UPlift Black Advocacy and Accountability Council calls for continued vigilance, support after deadly attack by white supremacist in Buffalo, NY

Like many others, we were horrified to see the news about the mass shooting rooted in white supremacy that targeted Black families and individuals at a busy community grocery store in Buffalo, NY on May 14, 2022. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and Black community members in Buffalo, and across the United States and Canada, including here in Simcoe County, who are dealing with the emotional impact and trauma of this incident. 

White supremacy is many things. To be sure, it is the self-proclaimed white supremacist who overtly and consciously targets people, but that’s the visible and obvious part of white supremacy. 

White supremacy is also the police treatment of perpetrators—we see it in the image of police gently guiding a white terrorist compared to the violent force regularly used on Black bodies. It is in the oppressive systems that surround the very existence of this grocery store, the lone grocery store in a food desert. White supremacy is everywhere—it is the system we all exist in. And it doesn’t stop at an international border. 

Through ignorance, apathy, and silence, we create conditions for the growth of white supremacist groups and these horrific, hate-motivated incidents. And so, today, we call for continued vigilance and support. Together, by doing our own learning and work, believing victims of discrimination, actively working within our spheres of influence to recognize and dismantle systems of oppression, and showing up and speaking out, we can create a cumulative impact of unconditional love and solidarity.  We can all help dismantle white supremacy.

Below we’ve shared some resources for individuals who want to take action and understand more about white supremacy, oppression, racism and hate and the impact on communities. We also invite community members to follow UPlift Black on social media — not only are we here to educate and provide relief and support to families in need, but we are here to UPlift—to share stories of Black excellence. 

In the days and weeks to come, we will let the pain of yet another tragedy rooted in white supremacy become more fuel for our hope and action toward a just and equitable future. Please show up, share and support—we can’t do it without you.

Recommended actions for leaders and allies

Ask for or organize comprehensive anti-racism training for your workplace.
Speak out against hate on your social media and other channels.
Address racist comments when you hear them at your workplace, school and during social interactions. Speak up against it. Report it and follow up. And continue the work to dismantle racism. It starts with your own learning.
If you’re able, financially support organizations working to create an equitable society locally and beyond. You can make a donation to UPlift Black on our website.
Support Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned businesses.
For media: Be aware of the language used in stories and help the public understand the connection between racist events. Consider reviewing A Field Guide to White Supremacy.
Design your own learning/unlearning journey. Here are some resources to consider:

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
An Army of Problem Solvers (Reconciliation and the Solution Economy) by Shaun Luney
Blindspot by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Caste The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson
Dances with Dependency by Calvin Helin
Deep Diversity by Shakil Choudry
From Where I Stand: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a Stronger Canada by Jody Wilson-Raybould
Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table by Carol Anne Hilton
Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Our Story: Aboriginal Voices on Canada’s Past (Collection)
Resource Rulers by Bill Gallagher
Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call by Arthur Manual and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Renni Eddo-Lodge

    Other resources
    Poet Kyla Lacey on “White Privilege”
    How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi on Unlocking Us Podcast with Brene Brown
    Renni Eddo-Lodge’s talk “Why I am no longer talking to white people about race”
    Indigenous Canada – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada
    Raising anti-racist children – article by the American Psychological Association
    Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples
    Suncor Energy’s Aboriginal Awareness Web-Based Training
    Final report of the Truth and Reconciliation
    Stop AAPI Hate
    National Council of Canadian Muslims’ (NCCM) 60 policy recommendations

    About UPlift Black
    UPlift Black is a Black-led not for profit based in Simcoe County, Ontario working to UPlift the wellbeing of Black people locally and educate nationally about anti-Black racism and gender-based discrimination in Canada. Our work is anchored in 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusivity and in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. Our ultimate goal is true equity through a conscious and UPlifted community.

    Media contact: UPlift Black’s Advocacy and Accountability Council advocacy@upliftblack.org