As I write this Black History Month is coming to a close and I am reflecting on the magnificent contributions that Black people and culture have made to my life. I think about growing up as a young female basketball player and looking up to athletes like Daedra Charles, Nikki Caldwell, and Dena Head on those championship-winning, University of Tennessee Women’s basketball teams. I think about the tenacity, intellect, and skill that they epitomized and how I dreamed of being like them.
I’m also reminiscent about 90’s hip hop, after that epic throwback SuperBowl halftime show. I think about how Snoop, Dr.Dre, and Mary J Blige were very much the soundtrack to that part of my life. I think back to late nights in Las Vegas dancing to “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and then coaching in the morning with my friend, the late UNLV Running Rebel, Spoon James. In walking down memory lane, I see now how even with Black heroes, music, and culture all around me, that my life was still very racially segregated. I am fortunate that my experiences in sport gifted me with great Black friends, like my lifelong friend, Jey-son Edwards, the owner of Shooters Paradise and founder of the non-profit Four Point Basketball. I’m also aware that I often played in largely white camps, tournaments and teams because of the economic opportunities afforded to me, in part, because of my whiteness. I’m not saying that all white people are economically advantaged but as I get older, I see how disparate educational experiences, employment discrimination and institutional destabilizing of Black economies continues to create disproportionate opportunities for Black Canadians. It’s my hope that with Revolution Now that we can contribute to the work being done by so many to bring about true integration and equitable opportunities.
I’m excited about the work we have done together so far and am happy to announce that because of your generosity, that we will be able to donate a $1000 academic scholarship to the Alliance of Educators for Black Students. I’m also excited to announce that we will be hosting our first ever Revolution Now Event on Saturday, April 23rd – stay tuned for details on location and how to purchase! Attendees will receive a free Revolution Now t-shirt, free appetizers, and a night of great music by MT Walker and Stefan Carriman. There will also be a cash bar and greetings from Revolution Now supporters such as Olympian Mark Tewksbury.
Additionally, we will have amazing Indigenous art, including the original art that is featured in our Keith Gattie collection, available for auction where 100% of the proceeds go to support Gwekwaadziwin Miikan Youth Mental Health & Addiction Program. Lastly, we are excited to share that $10.00 from every ticket sold will go to fund after-school programs for youth in Toronto Community Housing via the non-profit Urban Promise Toronto. We are all SO excited to feel the energy of the Revolution Now community, to enjoy our time together, and to continue actioning the values of Revolution Now in a new way!
Finally, I am thrilled to share that we have been granted a virtual audition with CBC’s Dragons Den. It seems surreal to believe that this heartfelt, community-driven Revolution might actually garner National attention and that all that we feel and believe in might actually spread faster
than our most audacious dreams. Our team is pumped for what this could mean in terms of generating funding that will open doors for so many 2SLGBTQ+, Black, and Indigenous youth. We are dreaming big dreams and continuing to do the daily work to make this Revolution happen NOW!!! Our team is grateful for each and every one of your support. We hope you will join us in celebrating where we are now and that you will stay a part of this Revolution; party with us, share the word about us, and take that spirit with you to push for change in every sphere that you can. At Revolution Now, we always say “we change what we must”. I urge you to remember that we can and will change the world!
With SO Much Gratitude,