Racism in all its forms is not unique to the US. It is a systemic, ingrained issue that persists around the world — and Canada is no exception.
On May 27, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old Black-Indigenous woman, fell to her death from a 24th-floor balcony following an encounter with the Toronto police.
A study by the Ontario Human Rights Commission revealed that Black Torontonians were 20 times more likely to be shot by police than the city’s white inhabitants.
"This is an ongoing crisis in US society, but I think it’s really important for us not to forget this is very much a reality for us here in Toronto and Canada, as well," Robyn Maynard, a podcast producer and author of Policing Black Lives, told Global News. "This ongoing comparison that favours Canada to the US really just erases the rampant injustice that Black communities continue to face right now — the grief, the fear."
In April alone, police shot and killed three Indigenous people in just 10 days in the city of Winnipeg.
Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or to go missing than people from any other demographic, according to the final report by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
These statistics are jarring and provide just a fraction of information surrounding racism in Canada.
Addressing racism goes much further than looking at police brutality or racial-based violence on the surface. It is a systemic, deep-seated issue and it impacts the way Canada as a country provides health care, as well as access to vital resources like education, water, legal services, and much more.
If you are able to donate, here is a list of organizations you can choose to support — but in no way is this list exhaustive.
And if you are not able to donate, there is plenty more you can do. Support racial justice, educate yourself, stand up and have difficult conversations — and demand action from your elected officials.
Through an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework, Black Women in Motion works to empower and support Black women and survivors of sexual violence.
As a non-profit community legal clinic, the Black Legal Action Centre delivers free legal services for low- or no-income Black residents in Ontario.
Black Youth Helpline promotes access to innovative, professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families, and schools.
Toronto-based activist group Not Another Black Life has partnered with FoodShare Toronto to offer Black families GoodFood boxes as they self-isolate due to COVID-19 following the Justice for Regis March in Toronto on May 30.
You can donate to the GoFundMe campaign started by Renee Beals, sister of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, to help her family seek justice.
The Black Health Alliance is a community-led organization that looks to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada.
The Black Artists’ Network Dialogue seeks to empower and provide a spotlight on the contributions of Black artists in Canada and internationally.
This bail-out fund is a GoFundMe campaign created to provide financial assistance if protesters get arrested or become incarcerated. If no arrests are made, the funds will go to Korchinski-Paquet’s family.
While protecting their unceded territory, the Unist'ot'en community has been confronted with increasing legal fees. You can help by donating to the Unist’ot’en 2020 Legal Fund.
Indigenous Awareness Canada wants to help Canadians learn about the country’s Indigenous people through online Indigenous awareness training and in-person workshops.
Through small gatherings (and now online), Circles for Reconciliation aims to foster trusting, meaningful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Across Boundaries offers holistic and equitable mental health and addiction services through anti-racism, anti-Black racism, and anti-oppression frameworks. The organization also speaks to the impacts of racism and discrimination on mental health and well-being.
The Black Business and Professional Association focuses on equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education, and economic development.
This GoFundMe fundraiser was put in place to act as an emergency, micro-grant program for Black people in British Columbia who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Black Space Winnipeg is a grassroots organization that works to create open dialogue on the daily experiences of being Black by providing a safe space for people of colour through a variety of community-based events.
The Black Liberation Collective is a movement of students tackling anti-Black racism in post-secondary institutions that can be found internationally.
The Come Up is a youth-led group that is a subset of the Africa Centre in Edmonton. It works to empower and encourage African and Caribbean youth.
As a youth- and parent-led group, Freedom School Toronto works to combat anti-Black racism in the school system, providing year-round opportunities to help generate systemic change.
As a network of organizations, the Federation of Black Canadians works to advance the interests of Canadians of African. The federation prioritizes community building, higher education, health, economic security, reducing racism, and criminal justice reform.
Anti-Racist Organizations To Support Right Now in Canada
In Canada, it’s easy to brush off our own racist narratives because our history with slavery is not as long as our American neighbours. However, the reality is that Canada has long been a colonial country similar to the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other European nations.
And as people demand change, it’s critical to pay attention to the anti-racist work already being done in Canada. If you’re outraged by what you see on the news, but don’t know what to do next, support these organizations and get involved.
The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape (TRCC/MWAR)
The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape (TRCC/MWAR) is a women-run collective working towards a violence-free world by offering anti-oppressive, feminist peer support to survivors of sexual violence through support, education and activism.
Afri-Can FoodBasket is a community based non-profit organization that has been championing Food Justice and Food Sovereignty for Toronto’s African, Caribbean, Black (ACB) community since 1995. The organization is committed to enhancing the nutrition, health, employment and food access needs of the ACB community, particularly to those who are economically and socially vulnerable.
