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Remind Me

An Evening with Desmond Cole

Tuesday Feb 18 2020 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium

Discussing and signing The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power (Doubleday Canada). Co-presented by Black Space Winnipeg and hosted by the organization's founder and president, Alexa Joy.

In May 2015, the cover story of Toronto Life magazine shook Canada’s largest city to its core. Desmond Cole’s “The Skin I’m In” exposed the racist practices of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times Cole had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, went on to win a number of National Magazine Awards and catapulted its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.

Both Cole’s activism and journalism find vibrant expression in his first book, The Skin We’re In. Puncturing once and for all the bubble of Canadian smugness and naïve assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year--2017--in the struggle against racism in this country. The year also witnessed the profound personal and professional ramifications of Desmond Cole’s unwavering determination to combat injustice. In a month-by-month chronicle, Cole locates the deep cultural, historical and political roots of each event so that what emerges is a personal, painful and comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality.

Desmond Cole is an award-winning journalist, radio host and activist in Toronto. His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Walrus, NOW Magazine, Ethnic Aisle, Torontoist, BuzzFeed and the Ottawa Citizen. He hosts a weekly radio program every Sunday on Newstalk 1010.

Host Alexa Joy is a researcher, activist and artist whose work attempts to dismantle structural white supremacy while encouraging demonstrations of Black, radical-advocacy. Her work as the founder and president of Black Space Winnipeg inspires her to push for authentic dialogue on challenging anti-Blackness in Canada and establishes critical inquiries on deconstructing how we think of race and racism. Recognized as CBC's Future 40 under 40 and recipient of the Sybil Shack Youth Award for Human Rights, among many other accomplishments, Alexa continues to disrupt institutional inequalities by searching for truth and justice for society's most vulnerable.

Since 2016, Black Space Winnipeg has delivered consistent programming, created safe spaces and challenged anti-Black racism and discrimination across Winnipeg. Through community events, education and advocacy, we are dedicated to securing justice and disrupting systemic inequalities towards Black communities across Winnipeg.

 

See:

The Skin We're In

- by Desmond Cole

Hardcover $29.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $26.96

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada's most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We're In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists.


In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.
 
Both Cole's activism and journalism find vibrant expression in his first book, The Skin We're In. Puncturing the bubble of Canadian smugness and naive assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year--2017--in the struggle against racism in this country. It was a year that saw calls for tighter borders when Black refugees braved frigid temperatures to cross into Manitoba from the States, Indigenous land and water protectors resisting the celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, police across the country rallying around an officer accused of murder, and more.
 
The year also witnessed the profound personal and professional ramifications of Desmond Cole's unwavering determination to combat injustice. In April, Cole disrupted a Toronto police board meeting by calling for the destruction of all data collected through carding. Following the protest, Cole, a columnist with the Toronto Star, was summoned to a meeting with the paper's opinions editor and informed that his activism violated company policy. Rather than limit his efforts defending Black lives, Cole chose to sever his relationship with the publication. Then in July, at another police board meeting, Cole challenged the board to respond to accusations of a police cover-up in the brutal beating of Dafonte Miller by an off-duty police officer and his brother. When Cole refused to leave the meeting until the question was publicly addressed, he was arrested. The image of Cole walking out of the meeting, handcuffed and flanked by officers, fortified the distrust between the city's Black community and its police force.
 
Month-by-month, Cole creates a comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial, and unsparingly honest, The Skin We're In is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.