With the recognition that we reside on traditional, unceded Mi’kmaq territory and that we are people of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1776, we work to decolonize.
BIPOC USHR stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour United for Strength, Home, Relationship.
We are a support and advocacy group for BIPOC communities on PEI. Started as a small group on the University of Prince Edward Island campus in March of 2019 our aim is to serve BIPOC communities on PEI in ways that will enable them to thrive, not just survive.
As BIPOC USHR we work to support and advocate for Black and People of Colour communities on PEI. We recognize that the Mi’kmaq nation has established support and advocacy systems which we honour and so we aim to work in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq upon whose land we reside.
On March 15th, 2019 a small group of us met. The gathering was initiated by Sobia Ali-Faisal and Dawne Knockwood, hoping to create a solidarity group among BIPOC folks on the UPEI campus. It was a fateful day as it was the same day as the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand. As the deadly and tragic aftermath of white supremacist hate blasted all over the news, we met to build strength, community, and safety.
From that small group, we became BIPOC USHR. In subsequent meetings Yolanda Hood suggested having an umbrella as our logo, to demonstrate our vision of encompassing everyone, and Omeasoo Wahpāsiw developed our name - United for Strength, Home, Relationship. Eventually, our membership increased to include people from all over PEI and we became a province-wide community organization.
We quietly worked away at developing our identity, but it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic, in the early spring of 2020, that we really hit our stride. At that time we realized that many international students were being left out of government support and so we decided to hold a fundraiser to help those who were falling through the cracks. We were able to raise $7500 and help 55 international students survive.
Then in the summer of 2020 when the only person in Canada to be sent to jail for COVID-19 related public health violations was on PEI and was a Black man who was an international student we jumped into action to ensure his rights were not violated, with success.
And we’ve been working non-stop since then.
As BIPOC USHR we work to support and advocate for Black and People of Colour communities on PEI and work in solidarity with the Mi'kmaq
To provide a network, community, forum, and collective voice of solidarity for the BIPOC community on PEI, by engaging in educational, advocacy, and supportive practices. To bring together BIPOC communities on PEI in such a way as to help them thrive.
By creating various programs we will create braver
spaces in which BIPOC communities will be
engaged, supported, and heard.
Our work is based on the values of anti-racism and decolonization as we work toward social justice for BIPOC communities on PEI. We center care, compassion, collaboration, and community. We reject racism/white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, Islamophobia, colonialism,
homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, classism,
ableism, casteism, and all forms of oppression.
Our team is made up of BIPOC folx of many backgrounds, from various walks of life, and with a wide range of experiences. We volunteer our time to the cause because we all want to see our communities thrive.