Change Starts Now initiative promoting education and inclusivity

The Guelph Black Heritage Society is hoping they can help unlock and open more doors with the Change Starts Now education initiative.

“GBHS is launching a list of different things. Our top hundred resources, inclusive of books, movies, educational tools,” said Kayla "Kween" Gerber, Executive Director and Community Engagement Coordinator with the Guelph Black Heritage Society.

It also includes online heritage and cultural events to help people access information in a safe way.

After the momentum of the Black Lives Matter marches, Gerber said it was important to keep working towards making Guelph a more inclusive community.

“It’s the unlearning process of colonel structure, and white power and what supremacy that we really have to start engaging on unlearning so we can begin to make space for BIPOC stories to be experienced and understood," said Gerber

Pulling together, a group of local artists from the area created a digital album to raise money for change starts now. With recent funding from the Guelph community foundation, it means meaningful steps toward establishing the Flora Francis library, dedicated to the memory of the late Guelph librarian.

“The idea of the music compilation, part of the motivation was to try and capture some donations for GBHS from people who maybe wouldn’t of thought to donate otherwise or maybe wouldn't have seen the campaign promotion coming from them,” said Curtis Walker, a musician involved in the album.

“No matter how good we think things are, there's a lot of work to be done and that racism still exists. This is where change starts and this is how things start to move forward and its amazing work that's happening here, said Chris Willard the Executive Director of The Guelph Community Foundation.

Heading into 2021, Gerber says the Guelph Black Heritage Society hopes to continue growing its resources making them available to everyone in Guelph, around Ontario and across the country.