[Above Photo: Post-protest, the Guelph Black Heritage Society is calling on the community to work together to develop educational resources and programming on Black history and culture, diversity, discrimination and anti-racism. Photo by Alex Vander Vlugt]
For Immediate Release: September 10, 2020
On June 6, 2020, members of the Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) were instrumental in planning a peaceful march and protest to raise awareness for the lives lost in violence and to show solidarity for the families and communities most impacted. This historic event attracted over 8,000 people. The GBHS recognizes that although racism is frequently denied in Canada, it is evident in our institutions, structures, and lived experience.
The protest on June 6th was a starting place for the work that needs to occur to change policy and create opportunities for Black voices to be heard. In this watershed moment that will forever change the course of Black history, the GBHS has launched its educational campaign, “Change Starts Now”.
#ChangeStartsNow will provide educational programming on Black history and culture as well as relevant resources on diversity, discrimination and anti-racism. At this historical crossroads, people are eager to learn, and we are up to the challenge – with help from the Guelph and Wellington community.
The GBHS is tasking the community to raise $135,000 by December 1, 2020. This represents $1 for every Guelphite. Donations to #ChangeStartsNow will help support the new GBHS Education Fund and assist with development of the following educational projects identified as priorities by the GBHS:
• “GBHS Top 100 Educational Resources” – a list of GBHS-recommended resources (books, movies, videos, etc.) for those seeking factual, curated information on Black history and issues
• online educational and cultural events
• development of booklet on local Guelph/Wellington Black history
• educational and cultural programming at Heritage Hall
• establishment of the Library of Black Literature at Heritage Hall – dedicated to the memory of founding board member Flora Francis, this space will contain resource materials and works of Black authors and books significant to the Black community
• directory of Black owned and operated businesses – this online directory will feature information about Black owned and operated businesses in Guelph/Wellington and Waterloo Region
Together, we will build the resources to empower our community to connect to our Black history, present & future.
Connect. Learn. Grow. #ChangeStartsNow
Established in 2011, the mission of the Guelph Black Heritage Society is to restore and maintain Heritage Hall, originally known as the British Methodist Episcopal (BME) Church, built in 1880 by former fugitive slaves who arrived in the area via the Underground Railroad. Our mandate is to preserve the Heritage Hall as a cultural heritage building, representing the historical, present, and continued influence of the Black community on the quality of life in Guelph/Wellington and across the county. This is achieved by raising awareness in Guelph of both local (Guelph and Wellington County) and national Black heritage as well as addressing social issues of importance to Black Canadian communities.
The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) is a registered charity. Registration # 80158 3907 RR0001. Tax receipts will be issued for donations $25 or greater.
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