Posted June 11, 2020

The events over the last week have shed much needed light on the fact that Canada is built on a belief in white supremacy and that systemic racism exists here too.

Vancouver Foundation launched LEVEL in 2018 as a way to support young Indigenous, Black and racialized immigrant and refugee young people. We are grateful to be building relationships with and learning alongside inspiring young people, allies, and charities across BC who are at the forefront of effecting important changes in our world.

But over the last week, we listened, learned, and reflected on how LEVEL can show up better for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities.

In the fight against systemic racism, we understand that what ultimately matters more than intent is impact. What this means is that launching this youth initiative doesn’t excuse Vancouver Foundation and LEVEL from being held accountable to the roles we’ve played in perpetuating racism and the acknowledgment that we need to do better.

To begin, this is how we commit to showing up for racialized communities in more meaningful ways:

  1. We commit to ongoing learning about systemic racism.
  2. We commit to investing in long-term systemic change through our discretionary grantmaking.
  3. We commit to investing in Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities through programs and grantmaking.
  4. We commit to advocating for changes to CRA policy that exclude many BIPOC organizations from receiving charitable dollars because they aren’t qualified donees.
  5. We commit to continuing ensuring our staff and board composition reflects the communities we serve.

Thank you to those who have challenged us to be allies and show up better in solidarity, to those who have taken on the burden of teaching us all how to do this work, and to those who are committed to continuing to learn with us. We promise to the communities we serve that we can and will do better.