Shades of Colour (SOC) is a community space that exists to celebrate and advocate for queer and trans black folks, Indigenous folks, and people of colour (QTIBPOC).
As organizers and people who work in the mental health field, we recognize a gap in support services for QTIBPOC individuals. QTIBPOC are often navigating racialization, trauma, and queerphobia on a regular basis. There are high rates of isolation amongst this population, and belonging to multiple minority groups can result in intersectional invisibility. This can include pressure to choose a 'primary' identity group. Minority stress is defined by specific stressors related to identifying within minority groups. Research shows that racial minorities who also identify as LGBTQ+ face a higher prevalence of mental health issues, compared with their counterparts who identify with dominant groups. Prejudice, stigma, rejection, and isolation can be causes of minority stress for QTIBPOC folks which can result in suicidal ideation and mood or anxiety disorders.
Shades of Colour provides a safe and supportive space in Edmonton, Alberta for QTIBPOC folks to heal collectively. We recognize that people accessing our bi-monthly meet ups have unique stories and perspectives and we strive to provide ongoing support and foster resiliency by celebrating and holding space for these narratives. This is our community, and in essence, we created a space that we knew people needed. We have just begun our third year as a community space, and we have fought like hell to be here.
The money raised will be put towards food and accessibility needs including bus tickets, childcare, and ASL interpretation. SOC works to redistribute power, community, knowledge and skills, and we are taking steps to ensure everyone has equitable access to this space, regardless of their ability, class, or other barriers. We recognize that while QTIBPOC folks are highly stigmatized, this funding will help to build protective factors into our communities. Funds raised will also go towards honorariums for community members who support SOC through facilitation, website design, outreach, and/or organizing.
Shades of Colour prioritizes the voices of people who face multiple layers of marginalization and provides our communities with a collective sense of empowerment.