Film: The School to Prison Pipeline in Ontario (Black Legal Action Centre, 2022)

Real Talk, Real Walk™ Monthly Livestream: July 20, 2023 @ 12pm

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It’s July, and we are shifting our focus to the school-to-prison-pipeline in Canada…

… because that pipeline exists in Canada too, despite our desire to believe that it only happens in the U.S.

In 2023, the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) released a documentary documenting what the school-to-prison-pipeline looks like in Ontario, challenging viewers to recognize that streaming young students (typically Black and Indigenous) continues to be correlated to the over-representation of Black and Indigenous people in our prisons and jails.

Yes. Black and Indigenous people are over-represented in the Canadian criminal justice system. And yes, they are streamed out of academic courses, away from their dreams, and towards stereotypical professions even today.

Before we dive in, it is important to note that we are watching this documentary at a time when the Ontario government is de-streaming some Math and English classes. I’ll be sure to take that up in greater details when we unpack the social context, but let’s just get very real, very fast: what the government is doing to end streaming will not address racism. The experiences of streaming Black, and other non-white children are speaking about has very little to do with curriculum changes. Rather, streaming for our children is about denying Black, Indigenous, and other non-white youth access to the pathway that leads to their dreams.

One more idea before we dive in:

In August, we are going to watch Ava Duvernay’s 13th (2016), which explores the intersections of race, poverty and mass incarceration in the U.S. Please try to keep the ideas we explore in July in the back of your minds August. Because the tentacles of racism are far reaching.

Got it?


And, we’re off…

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