Safer Communities Project
Helping to Create a Hate Free Community!
On November 16, 2021, the International Day for Tolerance, Grace Place launched the Safer Communities Project—an initiative made possible through the Safer & Vital Communities Provincial Grant: Preventing Hate Motivated Crime Through Community Collaboration.
Leading up to the official project launch, a few pilot sessions were conducted to inform future plans and implementation. Grace Place is developing and delivering a series of awareness sessions in preventing discrimination and hate in all forms. These sessions will be held throughout 2022.
Stay tuned to our upcoming session details, below.
Know that your involvement and participation in this project can help bring us one step closer in creating a hate-free community!
Grace Place works in collaboration with individuals, community partners and agencies. The idea of contributing to help make a safer and vital community is at the heart of all our efforts. We are passionate about building awareness, creating understanding, bridging gaps within communities, fostering virtues of tolerance, acceptance, and compassion, and preventing discrimination and hate in all forms.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
The project is made possible by a Safer & Vital Communities grant.
2022 UPCOMING SESSIONS...
WEBINAR: RACISM IN CANADA
Thursday, May 26 at 4:30 p.m.
In this session, participants will learn about the history of racism writ large in Canada and specifically the history of anti-black racism.
How does racism work in the Canadian context and how does it specifically play out in our communities?
What does anti-black racism cost us as a community?
This session will be an active, participatory, and engaging presentation.
(Recommended for ages 13+)
About Sam Tecle
Sam Tecle’s research and scholarly work spans across the areas of Black and Diaspora Studies, Urban Studies, and Sociology of Education. His work focuses on the analysis of diverse experiences, trajectories and expressions of Blackness, grounded in particular histories of racialization, colonialism, community formation and resistance. His forthcoming work Black Grammars: On Difference and Belonging explores the experiences and perspectives relating to blackness and Black identification of East African Diasporas across the UK, Canada and the US. More broadly, Sam is interested in questions of Black Sociality, Black cultural production and its expressions across the diaspora.
His research and teaching draws on his deep experience in community-engaged work, focused largely on Blackness and educational settings in Toronto. This community-engaged work has been conducted in partnership with organizations to create new supports and opportunities for Black students at the secondary level and in the transition to post-secondary education, in the face of a variety of systemic barriers they encounter. He has particularly prioritized work with Success Beyond Limits, a program serving students in the Jane and Finch community.
Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. (Online)
Combating Online Hate: What to Know. What to Do.
By Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
(For audiences 18+ only; especially for parents & caregivers)
This program examines the issues of digital citizenship in an age of online hate. Participants will be sensitized to the state of online hate through the Wiesenthal Center's searchable database and discuss some of the challenges young people face on popular digital platforms. Participants will also learn about some of the common symbols and codes used by extremists online, and look at the ways in which anti-Asian, anti-Black and anti-Semitic content has been spread online recently. Participants will receive resources including the Museum of Tolerance’s Combat Hate “Action Card” as a tool for schools and families to empower all media users to speak up and be part of the solution.
Presenter: Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson is the Associate Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Research Department. She came to the USA 8 years ago from the UK after receiving her bachelor's and master's degrees in History, with a focus on Holocaust denial. Her research focuses on the Digital Terrorism and Hate project, exploring how extremists utilize the internet and social media to spread hateful and harmful content and ideologies. She is the program director for Combat Hate, an interactive student workshop designed to introduce media literacy skills and provide tools for young people to deal with hate online.
Friday, June 24 or Aug 12th at 2:00 p.m. (Online)
Finding Calm In The Shadow Of Hate
by Kimberley Cato (www.trueroots.org)
I was an 8-year old child when I first encountered the intensity of a hate motivated incident perpetrated on me because of the colour of my skin. It was the first time that I experienced crippling, communal fear as a palpable presence that shattered my presumption of safety when entering a new space forever. It marked my developing mind’s need to assess all surroundings, and the people in it, with a heightened awareness of the possibility of harm.
This 8-year old experience initiated my quest to find calm in the shadow of hate.
Living in the face of systems, institutions, and organizations designed to oppress you can make life challenging, at the best of times. Particularly when you know that deep within you lies seeds of true excellence and it is your specified intention to thrive & prosper, how do you navigate through the structural racism and systems of oppression to manifest the fullness of who you really are?
Presenter: Kimberly Cato
Kimberly Cato is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of True Roots Counselling Services. Ms. Cato brings with her over 30 years of experience, working from trauma informed and asset-based practices. Ms. Cato is a registered psychotherapist and is grounded in methodologies of anti-racism and anti-oppression. Her analysis also centers intersectionality, as she is a Black woman who navigates the world from a wheelchair.
Kimberly is a sought-after conference presenter, corporate consultant, motivational speaker, and award-winning workshop facilitator. Her practice is culturally grounded, drawing on frameworks that support and move clients towards empowerment and self-determination. Kimberly utilizes a range of therapeutic practices such as Afrocentric and non-traditional ways of transformative change, that are fostered through music and arts. Kimberly is exceptionally skilled and certified in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Family Group Conferencing (FGC), Motivational Interviewing and various narrative therapies.
In 2020, during the wake of George Floyd's public murder and the resulting global unrest, Kimberly launched Check-In and Chat, a weekly support group for racialized women. She also started a parallel group for racialized men, which is a monthly peer decompression space. As a certified facilitator for emotional emancipation circles (EEC), she guides and leads Black community members to rediscover their African ancestral roots.
Ms. Cato’s commitment to healing and mental wellness is long-standing. These experiences motivated her to intentionally engage in dismantling racism by decolonizing therapy and seeking culturally adapted therapeutic practices that build multi-racial communities with anti-racist capacity and a determination to facilitate more racial trauma healing forums.
Kimberly is delighted to be part of Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists’ Board, Executive Committee, and the Interim Chair of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, assisting with the process of embedding EDI principles into every aspect of the organization, and thereby creating a space that is welcoming, inclusive, and safe for the differing identities of People served in the province.
Tuesday, July 5 at 2:00 p.m. (Online)
Roots of Hate and Intolerance by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Details to follow.
Monday, Aug 15th, 11:00 a.m. onwards (In-Person; Bus on site)
Tour for Humanity by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Details to follow.
Tuesday, September 13 at 2:00 p.m. (Online)
Lessons & Legacies of the Holocaust by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Details to follow.