July 20, 2016 | Black Space Winnipeg

#NotAnotherHashtag – Black Lives Matter took place at the Manitoba Legislative Building on July 20, 2016. This was the first public demonstration that expressed support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement in Winnipeg. The events leading up to the first #BlackLivesMatter vigil, came out of the urgency to build solidarity and create safe space for dialogue around issues facing Winnipeg’s Black community.  Community members gathered to share words of hope and direction. Many people from the community offered impassioned perspectives on racism and its affects in our city.

"People don't realize or they think because it's Canada, it's Winnipeg.... It's not just a U.S. thing or a Canada thing, it's very real in Winnipeg as well." – Shondell Babb (CBC, 2016)

The vigil followed after the events that took place in the US. The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile ignited the action to respond for Black Space founder and head organizer Alexa Potashnik:

"If anything, we deal with it here in a different way. Our racism is not treated so much directly with a gun; you're greeted with a smile. It's more polite, it's indirect." – Alexa Potashnik (CBC, 2016)

#NotAnotherHashtag – Black Lives Matter was the first initiative Black Space took action in moving towards a more inclusive Winnipeg for the Black community. Black Space holds a chapter in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, as we continue to occupy space and challenge racism in Winnipeg.  Racism is an issue that affects us all and we could not have done this without the support and assistance of our allies and prominent community members. 

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News Coverage:

Geary, A. (2016, July 20). Hundreds attend Black Lives Matter vigil at legislature. Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/hundreds-attend-black-lives-matter-vigil-at-legislature-387713771.html

Kavanagh, S. (2016, July 20). Black Lives Matter rally draws crowd at Manitoba Legislature. CBC Manitoba. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/black-space-black-lives-matter-vigil-winnipeg-1.3688315

Pursaga, J. (2016, July 14). Black Lives Matter vigil at Legislature next week. Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://www.winnipegsun.com/2016/07/14/black-lives-matter-vigil-at-legislature-next-week

Sale, L. (2016, July 14). Winnipeg group Black Space to hold Black Lives Matter vigil at legislature. CBC Manitoba. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/black-lives-matter-winnipeg-manitoba-1.3679533



Alexa Potashnik