We’re living in a time where it seems as if the landscape of society as we know it is constantly changing.  There are always new issues and concerns coming to the forefront, each worthy of attention and action.

In the midst of ever-changing circumstances around us, it’s easy to forget the events of 2020 and the racial tension that ensued.  There were protests, arguments over social media, long-standing establishments being challenged as the cry for systemic change and reform went forth.

Now a year later, it seems as though many of those cries have quieted, and attention moves on to other social justice issues of note.

While it’s never a bad thing to focus on various issues affecting us as a society, it’s vital that these actions don’t just become another moment in time but rather a movement that continues for years to come.

At Fernie, we work primarily with racialized young people, giving us a unique perspective on what these communities face. While there is no one quick-fix answer to the problems that still exist amongst these communities, everyday things can be done to continue the conversation and further the changes we long to see in our society and our city.


We all need to remain aware of the issues facing racialized communities and the organizations that exist to support them.  Even when we no longer hear about George Floyd, Trayvon Martin or Toronto’s Reece Maxwell-Crawford every day, it’s our responsibility to search for information on the problem and the initiatives in place to address it. We can’t encourage change when we are unaware of the issues that exist. We can’t be a part of the solution if we don’t know the problem.

Support frontline work

Further to being aware of the organizations making change, it is equally important to support them both financially and through word of mouth.  Many organizations do tremendous hands-on work in racialized communities, but they don’t receive the funding or notoriety they deserve.  These groups are impacting people of colour every day, and with the public demand to do better that we saw in 2020, their impacts – our impacts – can grow exponentially.

Personal action

It’s a big step to contribute your time and money to organizations fighting for change. It shows your commitment to a better future, but we, as individuals, are all part of that future. Looking inward to make small personal changes is sometimes the most challenging part of committing to societal change. We like to ask the question, “what can I do in my every day to be a part of the solution?”  Often, this may look like advocating for racialized communities, supporting black-owned businesses, pushing for change in the job market to see hiring policies that create opportunities for those from diverse backgrounds, and speaking up when you see injustice.

The power of conversation and using your voice to address these issues can not be overstated. Individuals and small groups speaking up against injustice proved effective when fighting racism at the beginning of 2020. Since then, discussions have become less frequent, and actions even less. These types of personal commitments change the way many perceive these issues and encourage others to become a part of the solution.

Fernie believes in a future where our youth have grown into their potential. We hope that your demand for equality, fairness, and diversity continues to thrive so that no one is put in a box or worse based on their appearance. If we can see change on each level from personal commitment to active support, this will ripple into new opportunities for entire communities. It’s all possible, but it’s up to all of us to make it happen.
Written by Renaldo Wall
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