Kneeling Protestors

Slam Poetry Project

Backstory

In Summer 2020, George Floyd’s killing led to months of interracial protest marches across the globe. This empowered many to spread word that #BlackLivesMatter. The youth community was united through the common goal of increasing awareness of the discrimination faced by the Black community in Canada, and youth became active and vocal advocates. However, after a few months, dialogue about racial justice and equity quieted in the youth community. Why? Primarily because tangible change felt unachievable — limited to connecting with the same social circle on social media. Upon talking to teens in Vancouver, B.C., and across the country, a common theme emerged: youth wanted to be involved in anti-racism efforts, but they didn’t know how to help or if they had the power to create momentous change. This is what started our mission and what led to the creation of the Slam Poetry Project.

Photograph taken by Masaru Suzuki

What Is It About?

The slam poem video project will highlight the notable impact that seemingly, small actions of anti-racism have upon society. It will ask societal members to destigmatize conversations about race and actively challenge prejudices, oppression, and racism. The project will also communicate the necessity of sustaining the racial justice movement even after it has ceased being a trending hashtag. It’ll connect four major "communities" of the anti-racism movement: adolescents, politicians, cultural groups, and the general public; therefore including the catalysts of the global reform movement, leaders and changemakers, educators of Canada’s multiculturalism, and the greater community respectively.

What Will It Do?

  Understanding that anti-racism is the conscious effort to acknowledge, act, and work against racial injustices, prejudices, and oppression by acknowledging and acting against structures that perpetuate inequality, being anti-racist means understanding why things are the way they are now, and then actively working to dismantle and rebuild structures in a more equitable way. The slam poem video project will use the engaging and unique format of a slam poem video to highlight strength in collaboration, unity, and continued advocacy, and allow youth and citizens across Canada to recognize their ability in creating tangible change with every decision that they make.