A Note On Our Anti-Racist Plan + Resources

A NOTE ON OUR ANTI-RACISM ACTION PLAN Summer 2020 > Updates Below

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 Dec 2020 Update - since this post we have donated to 5 different Black and Indigenous focused charities and will continue to do so moving forward
  • 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 Indigenous vendors and very few Black makers. 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 re-evaluating 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! 
    Winter 2020 Update - I have since sourced new Indigenous and Black makers for the shops and continue to make it a priority when searching for new brands. 
  • 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. Winter 2020 Update - I have reached out to brands I have worked with that have made promises in their mission for racial equity. I have asked for updates and will continue to hold others we work with accountable to their promises. I ask more questions when bringing brands into the shop as well as doing my due diligence to research that their values align with ours
  • Winter 2020 update - I have taken more time to look into the products we bring into the shops. Being sensitive to any cultural appropriation as well as who the artists and writers are behind certain books and products we carry
  • 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 Winter 2020 update - our manuals have been updated and we have removed involvement with police from our policies as well as updated any policies we felt could be interpreted as discriminatory. We are still seeking out alternative community solutions to police but realize this is a work in progress within our neighbourhoods. We are hopeful in the work SJAR is doing (see update below) and are actively participating in meetings and workshops around ways we can do better to provide our staff with tools in de-escalation that don't involve a police presence.
  • 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 Winter 2020 update - I am continuing to read anti racism books as well as welcoming more Black and Indigenous writers into my fiction reading to broaden the voices and perspectives I am hearing from
  • Winter 2020 update - Roncesvalles has a newly formed Social Justice and Anti Racism committee whose virtual meetings I have been attending regularly. I am listening and learning and open to the suggestions made for the businesses in the neighborhood to help remove barriers to equity, diversity and prosperity in our community. Everyone is welcome to join this committee and you can follow them for news and updates on instagram

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. 

RESOURCES

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. 

BOOKS

(We’ve ordered some of these to share with staff and sell online and are donating any proceeds from our Anti Racism literature to Nia: Centre For The Arts. We encourage you to check Black owned bookstores in your area that may also have them in stock such as A Different Booklist on Bathurst or Nile Valley Books on Gerrard. 


How To Be An Anti Racist By: Ibram X. Kendi

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

"Me and White Supremacy " By Layla F. Saad

"I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness" By Austin Channing Brown

"From The Ashes" By Jesse Thistle


ARTICLES

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.”  

PODCASTS

Scene On Radio - Seeing White

Terrible Thanks For Asking - Policing + Racial Trauma

Armchair Expert - Heather McGhee + Ibram X Kendi

Intersectionality Matters

Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast - Black Lives Matter 

You're Wrong About - Tuskegee Syphilis Studies


MOVIES/DOCS

13th (Netflix)

When They See Us (Netflix)

If Beale Street Could Talk 

Fruitvale Station

Dear White People (Netflix)