IGNITE stands with our Black community and emphatically opposes hatred. 

The horrific acts of anti-Black racism prevalent in today’s society must end. It is our duty to be part of the conversation and the solution, to end systematic racism by listening to and uplifting Black voices, challenging racist actions, and actively changing racist behaviours.

There is no place at IGNITE, Humber College or The University of Guelph-Humber for hate.

We are committed to ensuring students are safe, educated and have supports in place. Students in distress, please reach out. We’re here for you.

Black lives matter.

First off, what is an ally?

As discussed by Guidetoallyship.com, to be an ally is to:

  1. Take on the struggle as your own.
  2. Stand up, even when you feel scared.
  3. Transfer the benefits of your privilege to those who lack it.
  4. Acknowledge that while you, too, feel pain, the conversation is not about you.

So, in short, being an ally means that although you may not know what it feels like to be oppressed due to race-based discrimination, you take on the challenges Black people face as your own–what hurts one of us hurts all of us.

1. Commit to anti-racism

You are not exempt from the fight for Black liberation because you’re “not racist.” There is no such thing as “not racist.”

New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi explains, “One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist’. The claim of ‘not racist’ neutrality is a mask for racism.”

To commit to anti-racism is to resist racism whenever you encounter it—online, in your family, in your friend group, and in yourself.

2. Challenge your privilege

Do the events of this week feel surreal to you? That’s privilege.

Horrific events that seem out of the blue to non-Black people are the reality the Black community faces every day. The first step in combating anti-Black racism, as a non-Black ally, is recognizing that your life has not been made difficult in the same way a Black person’s has.

That does not mean your life has been easy; it means your life hasn’t been made harder because of the colour of your skin.

Acknowledging your privilege is not a quick and easy process—nor is it a comfortable one. Feelings of guilt and shame are natural when challenging your subconscious anti-Black beliefs. However, you must do the work.

Your present discomfort will help ensure the future of Black lives.

Support Black media

Small changes can make the world of a difference–and it doesn’t have to be hard. It could be as easy as reading as supporting Black books, movies, and podcasts.

Books to read

View this post on Instagram

Wonderful to see Capital High! ~ Repost from @capitalhighmmsd • At Capital High, we are committed to racial justice by dismantling systems of oppression within education. One step we have taken is to engage in a whole-staff read of How to be an Antiracist by acclaimed researcher Ibram X. Kendi. We invite you to explore more of Kendi's work by visiting his website: https://www.ibramxkendi.com/ @ibramxk ………………………………. En Capital High, estamos comprometidos con la justicia racial por medio de desmantelar los sistemas de opresión dentro de la educación. Un paso que hemos tomado es que todo el personal va a leer Como ser un antiracista por investigador aclamado Ibram X. Kendi. Te invitamos a explorar más del trabajo de Kendi por visitar su sitio web: https://www.ibramxkendi.com/. #antiracism #capitalhighroyals #deeperlearning #ibramxkendi #ibramkendi

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Movies and series to watch

Podcasts to listen to

3. Speak up on social media, but don’t stop there

It’s not enough to tweet #blacklivesmatter or post a black square to Instagram.

Performative allyship, according to writer Holiday Phillips, is activism that “involves the ‘ally’ receiving some kind of reward, in the case of social media the virtual pat on the back you receive for being a good person.”


Your online solidarity is transparent and unproductive if you don’t commit to anti-racism in your everyday life. You can like, comment and repost until your fingers get sore, but you must also show up for the Black community when the hashtags stop trending.

Check in on your Black friends and family

Step two of Mireille Harper‘s 10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship says, “This is an emotional and traumatic time for the community, and you checking in means more than you can imagine. Ask how you can provide support.”

Allyship starts by being of service to the people already in your life.

View this post on Instagram

Social media has been a bit overwhelming since I first put up this post so it has taken some time for me to post this. On Friday, I shared this content on Twitter after I felt the conversations online were like screaming into an echo chamber. I wanted to provide those who wanted to support and be an ally with practical tips to move forward and make a change in our society. I am still somewhat surprised and overwhelmed by the reception so please take patience with me at this time. — For a note on who I am to those who have followed me from Twitter, my name is Mireille. I'm an assistant editor and I do freelance writing, PR and sensitivity reading and other bits on the side. I am extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion, and everything I have shared is not new knowledge to me. From as far back as I can remember I've been campaigning, fighting for equality and supporting and working with black owned organisations. I have worked in the diversity and inclusion space for around four years and I have been equipped with knowledge, skills etc through that work as well as through wider, intensive reading and being raised by a Jamaican mother who has a degree in Women's Studies. I felt as a mixed race person who was emotionally capable despite the current situation that I could use my learned experience, skills and compassion to offer this advice to allies and anyone else who was seeking advice but didn't know where to turn. This is now on my stories as a highlight so please feel free to share from there or here. — A small reminder that this took emotional labour and POC, especially black people are not here to teach you everything. When I said ask how you can support, I meant on a personal level as a friend etc. I hope this toolkit provides you with the starter info you need but there are genuinely people more experienced than me who warrant your listening to – please go and follow @nowhitesaviors, @laylafsaad, @rachel.cargle, @ckyourprivilege, @iamrachelricketts, @thegreatunlearn, @renieddolodge, @ibramxk + a few more: @akalamusic, @katycatalyst + @roiannenedd who all have books or resources from many more years of experience. _

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Support Black-owned businesses

Put your money where your mouth is—literally. When you buy from Black-owned businesses, you directly contribute to the financial futures of Black entrepreneurs.

