On Saturday, June 19th—Juneteenth—Toronto skaters gathered for a peaceful protest in support, affirmation, and celebration of Black lives and Black freedom.
Our country’s history is stained with the blood of our Indigenous brothers and sisters, and, though it’s not as widely known, our brothers and sisters of African descent as well. There is no shortage of bigotry, discrimination, slavery, and death in Canada’s past. Even in the present, the systems created from that legacy of white supremacy and colonialism continue to poison our institutions and deny justice for the marginalized.
We can’t undo this damage overnight, but we can take the steps in front of us. As skaters, as people who wield privilege, to whatever degree, we can use our voices and our feet to say, unequivocally, that these systems of oppression are no longer acceptable. They never have been and we will not be complicit in continuing the cycle.
Black Lives Matter, and we say it loud and with pride. This rally was a statement, and a reminder to all of us that we are stronger together. When we look out for one another, everybody wins. When we care for one another, we find that there is enough for everyone.
Immense gratitude to @torontoskatestop, and especially to @riddell_nick and @christian.m909 for creating this initiative. Also to @herbuddhabelly for her resourceful and dedicated leadership. Thank you to all the collaborators, donors, volunteers, and to everyone who showed up and made this event safe, inclusive, and honoring.
The work and heart of the young people in our community is so encouraging, so inspiring. While we all may stumble along the way, it’s on us to continue learning, growing, and standing up for what we believe in. So proud of everyone involved.