Black Lives Matter Sudbury presents list of demands to city council
SUDBURY -- Members of the Black Lives Matter Sudbury chapter were invited to speak to city council Tuesday night by Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland.
The presentation was streamed live during the meeting from the Sudbury Theatre Centre.
The presenters used the opportunity to issue three demands to city council about education, the public sector and arts, media and culture.
- Provide $50,000 in annual funding to create and run appropriate culturally sensitive programming for Black, Indigenous, and youth of colour at local municipally run community centres with counsellors, social works, trained volunteers and reduce barriers to participation.
- Include representation of the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community in public spaces, Greater Sudbury Development Corporation and Sudbury Arts and Culture grants juries (operating and project), as well as an equity and inclusivity mandate in grant applications and an additional grant stream to provide financial assistance to aspiring emerging BIPOC artists.
- Redirect 10 per cent of the $62 million Greater Sudbury Police Service budget to community-led programs and services, allocating funds toward long-term housing for homeless communities, food security programs, public health services and community-led anti-violence programs. As part of this demand, the group wants the city to increase funding for services supporting victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence, as well as the creation of a 24-hour sexual violence hotline, independent from the GSPS, that is properly equipped to support marginalized and 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
"On one hand, I'm disappointed with the city and I'm not super optimistic about what they're doing, but I'm optimistic about Black Lives Matter Sudbury, I believe in our team and I believe in our demands," said Ra'anaa Brown, Black Lives Matter Sudbury co-president.
"We are not asking for anything out of the question ... You can't protest peacefully and get demands overnight by being quiet. And we are here and we're going to keep speaking out no matter how hard they try to snuff us out and put out our message. We are here and we're not going to go away."
A candlelight vigil was also held in honour of Black lives lost. More events are being planned for later this fall.
With files from Ian Campbell, CTV News Sudbury.