Elevating voices
Connexions Office of the Registrar

Elevating voices

As part of the College’s commitment to anti-racism, we recognize the importance of elevating diverse voices of leadership within the profession, and the benefits of discussion and sharing of experiences, perspectives and reflections. This space is dedicated to RECEs who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour. If you’re interested in contributing to this conversation, please email us at

My Racism Story

 It’s losing the innocence of being my young self, just me
 To a world that screamed loudly that there’s a difference in me
 Where a society said that my beautiful black face
 Was not good enough for many a place
 Where prejudiced educators give others your due
 Yes even in the learning place and space the struggle begins in you
 It’s visiting a sacred space and sitting in a pew, just my offspring and me
 Our small hope is that this one maybe different, let’s just see
 Just there to worship our creator God with others
 Lifting our voices together as sisters and brothers
 But no one ever comes over, says hello, smile and just be kind
 Yes even in sacred spaces swell the prejudiced mind
 It’s being asked the question, “So are you just passing through?”
 I sense the hope that my time here in this sacred space should be few
 My DNA knows the recognition, it knows the question code
 Not welcomed! Not needed! Not here in this sacred abode
 Just a tepid greeting, no warmth, no smile to appear to be kind
 Yes even in sacred spaces can dwell the prejudiced mind
 It’s the anger when listening to our very young teenage son
 Tell of walking from school with friends, hues of black and brown
 They were ‘carded’ for nothing, someone else had committed a crime
 But they had the audacity of ‘walking while black’ just at that time
 They dared walk in a space not sacred but a place all the same
 Yes the law can be a beast to us and is definitely not tame
 It’s visiting a town in Ontario to watch a parade, on Canada Day
 Not imagining that our presence is not welcomed, and judgment come into play
 Flags are given to all, in front of us, in back and even by our side
 But to us none is offered, guess the thinking was black folk can’t have Canadian pride
 We stand in silence too stunned to speak, recognizing that Ignorance still thrives
 In this small town, yes here too reside those who refuse to acknowledge our lives
 It’s a story of listening to friends say they are colourblind
 But this expression is hurtful and is definitely not kind
 It means you don’t see me, eyes closed to all that I bring
 Your words have no comfort and are not healing songs you sing
 My talents, my joys, my history and differences
 Your saying it denies all my lived and varied experiences –
 That can enrich all the spaces and places and free the prejudiced minds
 These are a few of the experiences that are a part of my story
 As I Journey, I am assured that I am created as part of Gods glory
 Each dawn will see me celebrate the accomplishments of my kinfolk
 Even ‘living while black’ with racism evil and burdensome yoke
 Bodies aching with centuries of pain, the horror in stories we often retold
 But few arms of comfort around our weary being did enfold
 I will speak truth to power in all the spaces and places where there is a prejudiced mind
 Even as I tell my story, where silence is violence, under the guise of being kind
 When opportunities are bequeathed, though no labour is done
 The reason is simple, it’s privilege based on the required skin tone
 But, given nothing, we have made something by surviving, though weary
 The mountains we climb daily, bloodied feet, anxious minds and eyes bleary
 It’s the trauma that occurs over and over with the knees on the neck
 On our bodies, in our souls, no relief as daily aggressions go largely unchecked
 Words are used as weapons, when authorities are summoned
 The spaces and places we occupy, always watched, actions always questioned
 As others play God, no dawn we awake to, can we exist and be totally free
 The sunset gives some solace as in our abodes we may exhale and just be
 I will not accept it
 Get comfortable in it
 In the places and spaces
 Where we show our faces
 And where reside prejudiced minds
 May my words find an open ear
 That listen and care
 That no one is free
 In any space where my humanity
 And face
 In a place
 And space
 That denies my right to just be
 God’s image bearer
 That’s My Racism story
 C. Elias RECE