Association of Black Social Workers
The Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) is a volunteer charitable organization consisting of Black Social Workers and Human Service Workers. The organization aims to provide many educational resources and advance education by offering various forms of financial assistance to persons of African descent.
Black Health Alliance
The Black Health Alliance is a community-led registered charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada. The organization is driven by groundbreaking research and continues to grow the movement for change. Its goal is to create lasting changes in the lives of the Black community through innovative solutions regarding financial support and Black health and well-being.
Black Lives Matter - Toronto
Black Lives Matter is a platform that encourages black communities across Toronto to actively dismantle all forms of anti-black racism, liberate blackness, support black healing, affirm black existence, and create freedom to love and self- determine. The organization builds critical connections and works in solidarity with black communities, black-centric networks, solidarity movements, and allies to to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations in Toronto.
GoFundMe: Regis Korchinski-Paquet Family’s Legal and Funeral Costs
On May 27th 2020, Regis Korchinski Paquet, tragically lost her life, you can support her family by donating below.
Canadian Anti-Racism Network
The Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society was founded to track and monitor hate group activity throughout the country. From there, it provides victim support services for hate crime and systemic racism, works with public educational establishments to add curriculum about institutional racism, and helps youth leave hate groups.
The organization also liaises with law enforcement to provide education on systemic racism and advocates for legislative changes to limit systemic racism across the country.
Donate: https://stopracism.ca/ (Scroll to the bottom of the page)
Canadian Ethnocultural Council
Founded in 1980, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC) focuses on ensuring the preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage history in Canada, removing barriers that stop some Canadians from participating in their heritage and society, and eliminating racism to found and preserve a wholly united Canada.
Learn more: https://ethnocultural.ca/about
Urban Alliance on Race Relations
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations was founded in 1975 to address racial inequities in the Toronto area. The nonprofit organization provides educational programs, conducts research, and acts as a community catalyst for other organizations doing anti-racist work.
Donate: https://urbanalliance.ca/about-us/ (Scroll to the bottom of the page)
No One Is Illegal
No One Is Illegal (Toronto) is a group of immigrants, refugees, and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect. The organization works to dismantle the concept of citizenship as reserved for the privileged few, instead looking at how to support currently exploited migrant workers.
The organization also explicitly works to support Indigenous peoples as they push back against colonialist narratives and the occupation of their land.
Get involved: http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/meetings
Workers Action Centre
The Workers’ Action Centre (WAC) focuses on helping low-wage workers and people in unstable employment, more often than not, people of colour in Canada. They represent thousands of working families fighting to make ends meet, and in particular advocate on their behalf for higher quality working conditions and increasing access to good jobs and employment opportunities.
The organization takes a worker-first approach, organizing with low-wage and unstably employed workers to create a by-workers, for-workers nonprofit community that pushes for more fairness and dignity at work.
Canadian Council of Churches Anti-Racism Network
The Anti-Racism Network was founded to share resources, learning, and community building initiatives throughout Canadian churches.
The mandate of CEARN is to accompany churches and church organizations in Canada who are working toward racial justice, racial reconciliation, and peace, to transform themselves and their communities.
Canadian Council of Refugees
The Canadian Council of Refugees (CCR) works to eliminate all racism and discrimination in Canada. They work to identify and remove barriers that prevent refugees and immigrants from participating fully in Canadian society, including racist policies.
They also work to increase awareness of and appreciation for the racial, cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity of Canada, modelling anti-racist behaviors and practices within its own organization and amongst member agencies.
Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) was created in 1996, initially part of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement, to reaffirm the principles of justice and equality for all in Canada.
The CRRF organization works to uphold the protections enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal benefit of the law without discrimination.
FAST - Fighting Anti-Semitism Together
FAST (Fighting Antisemitism Together) was founded by Jewish business leaders, led by Elizabeth and Tony Comper, with the mission to speak out against all forms of anti-semitism, anti-Jewish sentiment, and intolerance.
Now a national nonprofit, FAST’s goal is to teach all Canadians that hatred has no place in Canada.
Chinese Canadian National Council
The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) is an organization of Chinese Canadians in the City of Toronto that promotes equity, social justice, inclusive civic participation, and respect for diversity.
Donate: https://ccnctoronto.ca/get-involved/ (Scroll to the bottom of the page)
Want to learn more?
