This is a conversation with leaders of thought in Edmonton at a time when having racialised conversations is becoming the norm since the tragic chokehold death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. Who knew that Black Lives Matter would ever trend? Who foresaw a time when it was okay to talk about institutionalised racism, discrimination of black, indigenous and people of colour?
The conversation started with Jeanne Lehman, the Founder and Executive Director of Black Canadian Women in Action, a hub for all black women in Canada. Haiqa Cheema is a political organizer in Edmonton and is currently a Masters of Public Policy Candidate at the University of Calgary. Haiqa was a political staffer for two years and now volunteers with Muslim Association of Canada here in Edmonton, focusing her efforts on community engagement. She is passionate about racial justice and gender parity. She is currently spearheading a program to train 20 women to run for city council in Calgary. In 2018, Haiqa was named Alberta’s Top 30 Under 30.
Finally, Bashir Mohammed is an activist and an author that focuses on the history of discrimination in Alberta and how it relates to modern legacies and problems. His work has appeared in CBC, Star Edmonton, the Canadian Encyclopedia and the Globe and Mail. He has also been featured in the Guardian.