Engineering Society sells Black Lives Matter patches

Province-wide BLM patch initiative supports Black lives, sold out quickly

The patches were made available for order on July 8 and quickly sold out.
Journal File Photo

Adding to its short-term Anti-Racism and Diversity Action Plan, the Engineering Society (EngSoc) sold Black Lives Matter patches to raise money for organizations supporting Black lives.

In collaboration with the Engineering Student Societies' Council of Ontario (ESSCO) and other Ontario engineering societies, EngSoc decided to create and sell patches in support of Black community groups, the Black Health Alliance, and the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) scholarships. 

The Black Health Alliance is a community-led registered charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada. The Alliance works to mobilize people and financial resources to create lasting change in the lives of Black children, families, and communities. 

The BBPA is a non-profit, charitable organization addressing equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education, and economic development. The BBPA also supports higher education through the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund. 

READ MORE: Engineering Society starts fundraiser for Black Lives Matter

“We felt that [anti-]Black racism was a prevalent issue in engineering in Canada and we wanted to take a stand as a collective to shed light on the significance of the problem while also assisting those groups that actively fight back against it,” the EngSoc executive team—including President Spencer Lee, Vice-President (Student Affairs) Alex Koch-Fitsialos, and Vice-President (Operations) Ben Zarichny—wrote in a statement to The Journal. 

All proceeds from the patches will be split evenly between these causes.

“The patches also allow students to show their support and remind our community that racism has a history in engineering,” the executive wrote.

The patches were made available for order on July 8 and quickly sold out.

“Since patches are now sold out, a form is currently circulating amongst engineering societies to gauge interest to continue to sell the Black Lives Matter patch at individual engineering societies,” the executive wrote, adding the initiative would allow EngSoc to receive its own supply of patches and continue donating profits to Black organizations. 

READ MORE: Engineering Society conducts remote learning survey ahead of fall term

ESSCO has indicated that, if individual societies produced and sold the patches, they would be able to donate proceeds to a local organization supporting Black lives.

When The Journal inquired whether EngSoc is planning to pursue this option, the Society said it would “love to continue to distribute patches at Queen’s and donate the proceeds to local Black organizations.” However, it did not specify whether EngSoc has plans to do so.

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