As much as I am proud that my work has gotten some media attention, I wished it was under different circumstances. If you see in the photo above I made a logo and put together a branding campaign for an anti-bulling group called "BoddyGuards United". The group provide mentoring and education resources for those who want to combat bullying.
The logo appeared on the therebel.media, a famous conservative blog website. The topic is about a family that received racial discrimination. To hear more about the story - please read on.
When I was creating the logo, I did a lot of research in finding a way for kids to feel empowered. My client was a superhero/wrestling enthusiast so I felt it would be necessary to create a logo where it almost look like a superhero badge. A year later, and people are still wearing these T-Shirts with pride (I haven't received one T-Shirt yet Dave).
The France family (the family in the photo above) have been bullied and tormented simply due to the colour of their skin - which is white - by kids that live in their neighborhood. The family gets social assistance from the City of Calgary, and was placed in a townhouse complex that is managed by Calgary Housing. The complex houses around 900 residents, which are mainly East African refugees. There seems to be a lot of social issues that stem from the complex being underfunded.
..Shaganappi Village, along with one-tenth of CHC units, falls under a shortfall system, where the revenues don’t cover all the upkeep costs, so governments step in. Half of the funding comes from a federal fund, 40 per cent is from the province and 10 per cent is from the city." - Calgary Herald
White families are being targeted in this community, and there have been documented reports of racial taunts, rock throwing and death threats. There is a video of these kids throwing rocks - which can be seen here:
According to The Herald, racism and discrimination seem to be a common issue for all racial groups:
A dozen residents from a variety of backgrounds have told the Herald that children frequently bully residents of another race, including Caucasian children attacking non-Caucasian.". - Calgary Herald
But according to the France family, the type of bullying they received, was enough for them to be relocated to another Calgary Housing unit. This was due to the fact that they try to combat the bullying by bringing media attention to the issue, which cause more damage than it did any good.
Since the France family moved, a 6 year resident said that the issues are getting better due to parents taking an active role in supervising children in the neighborhood:
People are busy doing lots of things around here. I’m very happy with the progress; I know it’s going to be a slow process,” said six-year resident Linda Kearns." - Calgary Herald
People need to understand that community is very important. In this situation I think there should have been more resources available to bridge the cultural gap. As I have been reading, and hearing on the radio, a lot of these kids that are doing this type of bullying seem not to have any supervision.
When you're dealing with public housing, there are always going to be tenant issues that will arise due to economic constraints. This however isn't an excuse for bullying or racial hatred, and more needs to be done to educate children in the neighborhoods that don't know any better. In most cases, you are dealing with children, whose parents have language problems, and are not around as they need to work etc.
Current laws are quite limited in terms of addressing unruly behavior in public housing - and should be revisited so that people understand that if they are receiving social assistance, that they have a responsibility to take care of the property, and to respect others that live on the premises.
Many people like myself believe that those who were throwing rocks on the property should have been evicted, and also should have been charged for racial discrimination. There should be a zero tolerance for that, then that way parents will get the message so that they can place more accountability on their children.
Ryan Perez (Founding Director of Bow Tie Kreative)