black lives matter toronto

This is how Black Lives Matter is making a difference in Toronto during the pandemic

Pascale Diverlus is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto and together with her colleagues, they launched the COVID-19 Black Emergency Support Fundraiser through GoFundMe to help Black Canadians in the city as well as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The initiative began in mid-March, shortly after the city declared a state of emergency. The activist group realized many Black Canadians would become vulnerable to financial difficulties, as a result of the pandemic.

Initially, Diverlus says the group’s intention was to help about 120 people once the application launched on Facebook. Within a few hours, the application was closed due to the unexpected high volume.

“So many people filled it out and were requesting support,” said Diverlus. “So we increased the fundraising goal in order to meet [the needs] of all of those people who signed the form.”

Black Lives Matter Toronto hasn’t turned down a single applicant’s request for help. They’ve been answering all emails and direct messages.

So far, the group has managed to raise close to $60,000 due to generous donations they’ve received in the past month, including a sum of $5,000 from The Centre of Women and Trans people at the University of Toronto.

Besides fundraising money, co-member of the activist group Syrus Ware says they are working on also providing items of need for Black Canadians in the community.

“We’re working on trying to figure out ways to support people getting access to good food, continuing to stay in touch with our community to figure out what they need and how we can respond,” said Ware.

He says Black Lives Matter Toronto has also been greatly involved in supporting all calls for decarceration and prison abolition works in the city.

“We’re staying vigilant and trying to make sure that everybody emerges from this safe and with everything that they have,” said Ware.

Lead photo by

George Talusan


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