Hi Everyone! Hope you are all enjoying the summer.
Our support circle for people of colour in late July was small but powerful - we had some great in-depth discussion, and it was clear hearing from those that attended and many that weren't able to make it, that front-line and community workers of colour need a space to connect and talk. A few people mentioned that they needed a people of colour space to speak safely and would not likely attend if it were not designated people of colour only.
This did not surprise me as a report FPYN did in 2009 showed that discrimination and stereotyping was a barrier for FL workers trying to get help, and 83% said culture was a problem in that helping professionals were predominantly from privileged groups.
Examples of issues raised at the circle included: increased racialized confrontations in the workplace, working in spaces where the co-workers don't understand the impact of recent events on people of colour, feeling the need to protect youth of colour from the ignorance of other staff, finding it difficult to speak up because so much is at stake, and isolating oneself at work to create greater safety.
I'll be facilitating another support circle specifically for frontline/community workers of colour (who work with children & youth) on Thurs Sept 8th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm, again at Youth Action Network - 1489 Dupont Ave, Toronto. Food will be provided, but feel free to bring something also, if you are into the potluck idea.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and please share widely to those you think would find this relevant or helpful.
I'm also hoping to have another planning/discussion meeting (which will be open to all) later on in the month but will have to see if I can fit it in and we can get the space.
Thanks ever so much,
The Community Healers Project is a legacy project of Frontline Partners with Youth Network, supported by Youth Action Network. We are creating spaces for frontline community and youth workers to come together and share resources that support their own well-being and in turn the well-being of the community. For more information please go to www.fypn.ca and www.facebook.com/communityhealersproject
We seek to create an inclusive culture and welcome for those who experience institutionalized sexism, racism, classism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, gender oppression, chronic health issues or other types of difference that cause marginalization. We are just beginning our journey and have limited resources but please help us by talking to us about how we can make it easier for you to attend and participate in our events.