We’ve seen the stories and read the reports, Black people and Indigenous peoples in Toronto are exponentially more likely to be victims of fatal police shootings, and account for an alarmingly disproportionate number of federal incarcerations. While recent events have focused the public’s attention on the problem with policing, in many communities this conversation and these issues are nothing new.
Join Myseum of Toronto for a panel discussion that takes a critical look into the history of policing in Canada, the communities most affected, where things stand now, and where we go from here.
Panelists include; Sandy Hudson (Founder, Black Lives Matter Canada), Robyn Maynard (Author, “Policing Black Lives: State Violence from Slavery to Present”) and Caitlyn Kasper (Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto).
This panel will be moderated by Rania El Mugammar (Sudanese artist, anti-oppression consultant, and liberation educator).
Click the button below to lead you to resources.
Sandy Hudson is a Toronto-based organizer, communications specialist, political strategist, public intellectual, writer and abolition activist.
An award-winning public intellectual, Sandy has been honoured as one of Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential Torontonians in 2016, Post City Magazine’s 12 Most Inspiring Women of Toronto, a recipient of the Lincoln Alexander ’53 Award, the William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations, Now Magazine’s Best Activist Campaign, Now Magazine’s Best Social Justice Group, the Terry Buckland Award for Diversity & Equity in Education, one of Canada International Black Women’s 100 Black Women to watch, and featured in Racism-Free Ontario’s 100 People to Watch list.
Sandy is the founder of the Black Lives Matter movement presence in Canada and Black Lives Matter – Toronto. She also co-founded the Black Liberation Collective – Canada, the campus-based extension of the movement. The work Sandy has accomplished with her team has been formidable, and her efforts to publicly address anti-Black racism have resulted in concrete policy change, including the winding down of the program that places police officers in the largest school board in North America.
Sandy also helped to found the Black Legal Action Centre, a specialty legal aid clinic, which provides direct legal services and test case litigation for Black communities in Ontario. She currently serves as the organization’s Vice-Chair.
Robyn Maynard is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (Fernwood 2017). The book is a CBC national bestseller, currently in its third printing, designated as one of the “best 100 books of 2017” by the Hill Times, listed in The Walrus‘s “best books of 2018”, shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, the Concordia University First Book Prize and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction, and the winner of the 2017 Annual Errol Morris Book Prize. This work received a starred review in Publishers Weekly as well as glowing coverage in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Now Toronto, Maclean’s, and the Ottawa Citizen. In fall 2018 the book was published in French with Mémoire d’encrier, titled NoirEs sous surveillance. Esclavage, répression et violence d’État au Canada. Translated by Catherine Ego, it recently won the 2019 Prix de libraires in the category of “essais”.
Maynard, who won “2018 author of the year” by Montreal’s Black History Month, has published writing in the Washington Post, World Policy Journal, the Toronto Star, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Woman Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies Journal (forthcoming), Scholar & Feminist Journal (forthcoming), as well as an essay for Maisonneuve Magazine which won the acclaim of “most-read essay of 2017”. Her writing on race, gender, and discrimination is taught widely in universities across Canada and the United States. Her expertise is regularly sought in local, national and international media outlets and she has spoken before Parliamentary subcommittees, the Human Rights Committee of the Senate, and the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
Maynard has a long history of involvement in community activism and advocacy. She been a part of grassroots movements against racial profiling, police violence, detention and deportation for over a decade and has an extensive work history in harm reduction-based service provision serving sex workers, drug users, incarcerated women and marginalized youth in Montreal. She is currently a PhD student and Vanier scholar at the University of Toronto and is working toward the completion of a new book manuscript.
Caitlyn Kasper is an Anishinaabek woman from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. She holds an Honours Specialist in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall.
She practiced in Northern Ontario for David M. Gibson & Associates in Kenora before opening her own law office, specializing in criminal, family, child protection and mental health law for communities that included northern remote, fly-in First Nations reserves.
In 2014, she joined Aboriginal Legal Services as legal counsel and has since represented clients at every level of court within the country, including the Supreme Court of Canada, always advocating for recognition of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit perspective and representation on issues that most impact Indigenous people in Canadian law.
Rania El Mugammar is a Sudanese Artist, Liberation Educator, Anti-oppression Consultant , multidisciplinary performer, speaker and published writer. As a writer, Rania’s work explores themes of identity, womanhood, Blackness, flight, exile, migration, belonging, gender, sexuality and beyond. Rania’s primary mediums are poetry, spoken word and oral storytelling. She is a published poet, storyteller and playwright. Rania is deeply interested in poetic form and the auditory texture of words as well as the visual/aesthetic impact of language and form.
She is co-chair of the St. Jamestown Collective Impact Steering Committee, a member of the Leaders Panel for the Economic Development and Culture Strategic Plan at the city of Toronto. Rania is the also the lead anti-oppression consultant for RECENTRE, Program director of B Inc at Bcurrent Performing Arts and co-founder of the How to be an Ally Series at the Centre for Social Innovation.
