Members of the Niagara community and beyond are invited to celebrate the Black Lives Matter movement, Indigenous rights and Pride Month all in one online concert.
Beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, the Black and Indigenous Pride Concert will feature music, poetry, drag queens and more than $500 in game show prizes.
With all ‘pay what you can’ ticket sales going to Black Lives Matter Toronto and Abbey House, the event’s host, Intercultural Assistant and Sexual Violence Workshop Facilitator Jermaine Marshall, said performances would be used for more than just entertainment.
“All performers are Black or Indigenous, with the vast majority of our line-up also belonging to the 2SLGBTQ+ community,” he said. “With these performers, we hope to highlight voices that society often seeks to silence. Moreover, we want to engage people and encourage them to think about race, gender, sexuality and activism in ways they probably never considered before.”
“Words without action do nothing to help communities currently fighting against oppression,” said Marshall. “It’s important to do something, whether it’s supporting financially, attending a protest or just educating yourself so that you can deconstruct any internalized biases and identify and call them out in others.”
In addition to donations, viewers will also be invited to participate in virtual quizzes taking place throughout the evening, which aim to educate on historic and contemporary issues while also being fun and interactive.
While speaking of the significance of the event happening within Pride and Indigenous history month, Marshall said, “Black, Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ struggles have been and continue to be inextricably intertwined.”
“These movements each deal with a long history of resistance against discrimination and state oppression. People often don’t recognize the intersections of these movements and the layered identities and unique struggles of people who are not only queer but also people of colour.”
As Marshall prepares to both host and perform at the event, he hopes others will tune in and take the time to listen and learn.
“We all need to be getting involved and we can no longer sit and be complacent in the ways of the world,” he said. “It’s our duty to be more educated on the harm that is being done to others and what we can do to change things.”
To learn more about the Black and Indigenous Pride Concert, visit the Human Rights and Equity website.