Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives Matter TO and #BLMTOtentcity

On Sunday, March 20th, Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition organized a peaceful rally and protest at Nathan Phillips Square to speak out against ongoing incidences of anti-Black racism in the city. Specifically named incidents were the City of Toronto’s threat of shortening of AfroFest from two days to one and the recent SIU decision not to publicly name or charge the officers accountable for the death of Andrew Loku.

As an organization that uses critical dialogue, open and accessible resources and artistic tools of engagement to create alternative learning spaces for young people, Lost Lyrics is proud to stand in solidarity with the organizers of Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition and the protestors, supporters and allies at #BLMOtentcity.  Lost Lyrics is proud to support a movement committed to intersectional analysis and action and one that creates connections across communities. Thanks to the perseverance of organizers and their supporters, the peaceful protest is still going strong after more than 90 hours on the street despite the presence of harsh weather conditions and aggressive responses from police.

Black communities and particularly young people within those communities, face a disproportionate amount of institutional and physical violence. The threats protestors have faced, including but not limited to the aggressive acts made by police on March 21st, 2016 – the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – demonstrate this fact.

We urge Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor John Tory and Chief Mark Saunders to hear and affirmatively respond to the demands from Black Lives Matter TO for:

  • Transparency and the release of critical information concerning the shootings of Alex Wettlaufer, Andrew Loku and Jermaine Carby.  Public release of the identities of the officers responsible for these shootings not public?  The release of video footage from the building where Loku was killed.
  • A review of the Special Investigations Unit with adequate consultation from families victimized by police violence and affected communities. Through our laws police wield great powers, we must ensure they are also subject to these same laws.

In love and solidarity,



Returning to community resources

By Marisol Fornoni

I stumbled upon this interesting article from Vu Le, who runs a blog called Non Profit With Balls entitled “Why individual donations strategies often do not work for communities of colour”.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in fundraising or entering the fundraising profession to read this. Fundraising a lot of the times is based on connections. That’s something what smaller grassroots organizations and communities of color need to think of. There is a lot of privilege within the non-profit sector that determines where money gets allocated and who gets funding. It’s easier for white fundraising professionals to be connected to higher points in the hierarchy of power and money.

As the article says “We need to accept the premise that fundraising, the way we understand and practice it currently, is historically designed for white fundraisers to work with white donors.”  The assumption that immigrant or communities of color have access to the same relationships and resources is not true. This is why many grassroots groups from these communities are returning to more guerrilla style fundraising techniques. Next time we will share some of these techniques with you.

Stay tuned.



By Marisol Fornoni

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions out there when it comes to grants. It’s incredibly hard for first-timers to get their grant application approved. As competition increases for funding and funding continues being cut, it has become harder to obtain funding for organizations that are piloting new ideas or that have no ‘track record of success’ (as funders like to call it). Funders want to see previous experience and be certain that you have a solid capacity of carrying out a project according to their terms.

If you do not have experience carrying out any projects make sure you do! Run a trial and document everything; the good, the bad and the ugly. If you then decide to apply for funding use this documentation to answer these core questions every funder asks in detail:

  • Which community members and stakeholders will benefit the most from your project?
  • How will you involve participants during the planning and execution phases?
  • How will you measure or evaluate the impact of your project?
  • Do you have a work plan outlining all project steps, timeline, and resources?
  • What experience and/or qualifications does your organization have to carry out this project?
  • If activities continue beyond the term of the grant, how will they be sustained?


Prioritizing your time on social media

By Anelia Victor

Now that you are set with all the initial social media accounts, you are swamped with keeping up with everything. There are many tools out here that can help you organize. We are going to list two free tools we use here.

1) Hootsuite: Let’s start with one of the most popular social media management online system out here. Hootsuite allows you to post, schedule, monitor from all major accounts. To use Hootsuite, you can link your accounts and then add them onto your stream. Your stream is the various tabs for your social. You have the ability to choose which stream is best for you. The streams include schedule (post you have scheduled), mentions, your post and private messages. For a free account you can only link three social media accounts, if you want more you will have splash that cash.

2) Buffer: Buffer is Hootsuite cousin. Buffer allows you to link your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. With the free account you are allowed three linked accounts. With Buffer, you can schedule post, track your post performance and they offer pre-written post if you are stuck on content to post.

Use any other applications to schedule your post? Let us know, we would love to try them out!

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