The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and countless other Black lives while in police custody has brought the topic of Black Lives Matters to the forefront of many conversations taking place around us in the media, public, and government. And while there are many resources that are readily accessible for all audiences to learn more about important topics like police brutality, anti-Black racism, and institutionalized discrimination, it can be both confusing and overwhelming for young people to digest in a way that makes sense for them.
Studies have shown that by age 5, children can show signs of racial bias through the way they treat people in certain racial groups. It is important that we have conversations with children from an early age, so that they are able to identify these biases. Celebrate differences and instill fairness in your homes, and practice having open conversations that encourage courage and curiosity.
It is our responsibility as a community to collectively raise future leaders. Future leaders that will work to dismantle unjust systems that uphold racial inequality and re-build new ones that are free from all forms of discrimination. In order to achieve this, we must continue to provide avenues for young people to become active and involved in the community, engage in tough conversations, and challenge the status quo. Tamils in Public Service (TiPS) is working to provide such avenues through our Raising Future Leaders Unpacking Anti-Black Racism Workshop and Essay Contest.
TiPS’ Unpacking Anti-Black Racism Workshop is in partnership with CanTYD’s Youth Council, and will focus on the concept of anti-Black racism, with the goal of advocating for change and racial justice in our systems. Through this workshop, we will discuss what true allyship as young leaders looks like, and how we can put our ideas into action to address and remove systemic barriers that exist for Black and brown communities. This workshop is a discussion open to all ages, and our second workshop is taking place on Monday August 31 from 7:30PM to 9:00PM. If you are interested in attending, please fill out this quick form. Please note that this virtual session will be a highly secure, private session that will allow for a safe space to have these important conversations.
The TiPS Raising Future Leaders Essay Contest is a creative challenge with a purpose. Using the concepts discussed at the workshop, we are accepting short essays from young people ages 13-18 that discuss ideas, thoughts, and solutions to anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination. We want to encourage our next generation of leaders to think differently about what change can look like and how our communities can play a role in it. Finalists will have an opportunity to present their essays to a panel of senior leaders in the public sector. The deadline for the Essay Contest is Wednesday September 2, 11:59PM. Please share with any young people that may be interested!
As an organization with a mandate for building up a more engaged community and a stronger, and more inclusive public service that is reflective of the communities we serve, raising young leaders that will be our future policy-makers, teachers, community leaders, and so forth, is a priority for us that will result in real change for all people. Join us as we raise future leaders together.