Posted by Parveen Dhupar on June 12, 2020
My name is Parveen Dhupar. I am a brown man, born in India, raised in Canada since the age of seven, happily married to my wife Ritu for 27 years and a proud father to 2 boys, ages 23 and 21. I consider myself Canadian first and am proud of my ancestry.
Social issues are hot topics of discussion in my household given our racial background and that my oldest son identifies as gay. We are a strong happy family that respects differences in opinion and contributes to the greater community.
I start off this way so that I can paint a quick picture of my family and to allow all the stereotypical “perceptions” to float in your mind. We all have perceptions and biases that I believe contribute to the continuation of these ongoing issues of inequality, racism, hatred and injustice. What I am about to share may offend some and resonate with others.
My intention is to rally people of influence to speak up and support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), LGBTQ2S+, and all communities that are marginalized, excluded, and discriminated against based on race, gender, age and ethnicity.
What is happening in the United States and globally, with protestors taking to the streets in outrage to denounce the death of George Floyd, shows that people are tired of letting racism and Police brutality exist in silence. It is a result of long-seeded inequality and oppression. We are at an inflection point in a world grappling with a complex legacy of racial, social, and economic disparities, spanning centuries. I pray that this time, people in power make positive change and that we do not stop until we finally have equality for all.
So, what can we do beginning today? Let’s start with:
- Getting behind Black Lives Matter: Make it your own fight. I am brown and even though I have faced racism I can admit that it is much harder for a black person to get ahead than anyone else in North America.
- Opening up your heart, mind, body and soul: Start with compassion, listen and learn, walk peacefully side-by-side with people that have been discriminated against and recognize that we are all connected deep down inside.
- Educating yourself: Get an understanding of how policing works, the history of slavery in America, our own Canadian history steeped in racism and the active oppression of Indigenous peoples, and finally, the ways white supremacy exists in the systems we navigate on a daily basis and how we benefit from it while others suffer. See below for a list of resources.
- Doing some self-reflection: Take a look at your own biases, acknowledge your privilege (white or otherwise), extend a hand, and make a commitment to be a better person.
- Keeping the dialogue going: Don’t stop talking once the media stops reporting and the hashtags stop trending. Have an ongoing dialogue in your family, with friends and colleagues. Keep holding yourself and each other accountable.
- Voting for change: Be a part of the solution by casting your vote for officials willing to have the tough conversations in parliament and fight to pass bills that will effect change.
- Getting involved: Be the change by getting involved in leadership positions, volunteer with organizations or campaigns (including political ones) you believe in, run for politics and be a person of influence.
- Checking your values: Evaluate your relationships, partnerships and the brands you support against the values that are important to you when it comes to systemic injustice and discrimination.
- Supporting minority-led businesses: Align your consumer buying habits by supporting the minority-led businesses locally and around the world. Give them the opportunity to grow and flourish.
- Redirecting the conversation: Don’t ignore it and walk away when someone shares words that don’t align to racial equality, social justice and greater access to education and life’s necessities. Speak up and help them understand by walking them through these 10 tips to making positive change.
Change is not going to happen overnight but committing to the steps above will lead to the greater goal of a society where everyone is treated as equals. I have personally started by making a generous donation to the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter and am committing to giving upto 2 hours of free marketing consultation to any BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ entrepreneur.
Justice in June - Build your own anti-racism allyship curriculum for self-learning
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
25 books about being Black in Canada
Guide to Allyship
University of Alberta: Indigenous Canada
Black Lives Matter: Ways You Can Help
TedTalk: How to recognize your white privilege-and use it to fight inequality
680 News: How to be an ally in everyday situations
Cineplex Store – Movies with black representation, free to rent and stream in Canada
CBC: 10 documentaries that explore race, racism and policing in North America
Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society