March 1, 2021

Photo Essay | Using our privilege to show up and listen

By: Nicole Botelho Simao

I captured these photos to showcase the peaceful and powerful protests, rallies and marches I attended in the later half of 2020. 

The protests and rallies I went to included A Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, as well as a rally and march to support the Indigenous Land Defenders. 

My family is not from Canada, but I understand that I am white representing. That alone gives me privilege. Because of this, I found it my duty to attend these gatherings of solidarity and to listen to what racialized communities had to say. I encourage those who have similar privileges as me to do the same. 

I also want to emphasize that attending a protest is only one way to show solidarity. Our actions should not stop there. We have to continue embodying solidarity in every aspect of our lives.

This means emailing your MPs to push more equitable policies. This means signing petitions on local, national, or international causes. This means standing up for people. This means listening to what communities who have been affected by racism have to say. 

All in all, showing up to a protest is one step. But we need to continue to do more.

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