Safe Spaces vs POC

Safe Spaces vs POC

Safe Spaces for Young adults of colour

Youth and young adults of colour need to have safe spaces to engage in discussion, interpret and express themselves transparently. These spaces allow them the opportunity to dismantle projections that the media and society has put on them, as well as, form authentic self-concepts. It is a difficult battle as there are socially constructed images and stereotypes of POC ingrained in the institutions that uphold the North America society.


Underlying Issues and Experiences

On a daily basis, people of colour (POC) experience social injustices through racism. According to the critical race theory, race and racism is a social construct used to create inequality in society. There are a vast number of issues that stem from this social injustice, especially through institutions. Many POC experience poverty, homelessness, violence and oppression because of the extreme inequality because of the institutional and societal racism. It is difficult for POC to express how they feel about their daily struggles and overcoming the blatant racism that they experience. Racism is not just a daily problem people face, but it actually causes a change in the midst of individuals which impacts how the move through society and life.

Another important thing to note, is that cultural, Most POC from the Caribbean don’t believe in discussing mental health and other serious matters. To them, depression, anxiety, PTSD and others don’t exist and should not be spoken of in the public or private eye. With the vast amount of knowledge on mental health on the Internet, young POC are becoming more aware of the importance of speaking up about it and dismantling generational traumas. Currently, there is a high importance for POC to engage in transparent discussion about their experiences to shed light on the social injustices and prevalence of mental health illnesses. More awareness on these topics provides a platform for individuals to educate and seek healing to better themselves and overcome the pressures of society.  




Social Inequality

Race and racism are social constructed and are used to keep POC from excelling in North American society. The institutions where designed for non-POC to always do well and accumulate an elite status. This form of inequality is a social injustice for all. It provides certain individuals with privilege over others and POC tend to feel stuck, like they will never succeed. While these perceptions and mindsets maintain an inequality between people in society, there are groups trying to push through the barriers.

As these are social constructed they can also be dismantled, but it takes work at an institutional level to truly make change. No matter how many advances POC make on balancing the inequality, institutional racisms is one of the main root problems. It takes non-POC allies to deconstruct the mindset and institutions that are prevalent in our society.


R.I.S.E Edutainment

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Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (RISE) is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe-space for POC in Scarborough to rewrite socially constructed stories about themselves. They are given the opportunity to artistically and authentically share their experiences during the weekly open mic at Burrows Hall in Malvern.

Many people that attend experience healing through performing, and also from observing artists. People discuss racial injustices, stereotyping, and breaking down the socially constructed image of POC. The community is loving and accepting of all artistic levels, which promotes discussion and engagement, about the topics mentioned before, from everyone in attendance.

These open mic session provides artist the opportunity to practice their craft and experience growth over time. Many of the artist end up recording projects outside of RISE, host their own events, and hold concerts to showcase their work! RISE is in the process of providing additional resources for the artists to be represented and booked for more gigs. This pillar of the organization will give individuals further sense of self and power of their craft. [Learn More]



 RISE is doing an incredible job at helping young adults rewrite the narrative around race and gender. By providing a platform for them to feel comfortable sharing stories of racial injustice and personal experiences, they are taking back the power in these situations. POC need to continuously be given platforms to share their sides of the story in order to get a clearer picture of what’s happening in society. Non-POC need to be true allies and stand in solidarity with individuals that do speak up about social injustices surrounding race and gender. I suggest RISE continue to do exactly what they are doing, and be prepared for lots of growth over the next couple months. I recommend anyone attend if they want to become more aware of issues that POC are facing in society and to experience a warm, welcoming and loving environment. It’s only $5! The 416R7SE event is going to bring lots of traction and I’ll definitely be around to help if they need it!



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