I’ve thought about this piece, involving the experiences of journalists of colour, a lot the last few months.
The piece, republished by Poynter in June, spoke to the challenges journalists of colour can face in a lily-white industry. The unending fight to share other perspectives. The inner debate to stay or go. The exhaustion of it all.
I suppose the piece stuck with me because I’ve fought at least some of these same battles. If you leave it can feel like you’re letting other people of colour down, throwing in the towel on whatever change you had one day hoped to see. If you stay each instance in which your outlet drops the ball on a matter of race can feel like a body blow.
Last week I finally decided to leave. I cleaned out my desk and walked out of The Globe and Mail newsroom in Vancouver. I am today, this morning, formally resigning. My departure is the result of both a single incident and a continuing pattern. It’s unplanned but not out of the blue. I do not have another job lined up. I do not know what comes next.
I write this piece with the hope it will lead to meaningful reflection on the lack of diversity in Canadian journalism and the problems therein. But I have worked as a journalist in this country for the last decade and with the solutions as obvious as they are unacted upon — hire more people of colour, hear their voices, elevate them to positions of power or prominence — I cannot say I am particularly optimistic.