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Silvia Mangue: Taking up the call of Black Lives Matter

Voices of African women

Silvia Mangue: Taking up the call of Black Lives Matter

Silvia Mangue of Equatorial Guinea/Canada, is the founder and CEO of Kulea Love, a social enterprise focused on non-medical care services; and Kulea Culture Society, a consultancy specialised on equity, inclusion and diversity. She is also the president of the British Columbia Black History Awareness Society.

According to a poll by TD Canada Trust, (a Canadian commercial bank) conducted in April and May this year, young Canadians and those who are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in their pockets.

Sixty-four percent of Black Canadians expect to face unemployment and a reduction of their income in the last quarter of 2020, compared with 53% of the general population.

This survey shows that the fight against systemic racism in Canada is far from over. More needs to be done, in particular, given the current call to put an end to the ongoing episodes of police brutality against Black Canadians.

But as the Black Canadian population is only about 3.5% of the total population, a smaller number compared with 14% for African-Americans in the US, these episodes keep being treated as one-off events rather than a systemic problem (Statistics Canada 2019).

The Black Lives Matter movement in the US resulted in the mobilisation and solidarity of Canadian youth from across different cultural and ethno-racial backgrounds.

This support was unexpected and unprecedented, because young people not only risked their health but were committed, as individuals and as part of a collective, to action.

The British Columbia Black History Awareness Society, of which I am president, received an influx of financial donations, volunteers for events and projects, and in-kind offers of support (such as pro bono use of venues) from young Canadians.

The local government has also chosen to work with us in the development of a curriculum to enhance the local curriculum on Black history.

Beyond Canada, especially in the context of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent, it has been heartening to witness the support of the African Union for this movement, and hopefully it will do more to support social movements across Africa against police brutality, armed conflicts, gender based violence, and the mismanagement of natural resources.

#youth #socialjustice

#racism #diaspora

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