Canada’s conversation over the last two weeks has been driven by news of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous police violence and racism, Black Lives Matter, and the need to centre Black voices. We have all been called on to stop and take a hard look at ourselves, our biases, our media, our wallets, and our systems in place.
Anti-racism is action, and our work on this issue needs to go deeper. We agree with and support the Canadian Association of Black Journalists and Canadian Journalists of Colour, who said in a joint message this past week, “The statements are good, but not enough.” We have accepted their invitation to proactively reach out. We are already following up on our team’s demographic data, collected from The Trust Project in 2018, with a larger self-reporting effort this fall on who makes up our staff, contributors, talkers, and board. We will be reviewing our human resources work, job postings, policies, and training. The Walrus will be creating new partnerships with Black-led organizations and incorporating all of this into our larger strategic planning and goal setting in the months ahead.
The nature of our work at The Walrus means that we don’t usually publish fast turnarounds in response to breaking daily news. It takes time to produce the kind of in-depth, fact-based journalism we usually publish (and fact-check), and we have to get it right. In response to recent events, we’ve commissioned a number of stories by Black journalists, many of them new contributors, that will be published over the coming weeks. Below, you will find some of our content to date—The Walrus Talks, an episode of our podcast The Conversation Piece, and top stories on our website over the last two weeks—by Black journalists and contributors.
This conversation is vital, and we thank the Black, Indigenous, and racialized journalists, leaders, and partners we work with and those across the country for their work on this, for years and at this very moment, in the middle of a global pandemic.
Thank you to everyone who has shared candid feedback with us. Let’s talk. Let’s keep talking. We will keep listening and growing, and we ask our community to join us. We are a mission-driven organization, and you have our commitment to this work.