If you’re curious about the history of racism in Canada, here are some resources for further reading:
BC Teachers Federation Racism Timeline in Canada
Canadian Historical Association book on Black Racism in Canada
Canadian Race Relations Foundation Brief Introduction to Legalized Racism in Canada
History of Racism in Canada YouTube Video by the BC Teachers Federation
Stefan Kollenberg, May 30, 2020
14 Canadian Organizations to Donate to in the Fight Against Anti-Black Racism
Here's one way you can help fight anti-Black racism in Canada.
By Pahull Bains, June 3, 2020
Systemic and institutionalized racism is a very real problem here in Canada. Aside from educating yourself on anti-Black racism, supporting Black-owned businesses, attending protests and speaking out about injustice, donating to worthy causes and organizations (if you’re able) is a key way to make a difference. Read on for a list of organizations and funds supporting Black communities in Canada that you can donate to.
Black Women in Motion
Black Women in Motion is a Toronto-based youth-led organization that empowers and supports the advancement of Black womxn and survivors of sexual violence. The group works within “an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework to create culturally-relevant content, educational tools, healing spaces and economic opportunities for black womxn.” Donate to their mission here.
Black Artists Network Dialogue
Black Artists Network in Dialogue (BAND) is dedicated to supporting, documenting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists and cultural workers in Canada and internationally. Its gallery space in Toronto is dedicated to developing emerging artists, curators and administrators by providing an accessible venue to showcase their work to the general public, while its Quarterly Canadian Culture Series encourages dialogue on current events among Black artists, cultural workers and the larger society. Donate to the art organization here.
Black Health Alliance
Working to improve the health and wellbeing of Black communities, the Black Health Alliance’s mission is to reduce the racial disparities in health outcomes and to mobilize people and financial resources to create lasting change in the lives of Black families and communities. Donate to the charity here.
Toronto Black Film Festival
The Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) showcases powerful Black films while creating a space to debate major cultural, social and socio-economic issues. As reported in April, TBFF also collaborates with Being Black in Toronto to offer mentorship to Black emerging filmmakers between 18 and 30 years of age from the Greater Toronto Area. To donate to TBFF and its many community initiatives, click here.
Justice for Regis
Organized by Renee Beals in honour of her sister Regis Korchinski Paquet, a young woman who fell to her death from her balcony under suspicious circumstances involving Toronto Police, this GoFundMe fundraiser is raising money to help Regis’ family get the justice they need and deserve. Donate here.
Hogan’s Alley Society
This non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics seeks to preserve and promote the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions made by Black Settlers and their descendants to Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Donate to their cause here.
Canada’s largest BLM chapter, Black Lives Matter Toronto aims to support Black healing, affirm Black existence, forge critical connections and to work in solidarity with Black communities, networks, movements and allies in order to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations in Toronto. Donate here.
Black Lives Matter Vancouver
The Vancouver chapter of BLM centres the voices of Black folks as well as other folks of colour, and works “to draw attention to our largely invisibilized communities, celebrate people of colour and work in solidarity with other Black Lives Matter chapters across North America.” Donate here.
Black Legal Action Centre
This non-profit community legal clinic provides free legal services for low or no income Black residents of Ontario. Areas they can offer assistance in include education, housing law, domestic abuse, police complaints and more. Donate here.
Black Youth Helpline
Originally started in Manitoba, the Black Youth Helpline focuses on community development and support for Black youth across Canada. Its mission is the “primary prevention of social [and] psychological breakdown in communities through a focus on education, health and community development.” Donate here.
The Afri-Can FoodBasket
This community-based non-profit organization has been at the forefront of championing Food Justice and Food Sovereignty for Toronto’s African, Caribbean, Black (ACB) community since 1995. With more economically vulnerable people needing support now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s mission is more important than ever. Donate here.
Black Space Winnipeg
Founded by members of Winnipeg’s Black community, this grassroots organization fosters organic dialogue on everyday experiences of being Black. Spreading perspectives of Afrocentrism and Pro-Black conversation, Black Space Winnipeg creates safe spaces for people of colour through hosting community events, artist demonstrations and workshops. Donate here.
Federation of Black Canadians
This pan-Canadian nonprofit organization advances the social, economic, political and cultural interests of Canadians of African descent. As part of its mission, the FBC seeks to discuss the opportunities, contributions and challenges that exist for people of African descent nationally. Donate here.
Harriet Tubman Community Organization
This Ontario-based organization is dedicated to building meaningful and developmental relationships with young Black people between the ages of ages of 8 and 25 who are experiencing racism. Using Harriet Tubman’s collaborative model, the organization provides one-on-one life skills counselling, youth-centred recreational and educational programs, and promotes social entrepreneurism. Donate here.