CJA Durham presents: 2020 Listening Circle of Inclusion Series “White Fragility and its Impacts of Anti-Black Racism” – Online Host: WorldEventCentre – July 9, 2020

The second theme of the series was launched on Thursday, 9th of July at 6:30pm. We had a total of 58 attendees present including several prestigious mayors and councillors in the Durham Region. This includes Mayor Shaun Collier of the Town of Ajax, Councillor Rob Tyler Morin of the Town of Ajax, Councillor Ashmeed Khan of the Town of Ajax, Deputy Mayor Steve Yamada of the Town of Whitby, Councillor Maleeha Shahid of the Town of Whitby, Councillor/Regional Councillor Alternate, Maurice Brenner of the City of Pickering, Local Councillor Lisa Bower of the Town of Ajax, City Councillor Shaheen Butt of the city of Pickering and West Ward Councillor Deidre Newman of the Town of Whitby. The event just like the first, commenced with an introduction to the “WorldEventCentre” platform by the owner and founder, Ms. Sue Sutcliffe. Shortly after, CJA’s executive director, Ms. Audrey Isenor began the event with welcome remarks and did well by acknowledging the land rights and traditional territories of the Mississauga’s of Scugog Island First Nation, as well as the celebration of Nunavut Day. Briefly after, Ms. Helen Lightstone blessed the program with empowering spoken words and a reflection piece titled “Freedom Out of Darkness.”  After, Ms. Isenor, gave an in-depth introduction to White Fragility with a video article created by a professor in the University of Washington, Dr. Robin DiAngelo. This piece intrigued the audience as various people requested the link to be sent to them for further references. Following that was an introduction to the Impact on Anti-Black Racism by Ms. Renee Whittaker, who later introduced the beginning of the Open Table Discussions and Chat line, organized easily by the Table Moderators. Ms. Whittaker elaborated on the impact of White fragility on Anti-Black Racism with a video piece titled “The Talk”, which is about conversations Black parents have with their kids about additional precautions that needs taken when dealing with the police. Our audience reacted well to this and people gave their opinions in the chat sessions which served as an interactive space before the table discussions. The event also included table moderators who helped probe specific questions for conversations during discussion. Moreover, the audience appreciated how Ms. Isenor and Ms. Whittaker were able reasonably converse about White Fragility and its effect on the Black community, Durham region and Canada as a whole. Shortly after the table conversations, Mr. Steve Young gave the closing remarks and officially ended the event. A couple of people stayed to continue their table conversations and interact with others on the platform, while others left to tuck their kids into bed. Overall, the event was successful turnout and we are grateful once again for the support and participation. The Listening Circles of Inclusion Series was created in order to foster healthy relationships and conversations about Anti-Black Racism not just in the US, but acknowledging that it is, in fact, still very much happening in Canada. The objective of this series is to aid us to educate ourselves, friends, colleagues and family within our local communities and all over the world about the discrimination against Black people and people of colour – in order to create better solutions, practices and policies for them. In doing so and standing in solidarity with our Black community, we advocate for a better and peaceful world.

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