Black Lives Matter: Mosqoy's Steps Forward

Photo by Mike Graeme from a Black Lives Matter March on Lekwungen territories in Victoria 

For Spanish, click here. / For Quechua, click here.

Para español, haga clic aquí. / Para quechua, haga clic aquí.
español nisqapaq, kiypi ñup'uy / runasimipaqtaq kiypi ñup'uy

To our Mosqoy supporters:

We hope that you are reflecting on the pain of the world in a way that is both healing and transformative for you and your community.

At Mosqoy, our mission is to foster global sustainability and resilience by empowering local culture. We work with Indigenous communities who have been oppressed by hierarchical, colonial, and unfair systems that were not created by or for them. Through our programs and activism, we work to dismantle these systems. We strongly oppose oppression, racism, and discrimination of all kinds — both on paper and in practice, in the communities we work with and all over the world. 

We therefore stand wholeheartedly in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, as Black people in the U.S. face extreme racially motivated police brutality.

We have publicly stayed quiet over these past couple of weeks to listen and learn. We thank you for your patience in this silence. It was not due to a lack of care; it was instead to ensure that we may respond rather than react, listen rather than speak. And — more than anything — to ensure that whatever Mosqoy does going forth in solidarity with Black Lives Matter is not performative allyship or a tokenized symbol but instead a true part of long-term change. 

As part of our reflections, we have not only listened to the international BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) community, but to our own diverse Mosqoy team members. Many of our staff and volunteers from Cusco expressed their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, while also noting that an important conversation is not happening around racism in Peru. While many people across Peru claim to support Black Lives Matter, they simultaneously discriminate against Indigenous peoples in their own country. Racism and police brutality are happening here and now, every day in Peru and Latin America, against Indigenous peoples — and they go largely unacknowledged. The same could be said for Canada. 

Racism is a global issue. Racism is a systemic issue. And it needs every single person, in every single community, to care. To be anti-racist is to do the uncomfortable work of identifying racism (in the media we consume, in the organizations we support, in the jokes we tell, and importantly, within ourselves) and then, changing it. To be anti-racist is to critically analyze how cultural experiences may be different depending on the colour of one’s skin. This is not always blatant; it is in fact, in many ways, incredibly subtle.

Anti-oppression, anti-racism, and anti-discrimination have been at the forefront of Mosqoy's values and work for years. We pledge to be part of this conversation for the long haul, not just because it is a "trend" at the moment, but because it is the only way forward and is, in fact, the core of who we are as an organization. We pledge to continually learn and unlearn, to ask the hard questions, and to adapt. 

So, what does this look like for us, here at Mosqoy? We don't know yet, exactly. What we do know is that it will include our five-pronged Action Plan against Racism & Oppression, which includes many items that echo our long-held values of Mosqoy; goals and objectives from our current Three-Year Strategic Plan; and many new visions. As part of this Action Plan, we pledge to:

1. Amplify Voices: At Mosqoy, we tell stories. We value storytelling as a tool to break down "The Other" and to humanize statistics. We will invest more in this aspect of our work, to share stories of and by our BIPOC staff and volunteers, and the Indigenous students and weavers who participate in our programs and work with us, providing a platform for underrepresented voices. As a part of this, we will begin a new multilingual interview and blog series.

2. Dismantle Oppressive Systems: At Mosqoy, we aim to dismantle oppressive systems. Therefore, while still focusing on our community-based programs, we will begin to simultaneously focus outward — regionally, nationally, and internationally — to open up challenging dialogues about how to dismantle oppressive systems and the systemic barriers faced by the populations we work with and for. We have always included such dialogues in our informal and internal conversations, but have yet to include them formally. We will do so through a multi-pronged approach, including a) in our Mosqoy Youth Program student curriculum, b) in our Mosqoy Field School curriculum, c) in our Organizational Orientation, d) through our public social media posts, and e) through involvement with regional and federal government agencies, advocating for policy change.

3. Increase accessibility and multilingualism: At Mosqoy, we believe in empowering language. This means everyone has a right to speak and hear their language, and to not be discriminated against because of their mother tongue. We have set up many norms and structures within our programs to ensure accessibility for our monolingual Quechua-speaking partners; however, we can do better. We will strive to facilitate multiple access points (oral and written, various digital literacy levels, etc.) and to be multilingual (Quechua, Spanish, English) across all platforms and programs by the end of 2022. One of our key objectives in our Three-Year Strategic Plan, as part of this, is for our website to be quadrilingual — with all webpages in Quechua (both oral and written), Spanish, English, and French. We will also invest deeper in language empowerment and revitalization as part of our Mosqoy Youth Program student curriculum.

