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Toronto restaurants are doing their part to raise money for non-profit organizations supporting Black communities across Canada. This week, several restaurants across the city have pledged to donate a portion of sales to organizations like Black Health Alliance and Black Lives Matter.
Chubby's Jamaican Kitchen and Gusto 54 Restaurant Group are standing in solidarity against systemic racism, white supremacy and the institutionalized oppression of the Black community by donating $1 from all takeout orders for the month of June to three non-profit organizations that primarily support Black communities across Canada.
Donations will be sent to the Black Legal Action Centre, a non-profit community legal clinic based in Toronto, that provides pro bono legal services for low or no income Black residents of Ontario; Black Health Alliance, a community-led registered charity which works to improve the health and well-being of Black communities across Canada; and Urban Alliance, a non-profit charitable organization which addresses racism within the public and private sectors by proactively working with the community and providing educational programs and research.
Chubby's and the Gusto 54 Restaurant Group are leading by example, reminding us all that merely posting a black square on our Instagram feed or advocating only when it is comfortable or convenient is not enough in the fight against racial injustice. Rather, it is a continuous process that requires us to work hard, do our research, listen, learn, reflect and most importantly, act on it.
"It is not okay to benefit from Black culture and stay silent during this time," says Janet Zuccarini, CEO of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group in a release.
Several Toronto eateries and breweries have also followed suit and contributed to the cause through donations. Among them include Extra Burger, who donated their profits from all sales this past Wednesday to Black Lives Matter, while Primrose Bagel Company donated the entirety of their June 1 sales to Black Lives Matter and Campaign Zero, a comprehensive platform providing reliable, research-based policies and proactive solutions to end police brutality.
Maker Pizza is donating 10% of all sales to Black Lives Matter from June 1 to June 7.
Cherry Street Bar-B-Que is hosting a patio pop-up this Saturday, June 5 and 100% of proceeds will be going to Black Health Alliance.
Despite being among the hardest hit industries during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these Toronto establishments have proved to us that even in the face of adversity, we become stronger and more resilient when we stand together and support one another.
Whether it be through protests, petitions, donations or supporting Black-owned businesses, there is no one way to be an ally. We must continue to keep the conversation going, but in doing so, being wary not to drown out or silence the voices of the oppressed. Rather, we should collectively use our privilege to amplify the voices and the lived realities of the marginalized Black community. The example set by these Toronto establishments serve as as reminder that institutional reform begins at the local level, be it within our homes and our communities.