As Canada’s largest charitable organization serving kids and teens, BGC Clubs open their doors to all young people, of all backgrounds, in 775 diverse communities across the country. Our core values—Belonging, Respect, Encouragement and Support, Working Together, Speaking Out—are built around inclusion and we are proud of the work we do.
We stand against systemic racism, prejudice, discrimination, injustice. And like you, we are tired. Tired of seeing the long-term repercussions of racism. Tired of seeing trauma repeated generation after generation. Tired of calling for action and accountability.
BGC builds safety nets to catch those who fall into the gaps. We often work in neighbourhoods that are changed by struggles with poverty, unemployment, incarceration—and where we see firsthand the effects of systemic racism. We have witnessed youth who have been the target of violence and persecution by institutional forces, and we will continue to support these youth, to guide them through the trauma of this violence, and to make space for young people to be heard and to thrive.
We also know that we can always do more. We seek to procure funding and resources that help our programs create even more safe spaces for youth that identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour). We will provide more training and tools that will help white staff and youth recognize their privilege and learn how to be effective allies.
We are increasing our efforts towards the following anti-racism initiatives, in consultation with BIPOC community leaders and organizations:
- Developing anti-racism training and resources for our staff team that will ensure we incorporate anti-racism practices into all interactions and programs and ensure that our role models serve as supportive allies for youth leaders
- Offering youth the opportunity to participate in a youth-led anti-racism workshop, specifically designed to educate white youth and empower BIPOC youth, at the National Youth Forum in 2021
- Offering anti-racism programming and resources that are inclusive and culturally relevant in order to help nurture and elevate youth voices and enable every young person to reach their full potential
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to Inspire Change
We have seen the long-term benefits of investing in young people and their communities. We will continue to use our voice to advocate for increased funding and prioritization of youth and community engagement programs at all levels of government and within law enforcement agencies across Canada. We will continue to encourage youth to use their voice to engage in difficult conversations that create positive change.
We are a community catalyst that works to provide solutions that support racial equity and social justice so that kids, families, and communities can have a better tomorrow.
BGC Niagara has always been committed to change and we welcome others to join us in speaking out against discrimination in all its forms. Together, we will continue to remove barriers and create opportunities for all young people.