En Pointe 10 - June 6

Jun 06 2020 | Posted in Blog, En Pointe

BLACK LIVES MATTER

No justice, no peace – the words spoken by countless voices at the protests around the world since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. These five syllables are an elegant expression of the frustration and pain which have led to the largest anti-racism protests in the United States since the 1960s.

Since the first videos of Floyd’s murder began circulating online, protests of police brutality and racial injustices have erupted in every American state and around the globe. Among the many powerful slogans which have emerged as a result of these protests, “no justice, no peace” remains a potent reminder of the impetus behind the demonstrations and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The chant concisely explains that as long as injustice prevails, acting peacefully is a moral impossibility. It demands that all members of society stand up against injustices, and do so vehemently, urgently, and forcefully. It means disruption, it means protest, it means change, and it is the responsibility of every person to be a part of it.

On Tuesday, June 2, the RWB participated in Black Out Tuesday. We, along with many other arts organizations, paused our day-to-day operations while educating ourselves on the Black Lives Matter movement and the injustices which continue to affect marginalized groups the world over. We also silenced our social media channels to afford space to the messages of Black activists, artists, and speakers.

What we learned and, in many ways, what we are still learning, is that racism and its effects remain prevalent in Canada. All over the country statistics show that Black, Indigenous, and other People of Colour experience disproportionately high levels of incarceration, fatal shootings involving police, and representation within the child welfare system. The evidence is so irrefutable that the Prime Minister acknowledged on Tuesday “that Black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day.”

It is the responsibility of the RWB to add its voice to the chorus of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to reiterate our position regarding the inequality that non-white people experience at every level of society. It is, however, not enough for us to simply denounce racism and police brutality in all its shapes and forms, we must reflect on the ways in which the RWB contributes to the larger issue of systemic racism and challenge ourselves to do better.

To those who have contacted the RWB to discuss specific actions to address these issues: we hear you. We recognize that the problems confronting us are longstanding and finding their solutions will take time and commitment, but we are dedicated to this movement and we believe it is right. For now, we must continue educating ourselves on ways we can make ballet a more inclusive artform for everyone.

Thank you for encouraging us to strive to be better. If you wish to contribute to the larger conversation around race and the RWB, please contact our communications coordinator, Dustin Rodgers, via email at drodgers@rwb.org or send us a direct message over social media on our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook accounts.

For those who wish to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement, volunteer or otherwise contribute to its cause, we have gathered a list of resources which have helped us in our own contemplation this week.


Organizations to Support

Broader Canadian equity and anti-racism organizations to support

Non-fiction books to read by Black authors


Fiction to read by Black authors


Articles to read


Videos to watch


Podcasts to subscribe to:


Resources for white parents to raise anti-racist children

Books

Podcasts:


Articles


More anti-racism resources