Rania is an experienced anti-oppression, equity, inclusion and liberation educator and consultant who is unflinchingly committed to decolonization and freedom as the ultimate goals of her work. She has worked extensively with contemporary arts institutions, STEM based enterprises, media organization, educational institutions and community/grassroots spaces. Rania has worked with hundreds of organizations, collectives and institutions including VIBE Arts, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, Daniels Spectrum, Trinity Square Video, Ebay, Facebook Canada, Toronto Cultural Music Lab, Canadian Art Magazine, Bcurrent, Toronto Arts Council, WattPad, Women’s College Hospital, the University of Michigan, Canadian Art Magazine, TPW Gallery, Peel Dufferin Catholic District School Board, Regent Park Focus and beyond.
Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present
by Robyn Maynard
Learn more about Robyn’s book Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present here: https://robynmaynard.com/policing-black-lives/
Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships
The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power
by Desmond Cole
Learn more about Desmond Cole’s national bestselling book, The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/536075/the-skin-were-in-by-desmond-cole/9780385686341
Both Cole’s activism and journalism find vibrant expression in his first book, The Skin We’re In. Puncturing the bubble of Canadian smugness and naive assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year—2017—in the struggle against racism in this country.
Until We are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada
by Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson, and Syrus Marcus Ware
Sandy is one of the authors of Until We are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada, a book that describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more.
Get your copy from A Different Booklist: https://www.adifferentbooklist.com/?q=h
Sandy and Nora Talk Politics
Listen to Sandy’s Podcast: Sandy and Nora Talk Politics
“Sandy and Nora are feminist musicians, gifted program survivors and former choir kids who have thrown away all their talents to become activist political nerds. They are both brilliant and can both be funny. But Nora is funnier.”
Learn more: https://sandyandnora.com/
Check out the episode “Episode 110 – painted statues and union apologies”: https://sandyandnora.com/episode-110-painted-statues-and-union-apologies/
Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/
The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The two volume report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country.
Truth and Reconciliation Report
Access the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) reports here: http://nctr.ca/reports.php
The TRC’s mandate was to inform all Canadians about what happened in residential schools. The TRC documented the truth of Survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience. The final report included Ten Principles for Reconciliation and 94 Calls to Action that speak to all sectors of Canadian society.
Rania’s Abolition Resources, Parts 1 & 2
Rania created these resources on how to talk about abolition, view them here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1r1CoiB2t3Z43U8ks2fyabwbjFo2GzBi9?usp=sharing
Also available if you go to Rania’s instagram (@rania.writes), and click on her story highlight “Abolition Now!”
BLM Resource site
(Defund the Police)
Black Lives Matter – Canada created a web resource about defunding the police, access it here: https://defundthepolice.org/
Canadian Resources on Defunding / Divesting from Police
The Broadbent Institute put together a resource list on the subject of divesting from the police and reinvesting in communities.
Canadian Resources on Defunding/Divesting from Police:
Toronto City Council Decision
“Toronto council votes against cutting 2021 police budget, votes for mayor’s reform plan” (Toronto Star):
Progress Toronto Program
Watch Progress Toronto’s program, “Defunding the Police: A discussion on reprioritizing city investments as we build a just Toronto” here: https://www.progresstoronto.ca/defunding-police-discussion
Toronto Police Service Town Hall
Watch the recorded Toronto Police Service Virtual Town Halls here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7nXAqi5c23x0Lp1dZmH_ew
– Sisters in the Struggle (1991):
– Home Feeling – Struggle for a Community (1983):
– You are on Indian Land (1969):
Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
The mission of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto is to strengthen the capacity of the Aboriginal community and its citizens to deal with justice issues and provide Aboriginal controlled and culturally based justice alternatives.
Learn more here: https://www.aboriginallegal.ca/
Black Lives Matter Canada
Black Lives Matter – Canada is the Canadian chapter of #BlackLivesMatter, an international organization and movement fighting police and state violence and anti-black racism.
Black Lives Matter – Canada is a platform upon which Black communities across Canada can actively dismantle all forms of anti-Black racism, liberate Blackness, support Black healing, affirm Black existence, and create freedom to love and self-determine. Black Lives Matter works to forge critical connections and to work in solidarity with Black communities, Black-centric networks, solidarity movements, and allies in order to to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations.
Black Legal Action Centre
Black Legal Action Centre is a non-profit community legal clinic that provides free legal services for low or no income Black residents of Ontario.
Learn more and donate to support BLAC’s work here:
Nishnawbe Aski Police Service
Learn more about the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service here: https://www.naps.ca/
The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service is a dynamic organization that serves 34 First Nation communities in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory.
Read the recent CTV article, “Canada’s largest Indigenous police force has never shot anyone dead”:
GoFundMe – Regis Korchinski Paquet
Go Fund Me, Justice for Regis Korchinski Paquet:
Over-Policing Black and Indigenous Lives