At the behest of one of BCRC’s staunchest supporters, during the fall of 2012, BCRC participated in a pilot mentoring project for Police Technology students at John Abbott CEGEP. BCRC was asked to be Mentors/Cultural Advisors because the Police Program attracts youth province-wide. Many youth, as we found out, had never spoken to a Black person until their arrival in Montreal. The objective of this project was to interact with Montreal’s ethno-cultural, ethno-religious diversity. For a community dealing with frequent incidents of racial profiling, this was an exciting venture because it was built around the premise that police change on the streets tomorrow needs to begin with students enrolled in training colleges today.
BCRC was assigned four students. During our 4 hours of contact we fielded questions about racial profiling, and improving police relations with the Black communities. We shared some Black history, explored preconceptions and biases, and encouraged them to consider the harm of racial-profiling. As we completed our sessions, conversation revolved around our shared ethnic values, and we shared with them the expectations of our parents, of our elders and ourselves.