Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month
April is Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation, and Prevention Month in Canada. It seems like now, more than ever, we need to take the time to recognize the pain and suffering caused by genocide. We must look at the root of such hate and seek to prevent these atrocities from ever happening again. Encyclopedia Britannica defines genocide as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race.
Generation after generation has witnessed the horror of genocide. Some that come to mind are the Holocaust, Holodomor, Rwanda and Armenian genocides. Unfortunately, this is not an exhaustive list. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada also describes the establishment and operation of residential schools as “cultural genocide.”
Sadly, even today, many people throughout the world are not treated equitably because of their racial, ethnic or religious background. In multicultural cities like Toronto, discrimination, systemic racism and inequity is still rampant. Racialized community groups are still fighting for equity and inclusion here in Canada.
Awareness and education are the first steps toward prevention, and intentional action is needed to help crush the roots of genocide. This post includes a few titles to support you in bringing unconscious biases to light, challenging assumptions and becoming an ally to marginalized groups. If you would like to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion, you can use your library card to sign up for free LinkedIn Learning courses.
Allies: Real Talk About Showing Up, Screwing Up, and Trying Again by Shakirah Bourne & Dana Levy Alison (editors)
"This book is for everyone. Because we can all be allies. As an ally, you use your power--no matter how big or small--to support others. You learn, and try, and mess up, and try harder. In this collection of true stories, 17 critically acclaimed and bestselling YA authors get real about being an ally, needing an ally, and showing up for friends and strangers." - From publisher's description
Antiracism Handbook: Practical Tools to Shift Your Mindset and Uproot Racism in Your Life and Community by Thema Bryant & Edith G. Arrington
Written by two psychologists and experts in race, identity, equity, and inclusion, learn practical skills and equip yourself with the necessary tools to help make your community and society antiracist. Through shifting your thought process, you will learn how to cultivate an antiracism mindset and find practical, evidence-based tools grounded in psychology to help you recognize and resist racial stereotypes in day-to-day interactions. - From publisher's description
How to be an Ally: Actions You Can Take for a Stronger, Happier Workplace by Melinda Briana Epler
Allyship is about understanding the imbalance in opportunity and working to correct it. All of us can be better allies for each other, creating stronger and happier workplaces together. Learn how to implement big and small changes to build a diverse team and the key to true inclusion, equity, and diversity. You will also learn how to facilitate greater empathy and understanding between people of all backgrounds. - From publisher's description
Nishga by Jordan Abel
An exploration of "how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted Jordan Abel's grandparents' generation, then his father's generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous." - From publisher's description.
All About Diversity by Felicity Brooks
A beautifully illustrated celebration of diversity which helps young children to understand, value and respect differences of every kind. "This dynamic and joyous exploration of difference helps young children learn to respond in a kind and equal way to everyone regardless of shape, size, age, physical and mental ability, gender, race, beliefs, language, culture, national identity, background, and so on." - From publisher's description
Circle Round by Anne Sibley O'Brien
"From the author of I’m New Here and Someone New comes an inspiring new story of inclusion. One child in a park waves over a second child. Two children then wave over a third. Counting from one to ten, a growing circle of children see new faces outside the group and invite them over. Children of different abilities, ages, genders, and races demonstrate how easy it can be to expand your group, extend yourself, and welcome new friends." - From publisher's description
Right now!: Real Kids Speaking up for Change by Miranda Paul
"A joyful, inspiring picture book that introduces readers to eleven young people from around the world who didn’t wait until they were grown to speak up about things that matter to them and change the world for the better." - From publisher's description
This April, let's reflect on not only why genocide occurred but also how to prevent it. There is no place for hate, racism and discrimination in society. This call to action is for all of us, no matter where we are on this journey.
As a step towards learning why it is more powerful to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism, join our upcoming program - Nomadic Comfort Food: Food Access Beyond Borders on April 13 with Chef Bashir Munye. Learn about food sovereignty, why it is important for people to access food that is culturally appropriate, and how food is also a tool for identity, self-determination and resilience.