We’ve heard a lot of talk about this being a moment, and June 6 was indeed a memorable moment in the history of Guelph with over 5,000 people in Market Square to march for Black Lives Matter. It amplified of a lot of voices who don’t always get heard in our community despite best intentions, but moments pass and that one was almost four months ago. How have things been going lately?
Since the Black Lives Matter march here in June, more people have been sharing their stories and experiences with an inequitable system, and to add insult to injury, the search for that justice made Guelph Black Heritage Society the target for renewed racist attacks. In the summer, the Society’s headquarters at Heritage Hall on Essex Street was repeatedly vandalized, a very visible and very visceral reminder that there’s still a lot of work to be done in our backyard.
This week’s guest is Kayla “Kween” Gerber, who is the executive director and community engagement co-ordinator of Guelph Black Heritage Society, and one of the leading faces of the Black Lives Matter march in Downtown Guelph this past June. Issues of racism and inequality have not gone away in the last four months, but the intention of this week’s podcast is to check on our progress.
Kween joins us this week to talk about how it felt to stand up in front of thousands of her fellow Guelphites, and how she’s been coping by making herself the face of the cause. She also talks about the sometimes difficult conversations she’s had with the Chief of Police and the especially difficult discussions she’s tried to start with the people that send her racist comments. She also discusses the bigger issues for all of us, like recognizing our own privilege, and how we can measure progress on equality and social justice in the immediate future.
So let’s catch up with Kween on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!
The Guelph Black Heritage Society is trying to raise $135,000 to create an education fund, and you can go to their website, or look for the hashtag #ChangeStartsNow to learn more. You can also check out the first episode of Diverse and Converse tonight at 9 pm on Rogers Channel 20.
Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.