4. Diversify our leadership team: At Mosqoy, we celebrate diversity. A key objective in our Three-Year Strategic Plan is to increase Peruvian and Indigenous Quechua voices on our leadership team (including Staff, Board of Directors, and Volunteers). All of our full-time paid employees are Peruvian, from Cusco city or Quechua campesino communities. Many of our part-time employees, volunteers, and Board members are as well. However, we still have considerable improvement to do, particularly on our Board of Directors. Our first step towards a more diverse decision-making body is to formally merge our Peruvian and Canadian Boards (which will include significant structural and legal changes regarding languages, accessibility, availability, and digital literacy); we will complete this long-term goal by the end of this year. After doing so, we will recruit more team and Board members, with an emphasis on representative voices, and the accessibility and provision of a welcoming safe space for all team members.

5. Increase our anti-racism and anti-oppression training: At Mosqoy, we invest in our values. As part of this, we facilitate a robust orientation program that includes critical development studies, anti-oppression and anti-racism training, and inclusive language training. We will use this as a base to go deeper, further investing in our continual commitment to learning and unlearning. This next step will include a) deepening our Orientation units specific to anti-racism and anti-oppression; b) implementing an annual mandatory anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all staff, volunteers, and Board members; and c) investing in anti-colonial, culturally sensitive curriculum development for both our Mosqoy Youth Program students and our Mosqoy Field School participants. 

We encourage you to be part of this conversation with us. Here are a few of our favourite resources* on topics relating to anti-racism, white privilege, allyship, and decolonization, in both English and Spanish. We will also be sharing other links on our social media, throughout the coming weeks.

English-language Resources

Media Articles

  1. Black Lives Matter: Home | Black Lives Matter
  2. Decolonizing Together | by Harsha Walia | Briarpatch Magazine
  3. What Is Optical Allyship? 3 Ways To Be Actively Anti-Racist | by Mia Mercado | Bustle
  4. Speaking For, Speaking Beside: thoughts about consensual allyship | by Sarah Hunt | Becoming Collective
  5. The Role of White Co-Conspirators in Dismantling Systemic Racism | by Andrew Greenia | Embracing Equity
  6. Abelist, Homophobic, and Racist Words and Phrases We Need To Stop Using | by Katherine Rendon | Fembot Mag
  7. Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable | by Ngọc Loan Trần| BDG Blog
  8. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack | by Peggy McIntosh | Wellesley Centers for Women
Courses
  1. Justice in June | Autumn Gupta & Bryanna Wallace
  2. Racialized Trauma Course | Cultural Somatics Institute
Insightful Op-Eds & Talks on the issue

  1. The Danger of the Single Story | by Chimamanda Adichie | Ted Talks
  2. The Urgency of Intersectionality | by Kimberlé Crenshaw | Ted Talks
  3. Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence | by Resmaa Menakem | On Being with Krista Tippett  
  4. Ending Curriculum Violence | by Stephanie P. Jones | Teaching Tolerance 

Recursos en castellano
Documentales y Videos
  1. Borrando lo indígena en uno mismo | por Marco Avilés | UPenn
  2. Me gritaron negra | por Victoria Santa Cruz | Music MGP
  3. El racismo que México no quiere ver | El País México | Facebook
  4. El racismo no da risa | Peru Office
Artículos y Blogs
  1. ¿Cómo ser antirracista? Filósofa brasileña crea “manual” práctico | Gestión
  2. El racismo en Perú: claves para entender la discriminación en un país fundamentalmente mestizo | por Arturo Wallace | BBC
  3. La xenofobia, la otra “pandemia” que genera el coronavirus | Gestión
  4. Periodista. Cholo. Inmigrante | por Marco Avilés | Blog
Recursos
  1. Alerta contra el racismo | Ministerio de Cultura Perú
  2. El racismo Peruano | por Suzanne Oboler y Juan Carlos Callirgos | Ministerio de Cultura Perú
  3. 20 ideas para construir la interculturalidad y prevenir el racismo en educación | Educa Tolerancia 
  4. ¡Luchemos contra el racismo! | Naciones Unidas

This is just a start — and a continuation — of a long-term adaptive fight towards a more equitable world. As a social justice organization and as individuals, we at Mosqoy have an integral role to play in dismantling racism and oppression. We sincerely hope that you will rise up to the challenge to be part of this collective fight for the civil rights of Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Colour, in your own community and around the world.

In solidarity,
Everyone at Mosqoy


*Thank you to everyone who has contributed to both this selection of recommended resources and to our unabridged library that we continue to learn from and use in our Mosqoy Orientation course, Mosqoy Youth Program and Mosqoy Field School curricula, and professional development training.

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