A Note On Our Anti-Racist Plan + Resources
A NOTE ON OUR ANTI-RACISM ACTION PLAN
I usually speak to everyone as a “we”—but today I want to speak for myself as the owner of Scout on what we stand for. This last week has really given me an opportunity for deep reflection. I’ve been listening, learning, consuming podcasts, reading, holding conversations, and I know this is just the start to a long, welcome road ahead. Scout has always intended to be a safe space; we welcome anyone who walks through our doors, whether they are a customer, a maker, an employee, anyone we interact with in our day. We have always believed in inclusivity and are against any kind of discrimination. But over this time of reflection and taking stock, I’ve realized that we might be falling short of our intentions. We can do better.
What have I implemented to do better for BIPOC in our communities?:
- I will continue to donate to Black-focused and Indigenous-focused charities as part of our long-term donation initiatives
- I have taken a look at who we represent at the shop and see that our diverse offerings have a very clear gap. I am ashamed to say we don't currently carry any Black or Indigenous vendors. I am taking the initiative to seek out more Black and Indigenous owned businesses and makers to bring into our shops and will make sure we are constantly reevaluating so there is always diverse representation. If you have any favourite Black or Indigenous makers, or if you are a maker, please share with us!
- I will make sure we do our due diligence to learn about a brand to be sure their values align with ours before welcoming them into the shops. As well, we will no longer order from brands we currently stock that do not.
- I have started a library for my staff so that anti-racism books are accessible to them all, and am encouraging staff to bring in any resources they would like to share with their coworkers
- I’ve done an overview of our social media and have realized we were not hearing enough Black or Indigenous voices. I will continue to take note if our feed is too white and seek out more diversity as well as use our platform to share those voices
- My manager and I are doing the work to ensure our store manual and any employee training addresses our zero tolerance discrimination policies, as well as removing any systemic issues we may have previously overlooked
- I will make sure we are advertising our job postings on more diverse channels
- I am personally continuing to educate myself and will bring into the workplace anything I have learned that will contribute to creating an anti-racist work environment
This is just a start. We believe Black and Indigenous lives matter and I promise to continue doing the work, educating myself to grow both personally and professionally and to integrate what I’ve learned to help the business grow and become an anti-racist organization.
There are a lot of amazing resources out there! Here are a few that have helped me and may offer a good starting point for anyone feeling overwhelmed by options. The resources below are just scratching the surface! Hopefully you will find something here that encourages you to share with others.
(We’ve ordered some of these to share with staff and sell online but they are all on back order! We encourage you to check other independent bookstores in your area that may have them in stock such as A Different Booklist on Bathurst or Nile Valley Books on Gerrard. Two black owned bookstores in Toronto).
“White Fragility” By Robin DiAngelo
“So You Want to Talk About Race” By Ijeoma Oluo
“The Skin We’re In” By Desmond Cole (Toronto author)
“This Book is Anti-Racist” (A good one for young adults) By Tiffany Jewell
“Why We Need To Stop Saying All Lives Matter” By Rachel Cargle
“Guide To Allyship” By Amelie Lamont
“How To Make This Moment The Turning Point For Real Change” By Barack Obama
“What It Means To Be Anti-Racist” By Anna North
CHARITIES (Canadian Based)
Black Legal Action Centre -”The Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) is a new not-for-profit corporation set up under the laws of Ontario in 2017. BLAC delivers legal aid services to low and no income Black Ontarians. They work to combat individual and systemic anti-Black racism.”
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. They work 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.”
Black Health Alliance - “Their mission is to reduce the racial disparities in health outcomes and promote health and well-being for people from the diverse Black communities in Canada with emphasis on the broad determinants of health, including racism.”
Food Share - “At FoodShare, we aim to centre food justice in our work by collaborating with and taking our cue from those most affected by poverty and food insecurity — Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, People with Disabilities. Our goal is to inspire long-term solutions for a food system where everyone has access to affordable, fresh, nutritious food. We reach over 260,000 people each year.”
Native Women’s Association Of Canada - “The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. NWAC works on a variety of issues such as employment, labour and business, health, violence prevention and safety, justice and human rights, environment, early learning childcare and international affairs.”
Scene On Radio - Seeing White
Terrible Thanks For Asking - Policing + Racial Trauma
Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast - Black Lives Matter
When They See Us (Netflix)
If Beale Street Could Talk
Dear White People (Netflix)