Black Lives Matter

Hello all! Thank you for taking the time to look through this document. 


I am posting this here as a resource for anyone who wishes to learn and take action during such an important time as this, the biggest international civil rights movement we have ever seen, and forever, for the lives of Black people, as well as Indigenous people here in Canada. We have had enough. Believing in the rights and lives of BIPOC is not enough. Being silently present is not enough. We need to do the work with them because it takes a mountain to create change against systemic racism and white supremacy, and not just a week-long trend, but a permanent change and a permanent stand. We are not absolved of racism here in Canada. The press simply has not been publicizing this side of our country for too long. We need to hold them accountable. We need to hold the police accountable. We need to hold our governing organizations accountable. I hear things like “well I can’t make the change in what I do so I don’t bother”. What would our world be like, our generation be like, if we used that as an excuse? We must all continue to push forward. It will be hard, but don’t give up. 


A second point I would like to make is, like any industry, how this affects Black people within the fashion industry, and how this is inextricably linked to sustainable fashion. If you care about and take action in fashion and sustainability, you have to do the same for the Black communities. I will be posting more resources/information on this as well below.

“Racism derails our collective ability to fight climate crisis and protect nature. Here’s the rub: If we want to successfully address climate change, we need people of colorr. Not just because purusing diversity is a good thing to do, and not even because diversity leadas to better decision-making and more effective strategies, but because, black people are significantly more concerned about climate change than white people (57 percent vs. 49 percent), and Latinx people are even more concerned (70 percent)... Climate work is hard and heartbreaking as it is. Many people don’t feel the urgency, or balk at the initial cost of transitioning our energy infrastructure, without considering the cost of inaction. Many fail to grasp how dependent humanity is on intact ecosystems. When you throw racism and bigotry in the mix, it becomes something near impossible.” Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson


The first thing you can do is educate yourself. You can use what you learn to bolster difficult conversations with your friends and family. You don’t need to be an “influencer” or have a massive audience to create change or to have any audience at all. Speak and have those conversations. If anyone says something that bothers you, don’t stand down and keep quiet. Point it out and do something about it.


OK, so here is a list of resources that you can access to educate yourself or others, to support the Black community, people you can follow and support, actions you can take to hold your local politicians and organizations accountable and to make change, and ways in which you can donate. Also if you have any suggestions, or if I have said anything that is incorrect or I could do better in some way and you’d like to let me know, please send me an email at: info@oliviarubens.ca


By posting this as well, I am not absolving myself either. These values are entrenched in what I do within my work and who I support, but that is clearly not enough. I need to do more, learn more, and stand and speak more strongly as an ally. I am working my way through books, emailing city counselors and representatives, signing and sharing petitions, donating, having (many) tough conversations (and arguments) daily with those around me, attending protests, and taking time silently to reflect and make changes as well, but this is not about me and what I am doing, nor is it about you as a white person. I am just saying that we all need to do so, SO much more, and not temporarily. How can we make permanent changes in the conversations we have, the wealth we distribute, the people we support, the reasons we buy, the inherent biases we hold, the beliefs we uphold in our flawed system?


Watch List:

  • Who killed Malcolm X
  • Time: The Kalief Browder Story
  • 13th
  • Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
  • Dear White People
  • When They See Us
  • Fruitvale Station
  • Seven Seconds
  • Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
  • LA 92
  • BlindSpotting
  • Anne with an E
  • She’s Gotta Have It
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Innocence Files
  • Training Day
  • American Son
  • Trigger Warning with Killer Mike
  • Hollywood
  • Coach Carter
  • Black Lightning
  • All American
  • Family Reunion
  • I am Not Your Negro - James Baldwin Documentary
  • Selma Ava Duvernay
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
  • The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
  • Freedom Riders
  • Slavery by Another Name
  • Eyes on the Prize
  • The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
  • Soundtrack for aa Revolution
  • Dark Girls
  • The Black List: Volume One
  • Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football
  • More than a Month
  • BONUS | Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
  • If Baele Street Could Talk

Magazine List:

  • Jet
  • Ebony
  • Frwn Mag
  • Black Bride
  • Hip Hop Weekly
  • Black Enterprise
  • Cuisine Noir
  • Sweet July
  • Essence
  • XXL
  • Vibe
  • Uptown
  • Upscale
  • Afro Style
  • The Source
  • Real Health
  • Afroelle
  • Crisis

Podcast List: 

  • 1619
  • NPR Switch Code
  • Good Ancestor Podcast
  • The Diversity Gap
  • Speaking of Racism
  • What Matters by Black Lives Matter
  • Unapologetically, us
  • About Race
  • Intersectionality Matters
  • Pod For The Cause

