Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Statement on Racism and Discrimination
As Canada’s largest charitable organization serving kids and teens, Boys and Girls Clubs open their doors to all young people, of all backgrounds, in 775 diverse communities across the country. Our core values—Belonging, Respect, Encouragement and Support, Working Together, Speaking Out—are built around inclusion and we are proud of the work we do.
We stand against systemic racism, prejudice, discrimination, injustice.
And like you, we are tired. Tired of seeing the long-term repercussions of racism. Tired of seeing trauma repeated generation after generation. Tired of calling for action and accountability.
Boys and Girls Clubs build safety nets to catch those who fall into the gaps. We often work in neighbourhoods that are changed by struggles with poverty, unemployment, incarceration—and where we see firsthand the effects of systemic racism. We have witnessed youth who have been the target of violence and persecution by institutional forces, and we will continue to support these youth, to guide them through the trauma of this violence, and to make space for young people to be heard and to thrive.
We also know that we can always do more. As a national organization, we will provide funding and resources that help our Clubs create even more safe spaces for youth that identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour). We will provide more training and tools that will help white staff and youth recognize their privilege and learn how to be effective allies.
We are increasing our fundraising efforts towards the following anti-racism initiatives, in consultation with BIPOC community leaders and organizations:
- Establishing microgrants for BIPOC youth and allies that want to create programs, initiatives, or events that combat racism and discrimination. As a For Youth, By Youth model, successful microgrant applications will be chosen by our National Youth Council—14 young community leaders nominated from Clubs across Canada
- Developing anti-racism training and resources for our national team that will ensure we incorporate anti-racism practices into all national initiatives and programs
- Running a youth-led anti-racism workshop, specifically designed to educate white youth and empower BIPOC youth, at our National Youth Forum in 2021, which brings together youth from Clubs nationwide
- Creating national anti-racism programming for youth that can be run at every Boys and Girls Club across the country
We have seen the long-term benefits of investing in young people and their communities. We will continue to use our national platform to advocate for increased funding and prioritization of youth and community engagement programs at all levels of government and within law enforcement agencies across Canada.
Boys and Girls Clubs have always been committed to change and we welcome others to join us in speaking out against discrimination in all its forms. Together, we will continue to remove barriers and create opportunities for all young people.