Here are some Black-owned businesses you can support from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):


Food & drink


View this post on Instagram

Last year my wife and I made the very difficult decision to close our brick and mortar #tea shop and run our business exclusively online. Despite having our best financial year, and recently moving to our new location, a mixture of rapidly changing retail trends and the arrival of baby #2 … We just felt it was best to close up shop. Fast forward to 2020, best decision of our life. We recaptured much needed family time, dramatically reduced expenses, expanded our brand internationally and found a very happy medium in how we run our business. Like the rest of the world, COVID-19 is not something we could have planned for, but as it stands here it is. Many are facing challenges and businesses specifically are forced to make drastic changes to stay a float. However, I'm sure every entrepreneur can agree, that when things get tough, it is in our DNA to get creative, get re-motivated and get busy! Introducing: Bricks to Clicks – How to transform your brick & mortar store into an online E-commerce store in 6 Easy steps. If this applies to you and you're eager to learn how you can make the same transition. comment below and i'll send you the invite as soon as its live! @accessccf will be hosting a webinar where I'll be sharing this presentation and id love for you to join! Stay safe everyone!

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Have difficult conversations

Many of the ways white supremacy manifests are evident in your casual daily interactions:


Non-Black people must challenge instances of covert white supremacy when they are encountered. Yes, even if it’s your best friend. Yes, even if you’re in public. Yes, even if grandma is “just old-fashioned.”

Failure to do so allows the oppression of Black people to embed itself further into the fabric of our culture, making you directly complicit to anti-Black racism.

Change starts at home. Talk to your loved ones about anti-Black racism and call out biases.

4. Sign petitions and donate

View this post on Instagram

My heart has been breaking. I’ve been praying. I’ve been doing the work. I’ve been sending my love, I’ve been posting,but most of all I’ve been angry that my friends are unprotected &unsafe. Racism is bigger than just America. ITS GLOBAL. Incase you haven’t seen your friends shouting for years they need us. I as a NBPOC have to stand. So do you. So does your family and every person you know. The racism and oppression a Black person feels is not interchangeable with a person of color (POC) either. It’s not the same thing. The history is proof. 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐃𝐎 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐰𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐮𝐩 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐒, 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐚𝐬: “𝐮𝐧𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞” “𝐮𝐧𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐝” “𝐮𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐧” “𝐞𝐱𝐡𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝” “𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐝” “𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐦𝐞𝐝” “𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐭” “𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐭” 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐍 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐇𝐎𝐋𝐃 𝐀 𝐏𝐑𝐈𝐕𝐈𝐋𝐄𝐆𝐄 𝐓𝐇𝐀𝐓 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝐏𝐄𝐎𝐏𝐋𝐄 𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊. ⁣ We have seen our Black friends continuously express that Although social media posts are a wonderful tool to spread word and awareness to the issue, they want to see us pull up for them everyday. Anti Racism is acknowledging that you play a role in the problem. Acknowledge that we aren’t doing enough. Being a part of the solution towards racism is challenging the world to turn towards the problem everyday. 𝐃𝐎 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝗪𝐎𝐑𝐊 and make it your moral responsibility. ⁣ Through having conversations with friends and doing research I have put together some things I have learned to be helpful in practicing effective Allyship. I am not an expert at all and I will continue to learn. If you couldn’t attend the protest today here are some things you CAN do (implement these into your daily life. No more excuses) 𝐋𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐍. 𝐔𝐍𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐍. 𝐃𝐎 𝐒𝐎𝐌𝐄𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐍𝐆. ⁣Today. Tomorrow. Every single day. If you are sharing a planet with other human beings it is your duty to educate yourself. And When injustice becomes law it is your DUTY as a citizen of this world to stand up. #blacklivesmatter #dothework *I don’t own the information in the LINKS provided within the slides*

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Currently, the petition to have George Floyd‘s murderers justly charged is the most signed petition in Change.org history, but it’s not the only petition you should know about:

  • Justice for Tony McDade—McDade was a transgender Black man who was murdered by police in Tallahassee, Florida on May 27, 2020. The men responsible have not been charged.
  • Stand With Breonna—Breonna Taylor, an EMT, was killed by police who broke into her home while she was asleep on March 13, 2020. The men responsible have not been charged.
  • Justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquet—Korchinski-Paquet fell to her death from the balcony of her 24th-floor apartment following en encounter with the Toronto Police Department on May 27, 2020. The petition demands a full inquest into the circumstances surrounding her death.
  • Justice for David McAtee—McAtee, a restaurant owner in Louisville, Kentucky, was shot and killed by the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) during a protest for Breonna Taylor on June 1, 2020. The Louisville police chief has been fired. However, the men responsible for McAtee’s death have yet to be identified and charged.

The official Black Lives Matter website also features a frequently updated list of petitions addressing issues relevant to its cause.

If you have the means to contribute financially, donate to the following funds:

Any contribution is a good contribution.

There are many ways to be an ally, and this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a start. It’s on all of us to do the research and the work to ensure we end anti-Black racism. Your allyship will not be perfect, but it must be present.

In the words of writer, speaker and activist Ijeoma Oluo,

The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.

If you are in need of emotional support, make a virtual appointment with counsellors at Humber’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Clinic (SWAC).

Click here for additional resources and ways you can help.

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