People/organizations to follow and support:

  • Giselle Buchanan
  • Humble the Poet
  • Mona Chalabi
  • Desmond Cole
  • Dr. Cheryl Thomson
  • National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color
  • Harriet’s Apothecary
  • The Unplug Collective
  • BEAM Collective
  • Black Girl in Om
  • The Slow Factory
  • A Different Booklist
  • Foodshare TO is providing food boxes to Black families self-isolating after Justice for Regis March
  • Wellness therapy created a fund to provide free or low cost mental health counseling to Black clients in Toronto
  • Toronto Black Film Festival
  • Black Women in Motion
  • Black Youth Helpline
  • Black Legal Action Centre
  • Freedom School Toronto
  • Federation of Black Canadians
  • Harriet Tubman Community Organization
  • Black Lives Matter
  • The Most Nurtured
  • Zero Gun Violence Movement
  • Black Business and Professional Association
  • No White Saviours
  • Layla Saad
  • Rachel Cargle
  • Check Your Privilege
  • Rachel Ricketts
  • The Great Unlearn
  • Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Ibram X. Kendi
  • Official Millenial Black
  • Brandon K. Good
  • Angela Davis
  • Patia’s Fantasy World (MASSIVE LIST OF RESOURCES)
  • Culture Art Society
  • Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
  • timelessgoods shop

Sustainable fashion businesses to support, owned by POC:

  • soleRebels
  • LemLem
  • Omi Woods
  • Pure Hope Clothing
  • Earth Toned
  • Breukelen Polished
  • Mahnal
  • Proclaim
  • Behno
  • Brother Vellies
  • Two Days Off
  • Tree Fairfax
  • Studio 189

A note here: by supporting communities who live in poverty, which

Black-led LGBTQ organizations to support:


Places to donate:


Books to read:

  • How to be an Antiracist, Ibraam X. Kendi
  • Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad
  • Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde
  • Hood Feminism, Mikki Kendall
  • White Fragility, Robin Diangelo, PhD
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Angela Davis
  • Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander
  • Between The World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Black Feminist Though, Patricia Hill COllins
  • Heavy, Kiese Laymon
  • Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves, Glory Edim
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, Janet Mock
  • The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • This Will Be My Undoing, Morgan Jerkins
  • Things No One Else Can Teach Us, Humble the Poet
  • Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture, Dr. Cheryl Thomson
  • All About Love, Bell Hooks
  • Women, Race & Class, Angela Y. Davis
  • This Bridge Called my Back, Rosario Morales
  • The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses, Oyèrónké Oyewùmí
  • When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks It Down, Joan Morgan
  • Playing in the Dark, Toni Morrison
  • Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde
  • The Black Woman, An Anthology, Toni Cade Bambara
  • Raising Multiracial Children, Farzana Nayani
  • Taking a Knee, Taking a Stand, Bob Schron
  • Real Life, Brandon Taylor
  • The Long Revolution of the Global South, Samir Amin
  • In Defense of Julian Assange, Tariq Ali
  • The God Child, Nana Oforiatta Ayim
  • Here For It, R. Eric Thomas
  • The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power, Desmond Cole
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Dr. Brittney Cooper
  • Heavy: An American Memoir, Kiese Laymon
  • I Know Why the  Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown
  • Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
  • Redefining Realness, Janet Mock
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for Twenty-First Century, Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurson
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, Cherrie Moraga
  • Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine
  • “They Can’t Kills Us All”, Wesley Lowery
  • The End of Policing, Alex S. Vitale
  • Are Prisons Obsolete?, Angela Y. Davis
  • Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons and Torture, Angela Y. Davis

Actions you can take anywhere/anytime:

  • Vote for legislative change.
  • Petition budget cuts for your local PD.
  • Make the phone calls to state attorneys to demand the indictments of criminal cops.
  • Participate in actions with your local organizers.
  • Drop off resources to protesters.
  • Use your physical body and voice at protests.
  • Vocally state that you are unwilling to support, passively or actively, the killing of black people.
  • Use your privilege.
  • Support Black businesses, creators, and movements.
  • Redistribute your wealth and empower Black people and communities. Do NOT contribute to the disintegration of their independence. Contribute to their economic mobility.
  • Demand defunding of the police and budget transparency to city counselors.
  • Demand the press release unbiased and true information about the human rights violations of Black and Indigenous people here in Canada.
  • Demand different resources (not police) to conduct wellness checks. This should not be their job and it is resulting in murder and police brutality.

Specific actions to take in the UK:


Specific actions to take in Canada:


Educational Resources:


This list is a constant work in progress, and I am adding to it when possible. Again, I am welcoming any suggestions!

Olivia Rubens, an ally.