IN SOLIDARITY WITH
OUR BLACK COMMUNITY

Islamic Relief Canada stands in solidarity with the Black community in this especially painful and yet hopeful time. We have a duty to our Black staff, volunteers, supporters, and our Black sisters and brothers in our communities.

We will use our voice to raise yours. We will use our platform to educate, to empower, to share, to break barriers, and to help build a better world.

To our non-Black community, please join us. Let us help one other to educate ourselves, to unlearn our internalized racism, to start conversations, to uphold justice, to share stories, and to support and empower Black community work.

Our Commitment

Building real sustained change takes hard work, collaboration, and agency. It means understanding the challenges that Black communities face and working to address them. It means sharing resources, championing their voices, and advocating for systemic change.

The most necessary approach we can have is humility and honesty. To be willing to listen, to learn, and to stand for what is right. And to realize that we must start with ourselves, both as individuals and institutions.

As an organization, Islamic Relief Canada will continue our work with grassroots initiatives that empower Black youth and communities across Canada; as well as further intensify our efforts to promote education, stand in solidarity with words and actions, provide financial support, and strengthen Black community work.

Projects & Initiatives We Fund

BridgeTO
Youth Mentorship & Support
Currently funding in 2020

In partnership and support of BridgeTO Youth, a grassroots volunteer organization in Toronto that helps Black youth and youth from marginalized communities achieve academic success and financial stability. Together, we help provide highschool students with free tutoring, laptops, educational materials and scholarships. By connecting them with amazing mentors, and opportunities designed for their interests and skills, our aim is to help these youth successfully navigate into adulthood. Through empowering this younger generation, we are working to improve the future of these communities.

Direct Your Life
Sports Leadership Development Program
Currently funding in 2020

Direct Your Life is the only support group for offenders in Toronto, that works to prevent incarceration and recidivism among Black youth. Their mentorship programs aim to help participants establish strong leadership skills, meaningful connections as well as help guide them to a healthy and successful integration back to society. Our Sports Leadership Program allows these youth to train regularly with professional coaches and athletes, receive personal mentorship, go on educational trips, and participate in competitions and activities designed to nurture their skills and abilities. This helps them stay connected to a strong supportive community, while giving them the opportunity to have fun and stay active.

Vaughan African Canadian Association
Legacy 2020 Graduation Initiative
Currently funding in 2020

We are sponsoring a scholarship through Helping Hands International, who is one of the organizations supporting The Vaughan African Canadian Association’s graduation initiative, Legacy 2020. Legacy 2020: Black and Native Graduation will be a virtual ceremony that celebrates the educational achievement of the two groups who are disproportionately impacted by systemic and institutionalized racism. It is for this reason that they have extended an invitation to Native graduates across Canada to celebrate this milestone with Black students on June 25, 2020. The celebration will include scholarships, commemorative merchandise, a digital yearbook and a delivered meal for each graduate.

Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
Islamic Heritage Month
Previously funded in 2019

The objective of this program was to combat racism, Islamophobia and create a spirit of tolerance and cross-cultural sharing among students which will lead to an accepting and healthy school environment. As the largest school board in Canada and one of the largest in North America, this project provided the TDSB with a variety of positive educational resources to utilize throughout the school year. The project engaged, enabled and empowered students to challenge Islamophobia and racism and increased student awareness of mental health and well-being through a variety of multimedia formats, including workshops, presentations, film screenings, posters, and social media education campaigns.

DeenSTRONG Foundation
Camp deenSTRONG
Previously funded in 2019

DeenSTRONG is dedicated to the physical, mental, and academic well-being of youth in Calgary – with a focus on culturally tailored programs for the NE and SE communities. This project was in response to a frightening rise that Calgary is seeing in disenfranchised youth from marginalized communities, which has led to an increase in gang violence, drug use, and youth drop-out rates from high school. This project created culturally tailored programs and activities for ethnically diverse youth, more specifically for refugees and new immigrants from Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. The camps allowed the youth to reduce aggressive behaviour at school and express more hope, demonstrate greater emotional self-regulation, and be encouraged by role models to increase civic engagement, academic proclivity, volunteerism, and/or philanthropy.

Ways You Can Help

Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.”
– Nelson Mandela

Wondering what you can do to help? Here are some ways you can support, as well as some resources.

Amplify Black voices

Check in on your Black sisters & brothers

Educate yourself and unlearn internalized racism

Start the change within your home

Make Dua for the oppressed, it is a powerful act

Donate to organizations on the ground

16 Books To Add To Your Summer Reading List

Continue your personal education and learn from these renowned writers.

Resources

Duaa of the Oppressed

Read it in English and French

Barriers to Care: Infographic

Barriers to Care: Study