RSPSU Black Lives Matter Fund
At its core, the Ryerson School of Performance Student Union (RSPSU) believes in justice and equity. Historically, student unions have fought for the rights of all within their community – we share that goal for a school that serves each and every one of its students. As performers, creators, and artists, we are all nothing but storytellers. And it would be incomprehensible to stay silent when Black voices are stifled by violence from police and the colonial state. The performing arts would be nothing without Black storytellers, who share their lives with audiences around the globe. The RSPSU recognizes that we not only have a responsibility, but an obligation to use our platform and connectivity with the School of Performance community to support and raise funds for Black organizations. We implore our staff and students alike to reject performative justice and take action when possible. Posting on social media helps, but it is not enough on the ground. Therefore, we have committed to using our platform to send money to organizations that have traditionally been neglected in the larger conversation of justice. The RSPSU asks you to support these organizations in any way you can. Please consider giving the money you otherwise would have spent on our events or merchandise to a much more important cause.
We have set an initial goal of $500 to split evenly between organizations in Canada and the United States – however we have hopes of going beyond. The RSPSU is making a donation to this fund, and we hope that you can do the same.
We ask for you to look further into each of the organizations listed below, but also that you recognize that there are hundreds of different places that uplift Black individuals and communities that also require support. Use your voices and platforms to cause direct action. Don’t let social media be the only place that you give support to Black communities. Raise the difficult conversations within your own home and friendships. It is not enough to be against racism, you need to fight anti-black racism and call it out when you see it. This is a systemic issue that must be dismantled.
Black stories matter, Black voices matter, Black lives matter. They always have.
In Support Of:
Founded in Toronto in 2013, Black Women in Motion is one of the only organizations in Canada that supports and advocates for Black survivors of gender-based violence. The youth-led organization advocates for survivors of sexual violence while working within an anti-racist, intersectional feminist healing space that creates economic opportunities and provides educational tools for Black women. Your donation would be going towards workshops and events that include but are not limited to consent education, the conversations and stigma that surround rape culture and sex positivity.
The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is an organization located in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that works to support incarcerated people who have been targeted by the discriminatory cash-bail system. Pretrial incarceration is detrimental to the health, safety, and well being of those within the criminal justice system – and does the same towards communities as a whole. Cash-bail is a discriminatory system that is built to target Black communities and individuals awaiting trial. The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is stated on its website to be a collective of volunteer grassroots organizers and active members of the community. Their goal is to end the cash-bail system in Philadelphia and bring justice to Black communities affected by it. Your donation would go to bailing those arrested in protests or otherwise, and cover costs of transportation, court fees, and other expenses brought upon by the criminal justice system.
The Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) is a Toronto based organization that has been working long-term to support Black individuals living with HIV/AIDS within the city. HIV/AIDS affects all, but prevention work by the government has left Black, African, and Caribbean individuals without the support nor monetary funds to live healthy lives. Black CAP works tirelessly in Black communities to teach prevention, give support, and provide emergency funds to those who directly need it. HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence in the modern age, but it may be for those lacking access to medication, jobs, rent, or other daily expenses that have been hindered by their diagnoses. Black CAP works to erase the stigma through community outreach and build the road for Black individuals with HIV/AIDS to live normal and healthy lives, as is known to be possible and should be guaranteed to those with the diagnoses. Your donation would be going to the operation of Black CAP, the support of services they provide, and to their emergency funds that go directly to Black individuals with HIV/AIDS who may require money to cover any expense.
The RSPSU will cover and and all transaction fees to allow us to give as much as possible to these groups.