Jun 11, 2020
Black Lives Matter - Let's Take Action
As protests continue across North America and around the world following the death of George Floyd, the Calgary Corporate Challenge staff has been looking at ways to help the cause of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Dave Ford | Executive Director
It was important to our team that we not just talk about everything that needs to be done but that we also take action. This is how we have decided to take action so far and how we will continue to take action, both individually and as an organization.
1. Personal Support
Below are some of the ways that our individual staff members have shown support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement in their own lives, through donations and other means.
- Action Dignity - This local Calgary charity is “a community-based organization that facilitates the collective voice of Calgary’s ethno-cultural communities towards full civic participation and integration through collaborative action.”
- The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth - CBFY is focused on providing “a welcoming and inclusive environment for immigrant and refugee children, youth and their families.”
- The Come Up - This Edmonton charity is a “hub of African and Caribbean youth”, created in September 2013 and previously referred to as the Youth Empowerment Group. Now known as YEG The Come Up, this charity is focused specifically on supporting the African and Caribbean youth of Edmonton and surrounding communities.
- The Sprawl - Check out their manifesto to understand how The Sprawl fits into the conversation around diversity in Calgary. “We ask: how can we listen to and amplify diverse local voices…?” Open journalism is key to an open, democratic society that holds the people in power accountable. In a city where both major newspapers are owned by the same publisher, it’s important to support an alternative.
- Signing petitions
- Participating in marches and vigils
- Donating to GoFundMe campaigns that support the families of victims
- Donating to Bail Funds through ActBlue
2. Charity Evaluation
We have always evaluated our charity relationships at the end of every year to ensure that we’re partnering with organizations that speak to our community and that are working to engage our participating companies. In more recent years, we’ve also looked at the mix of charities that we’ve partnered with in order to ensure that we’re helping out with a variety of issues: social, health, environment, youth, etc.
But we haven’t done enough. As we move through 2020 and into 2021 (and beyond), Calgary Corporate Challenge pledges not just to take a more in-depth look at the variety of causes that our charity partners are focused on, but to do so with an eye on cultural and racial diversity. This will definitely take the form of looking more specifically at the diversity of the communities served by our charity partners, but we will also put particular emphasis on finding a new charity partner for 2021 that is working to make Calgary a more open and accepting community for people of all backgrounds and cultures.
3. Board Members
Calgary Corporate Challenge’s increased emphasis on cultural and racial diversity needs to start with the composition of our own organization. The CCC September Games have forever relied on participants and volunteers from a wide range of cultural and racial backgrounds, and we’re very proud of the open, accepting environment we’ve strived to create at our events. We also have an open hiring policy, with all opportunities open to any person regardless of race, creed, gender identity or religion.
However, we’ve failed as an organization to carry this emphasis on diversity through to the makeup of our board of directors. Though we have no exclusionary policies for members of our board, we can see that we haven’t done enough to seek out members with a more diverse range of experience and opinions. Today, Calgary Corporate Challenge pledges to develop policy to ensure that diversity and inclusiveness are at the forefront of the conversation when we fill open board positions. We recognize that we’re doing ourselves, our organization and our audience of participants a disservice by not ensuring that we’re receiving input from a variety of sources at our highest level.
These are the ways we’ve begun working toward fundamentally changing the way Calgary Corporate Challenge approaches the conversation around racial and cultural diversity, but we recognize that these steps are only the beginning of the consistent and constant work we need to do. We’re looking forward to doing the work and evolving our (we think) great organization into something even better and stronger!