During Black History Month, Quint participated by observing, listening, and sharing with the intention to reflect on how as an organization we can amplify voices of the BIPOC community throughout the entire year, and not just in February.
To honour our commitment, we are starting by amplifying BIPOC voices of Quint staff who have personally chosen topics to share about with the greater community.
Dominic, a staff member with Quint’s Male Youth Lodge shares about why social justice is important to him as a person of colour. Dominic’s words provide a deeper understanding of the social injustices faced by the BIPOC community and it is something we take seriously as an organization as we work towards being the best ally that we can be.
Why is social justice so important to you?
“Social justice is very important to me as a person of color, a social worker and a frontline staff in human/social services. The reason being that as a person of color living in Canada, I found myself affected by the same structural injustices that affect the persons of color in general in Canada and in Saskatoon.
Social justice helped me to understand the history and prevalence of oppression, institutionalized injustice and systemic racism against the Indigenous and the colored persons. I belong to a group that is characterized as a visible minority, but my experience as a conscious black person is that oftentimes we are treated as people who are invisible to this society. This presents a lot of struggles to many black individuals and families, who do not know how to interact with this society that is our home. Evidence of this could be seen from the point of view of low community engagement and participation of black people in Saskatoon.
Another example could be the limited opportunities available to black people within the community-based organizations, business organizations and the public services. The consequences of this is that the black people in Saskatoon will continue to live as outcasts in their apartments and houses, and miss out on being active members of this society.
Saskatoon is blessed with many learned black professionals who serve as medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, engineers, computer and IT experts, social and human services workers, just to mention a few. Beyond their professional expertise and personal contributions, the black people in Saskatoon should be seen as bona-fide members of this community, and they should have a voice in the community.
We are at the bottom of the caste. We do not have strong voices of our own, nor allies speaking for us in decision making tables. This is where it is important that an organization like Quint would lend its strong voice to the struggles of black people in Saskatoon. And I want to commend the management of the Quint Development for giving me and other black staff members, the opportunity to represent our community at Quint. This speaks deeply to the reputation and integrity of Quint Development.
For its size, Quint Development especially the Youth Lodge and the Pleasant Hill Place have a strong presence of black staff when compared to bigger organizations in Saskatoon. And we appreciate the excellent supports that we receive from our managers and co-workers, which have been very amazing.”