As we look around the table at our Loretto Alumnae Association meetings, we don’t see many women of colour. The same can be said for our events and our Order of Mary Ward recipients. This suggests that as an organization we have failed to represent all of our alumnae and for that, we would like to apologize. We could dismiss those observations and say, “Well, our Alumnae of colour aren’t putting their hands up to be included.”, but that would be wrong. Instead, we’d like to ask “Why?”. We’d like to listen and we’d like to learn.
“In time, women will come to do much”
This statement is meant to be inclusive of ALL women. We are here to lift each other up. By not acknowledging and addressing the systemic barriers that discourage participation, our community has neglected to create balance and inclusion.
We’d like to fix that.
We would like to encourage the people of colour in our community to get involved by joining us on our board, telling us about their high school experience and how that prepared them for their lives after school. We’d like to include you in our alumna spotlights to show our new graduates positive role models that look like them and have shared experiences. We’d like to give you a voice.
We’ve seen changes in the schools where groups have been created to promote inclusion. The Loretto Black Student Union (@lcsbsu) is a student organization dedicated to providing support for black students. Other marginalized groups are also being acknowledged. Loretto College (LCS) has the Gay/Straight Alliance (@lorettocollege.gsa) which provides students with support as they come to terms with their own sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity. . The best buddies program (@lcsbestbuddies) is dedicated to supporting and including its neurodiverse students.
We’d also like to provide you with some resources that reach beyond our community and highlight organizations that provide support for black communities should you choose to support them or require their services.
Black Women in Motion
Black Women in Motion, which provides education, empowerment, job training, and healing programming for Black women, nonbinary, and trans folk. They also actively conduct race-based research in Toronto to provide intersectional perspectives to social inequalities faced by Black communities.
Black Youth Helpline
Black Youth Helpline serves all youth and specifically responds to the need for a Black youth specific service, positioned and resourced to promote access to professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families and schools.
Afri-Can Food Basket
The Afri-Can FoodBasket Is Building A Team And Raising Money To Provide Emergency Food Support To Individuals And Families Within The African, Caribbean, Black Community In Toronto Who Have Been Affected By COVID-19 And In Need Of Support Accessing Food.
CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals
The CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals is a Toronto based charity that is dedicated to addressing the economic and social barriers that affect Black youth ages 14 and over who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET).