What if one movement could change the world?
Historically, turbulent times come to an end when bold leaders step up and make a difference. One of the best examples of this is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leading the unprecedented fight for civil rights in America.
These days, we seem to be in turbulent times once more, with social media movements like #BlackLivesMatter drawing attention to racial inequities around the world. But the BIPOC movement and The BIPOC Project are here to change the world for the better.
But what does BIPOC mean, and how is this movement poised to shape the world?
BIPOC Meaning and Definition
Our guide will walk you through everything you need to know about this movement. First, though, we need to explore the BIPOC definition.
BIPOC is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Color. The term itself is more inclusive than terms like POC and it encourages different groups to band together in order to change the world.
However, this term has confused quite a few people over the years. That's because many who first see the term have a very different idea of its meaning!
Online Confusion Over the Term
When it comes to the term BIPOC, most people on social media understand that "POC" stood for "People of Color." But it wasn't as obvious what the "BI" stood for.
Many assumed that the "BI" referred to bisexuals. Therefore, the term as a whole would be referring to Bisexual People of Color.
Interestingly, the confusion doesn't end there. That is because those who know what the term means still spend a lot of time debating about how many people the term includes!
Who Is Included in BIPOC?
At first, you might think Black, Indigenous, People Of Color is a term that explains itself. But this newer term has sparked an old debate over how many different groups fit under the "People Of Color" banner.
For example, many group Asian and Latino individuals identify as POC. But previously, there was debate over whether the POC label is accurate for Native Americans. Hence, the term BIPOC tries to be inclusive while bringing together as many people as possible.
However, there are some people, including those who fall under the BIPOC description, that don't like the term. These critics typically believe that various Black, Indigenous, People of Color are going through very unique struggles, and grouping everyone together under one banner diminishes those individual struggles.
In order to really understand the importance of the term BIPOC, we need to explore its origins.
Controversies Surrounding the Term
Earlier, we touched on some of the criticisms of the term BIPOC. But you might be surprised by some of the different controversies surrounding this term.
For example, some take issue with how inclusive it is. Because "BIPOC" brings together different groups that have been marginalized over the years under one banner, these critics worry that individual cultural stories might get lost in the mix. For example, some people might not learn enough about Black and Indigenous history if we generally group the two together with others.
Interestingly, some criticize the term BIPOC for being too exclusive. Such critics usually think there should be solidarity among all oppressed groups, and any grouping that invites some people in and leaves some people out violates that solidarity.
Finally, there are some critics who find the term redundant. As Ms. Luger told The New York Times, all POC are indigenous even if the indigenous identity and cultural memory have been largely lost. To such critics, BIPOC further muddies the water when it comes to questions about race and identity.
There are some important points embedded in those different criticisms. But for the most part, this term has served as a popular way to talk about race, Whiteness, systematic injustice, and more. Is it any wonder that the term became so popular in 2020?
While the BIPOC movement gained a lot of momentum in America, its influence has been felt all over the world. And this is especially clear here in Canada.
The country now has a number of BIPOC organizations. This includes Act 2 End Racism, the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, the National Congress of Black Women Foundation, and many more.
In short, if you want to learn more about BIPOC Canada, there are helpful individuals and organizations just waiting to help you out!
The BIPOC Project
What is The BIPOC project? To hear its creators tell it, this Project seeks to permanently change the way these groups think about each other and interact with each other.
For example, they encourage the community to do a "power analysis" of each group to recognize how it is being impacted by systemic injustice so that we can better fight against it. And they seek to "decolonize stories" and highlight the historic achievement of Black, Indigenous, People of Color through something other than a White lens.
Above all else, though, the Project seeks to bring these different groups together so that nobody has to heal on their own. Building better relationships is a way to build a stronger community. Eventually, that will be a community strong enough to tear systemic injustice from our legal system altogether.
Meet the Founders of The BIPOC Project
Previously, we talked about the mission of The BIPOC Project and its founders. But who are these founders that want to change how we think and talk about race, identity, and power?
One of the co founders is named Merle. She identifies as a "a Black, queer, cis woman" and channels her experience working with youth into a modern movement that fights for racial justice.
The other co-founder of the Project is Fiona. She identifies as an "Asian, immigrant, queer, cis woman" with experience in organizational change and social justice who hopes to bring various groups together to rally for change in the name of #BIPOC.
Why Is This the Movement of the Century?
The BIPOC Project is very important and very ambitious. And it might even be fair to say this is the movement of the century. Let's take a quick dive into why that is.
It all goes back to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This became one of the most impactful social media movements ever because it brought people together in solidarity against clear examples of police oppression.
However, BLM has only served as the beginning of the conversation. As many have noted, it is one thing to decry police oppression. But it's something else entirely to dismantle the white supremacist system that leads to this oppression.
This is where the BIPOC Project comes in. By decolonizing stories, they hope to raise awareness of the histories of Black, Indigenous, People of Color and raise increased global solidarity. And by continuing conversations about unequal power dynamics, this Project seeks to propose actionable changes that our justice system has long needed.
In other words, Black lives will always matter. But The BIPOC Project seeks to create a world where "Black Lives Matter" will no longer be seen as a political statement. Instead, it will be a statement about inclusion, solidarity, and justice.
How COVID-19 Underscored the Importance of BIPOC
We have discussed how the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted the importance of The BIPOC Project. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted this importance.
During the pandemic, people of all races and ethnicities were infected and admitted to hospitals. However, some interesting patterns emerged. For example, as the Yale School of Medicine notes, People of Color were hit much harder by the virus.
They found that in Ohio, a state where 13% of the population is Black, had a serious COVID disparity. It turns out that 31.8% of the state's population that were hospitalized for COVID were Black.
It's not entirely clear yet what role race and ethnicity play when it comes to COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. But it seems to hold across many different groups, including Native Americans and Hispanics. And some of the affected groups also experience financial discrimination that makes it harder to access things like safe, online telemedicine.
Many who are part of these groups saw this as one more form of oppression and injustice to deal with. But by banding together and standing strong, these groups can make sure that their voices are heard and their stories aren't lost amid the various pandemic crises.
BIPOC TV and Film Representation
One thing that every minority group can agree on is that representation matters. It's important for someone to be able to turn on a TV or walk into a movie theater and see characters that remind them of themselves.
This is why BIPOC TV and Film was created. The organization helps to highlight Canadian BIPOC actors, directors, writers, and other crew so that we can celebrate their artistic achievements.
In order to accomplish their mission, BIPOC TV and Film hosts various workshops, Q&Q sessions, networking events, and more. Just as they celebrate the importance of diversity on the big screen and small screen, this group also helps bring diversity and diversity of awareness to their community.
And to increase representation, the group also works with HireBIPOC to help members of the included groups find work in the TV and film industries. In this way, they can change the culture and change national conversations about race and ethnicity for the better!
One of the reasons that TV and film representation is so important is because it raises awareness of BIPOC identity and issues. In turn, that makes it easier for these groups to find each other online.
Social media makes it very easy for these groups to connect online. And since the mission of The BIPOC Project is to connect these people and facilitate important conversations, different online platforms are the perfect way to achieve this goal.
Additionally, raising awareness helps BIPOC individuals find sympathetic people and resources online that are dedicated to supporting the cause.
Your Next Move
Now you know more about what BIPOC means and why this movement is so important. But do you know who can help you prepare for the better world The BIPOC Project is helping to create?
We specialize in providing the kind of insurance you need to stay safe in a turbulent and changing world. To see what we can do to protect you and your family come request quotes today!