GUELPH – The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) is challenging people who live in Guelph and outside its borders, to contribute to its #ChangeStartsNow campaign.
If every person in Guelph contributes $1, the group will reach its $135,000 goal by Dec. 1.
The money will be used to purchase materials to outfit its resource centre and to support its education fund. It will also be used to develop and run educational programs.
“#ChangeStartsNow will provide educational programming on Black history and culture as well as relevant resources on diversity, discrimination and anti-racism,” states a press release by the organization.
“At this historical crossroads, people are eager to learn, and we are up to the challenge – with help from the Guelph and Wellington community.”
The society lists the following as its educational priorities:
– “GBHS Top 100 Educational Resources” – a list of GBHS-recommended resources (books, movies, videos, etc.) for those seeking factual, curated information on Black history and issues;
– online educational and cultural events;
– development of a booklet on local Guelph/Wellington Black history;
– educational and cultural programming at Heritage Hall;
– establishment of the Library of Black Literature at Heritage Hall. Dedicated to the memory of founding board member Flora Francis, this space will contain resource materials and works of Black authors and books significant to the Black community; and
– directory of Black owned and operated businesses in Guelph/Wellington and Waterloo Region.
“Together, we will build the resources to empower our community to connect to our Black history, present and future. Connect. Learn. Grow. #ChangeStartsNow,” organizers said.
The GBHS helped plan a peaceful march and protest in Guelph on June 6 that attracted over 8,000 people and was a starting place for the work that needs to occur to change policy and create opportunities for Black voices to be heard, officials say. The educational campaign is the next step in advancing real change.
The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) is a registered charity. Tax receipts will be issued for donations $25 or greater.