are either being racist or antiracist, there is no middle ground
- Podcast/Radio – VOX: Today, Explained
- Podcast/Radio – New York Times: 1619
- Podcast/Radio – NPR: Code Switch® Race. In your face.