This is a list of some of the local Black activists we are following on Twitter. It's not comprehensive, and it's not complete. Please tag or message us at @vanmag_com or send a note to email@example.com to add to the list—we'll keep updating it.
For now, these are the people and organizations we're looking to. Their tweets, retweets and shares paint real-time, radical news that isn't largely captured elsewhere.
Markiel Simpson works with @ajrudder (give them a follow, too!) at the BC Community Alliance, an organization that's dedicated to fighting the structural inequities created by anti-black racism in British Columbia. His tweets are largely focused on improving education and supporting other activists in the community. He shares lots of actionable stuff—if you're looking to donate, sign petitions, or make calls, give his feed a look. He's working on introducing a Canadian Black history curriculum in BC (you can read more about it here).
BREAKING: The Minister of Education is now looking into including Canadian Black history curriculum into BC Schools! please email EDUC.Minister@gov.bc.ca asking for a Canadian Black History Curriculum and databasr for incidents of Racism in BC schools. #Blacklivesmatter #bcpoli— Markiel Simpson (@MarkielSimpson) June 3, 2020
This radical urban planner tweets and retweets about how our built environment (aka our buildings, roads, cities, etc.) both creates and maintains oppression. It's a part of social justice work that doesn't get a lot of attention—give her yours.
The built environment has always been an essential and complicit expression of the compartmentalizing spirit of racism, ableism, colonialism & aesthetics. As a tool of power and control the field of urban planning has had a long history of justifying racial discrimination and 1/7— Amina/is/buggin’/out/???????????? (@bambinoir) June 3, 2020
Chuka Ejeckam is the director of research and policy at the BC Federation of Labour and a research associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in BC. Recently, he's tweeted about the myth of a racism-free Canada, defunding the police, and how Joe Biden can honesty fuck off.
Trump is going to deploy the military across the country to slaughter Black protesters in the streets and Trudeau is going to respond by saying "Well, that's not how we do things here" on a zoom call from his lake house.— Chuka Ejeckam ???????? (@ChukaEjeckam) June 2, 2020
This singer/songwriter (she's on our artist story, too) is also a vocal activist for the Black community in Vancouver and around the world. She tweets and retweets about police violence, resistance, and overturning capitalism.
Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Rage. Despair. Hopelessness. Anger. Anger. Anger. Anger. Anger. Anger. Anger. Anger. #BlackLivesMatter— Tonye Aganaba (@TonyeAganaba) May 29, 2020
Danni Olusanya is the culture editor of UBC's student newspaper, the Ubyssey. In addition to sharing important news and updates from around the world, she's also recently been advocating for action against racism at the high school she attended in England. Check out her editorial about anti-blackness at the Ubyssey (and ways forward).
In the 102 years of The Ubyssey, I am the first Black woman to hold the position of editor, I am the second Black person to sit on the editorial period.— Daenerys (@DanniLacuna) June 5, 2020
I know that holds a lot of weight.
Our first editorial for @Ubyssey https://t.co/YOyAHEekHv
Cicely Blain is a consultant and the CEO of Cicely Blain Consulting. In the past few days, they've tweeted about black squares, reparations and supporting organizations that both directly and indirectly impact Black people: "Now's a good time to donate to sex worker relief funds, shelters, food banks, LGBTQ youth programs," they say. Their blog post "10 Habits of Someone Who Doesn't Know They're Anti-Black" is a must-read.
It doesn't matter how far away it is. If a black person was shot on the moon we would still feel it, we would still mourn. White supremacy is responsible for making anti-Blackness a global issue; you don't have to be American to be hurting when a brother dies.— Cicely Belle (@cicelybelle) May 29, 2020
Will Shelling works for UBC's Equity and Inclusion office and is an incoming masters student to the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. He's a "male student leader who is well spoken, gives a shit, and is well connected." He tweets news, retweets articles and books to read, shares advice for allies, and more. He thinks the concept that black tile posts will end racism is "the worst idea since raisins in bread."
White people: Please do not ask your Black colleagues their opinions on the protests/riots/any racial upheaval right now unprovoked. You will undoubtedly make them uncomfortable and make their day harder. (1/3)— Will Shelling (@willshelling) June 1, 2020
Petros Kusmu is Deloitte's global civil government specialist, an advisor to the Hogan's Alley Society and a World Economic Forum global shaper. He shares news about protests, police brutality, education, and more. He compared pics of Sunday's protest against racism to snapshots of October's climate action protest, showing that Vancouverites rallied for both.
#Vancouver really pulled through on today’s #BlackLivesMatter protest. Caught up with a brother in the crowd and him and I were floored with the attendance. It had to be at least over a thousand folks out (with plenty of allies out in solidarity). #BLM #GeorgeFloydProtests pic.twitter.com/XkHL47m4y7— Petros Kusmu (@kusmu) June 1, 2020
Pearl Low is an Oscar-winning Chinese-Jamaican storyboard and comics artist (if you haven't seen Hair Love, what are you doing, watch it now, seriously). Her tweets are informative, her art is gorgeous, and she's all about self-love. She is a featured artist in Black Art Gastown.
If you're not ready to be uncomfortable then you're not genuinely moving towards being an ally. You have to be willingly uncomfortable and unpack, unlearn, and reprogram your entire way of being and how you contribute to White Surpremacy that puts Black lives in danger.— Pearl Low | 盧寶珠 (@Fumi_chun) June 2, 2020
anti-blackness and white supremacy are global. this shit is not just in the US. and miss me with that #meanwhileincanada— joy (@inadequateteen) May 30, 2020
it happens everywhere.
black people are hated, oppressed, and murdered everywhere.
nbpoc talk to your people. i'm tired.
Okay, this isn't a person, but the Hogan's Alley Society definitely deserves a spot on this list. The society advocates for Black Vancouverites, who have been largely erased from Vancouver's history. Their goal is for racialized and marginalized communities to be able to participate in building our city, and they are building capacity though temporary modular housing, a Black cultural centre, and the Metro Vancouver Regional District (MVRD) Black Experience Project. They tweet about Black history and current events in Vancouver. (And hey, you can donate to them here).
In the early 1900s, the Black community in Strathcona became notable partly due to the Black Sleeping Car Porters arriving with the CPR. With the first ‘Porter’s Quarters’ in 1904, Black porters found community where they could escape the city's informal segregation. pic.twitter.com/QU5T7eO6Dm— Hogan's Alley Society (@hogans_alley) May 12, 2020
This 2018 Power 50 winner is also a founding member of the Hogan's Alley Society (mentioned above, twice!). Stephanie Allen's tweets and retweets are all about amplifying marginalized voices, ending white supremacy everywhere, and of course, donating to Hogan's Alley and organizations like it—like the Black in BC Community Support Fund, for example.
Thanks Amina! An important time to remind people that @hogans_alley submitted a proposal to @CityofVancouver for a community land trust on the former Hogan’s Alley site *2 years ago* that has gone unanswered. Please ask City Council to make good on their policy commitments. pic.twitter.com/GomqxkAqXj— stephanie allen (@BuiltJustice) June 2, 2020