This year, we pledge to begin a dialogue about cultural appropriation – what it is, how it harms us, and how we can commit to appreciate, not appropriate.

To pledge with us, pick up a button at any one of these locations:

  • AMS Front Desk (JDUC 1st floor)
  • Tricolor Outlet (JDUC 2nd floor)
  • Print & Copy Centre (JDUC 1st floor)

Join us to discuss cultural appreciation versus cultural appropriation at: John Orr Room, JDUC on Monday, Oct 23 @ 6:30pm
A Discussion on Appreciation vs. Appropriation by the Committee Against Racial & Ethnic Discrimination + Levana Gender Advocacy Centre
. The event will include a panel and an open discussion on appropriation and how we can be more mindful of the line between appreciation and appropriation.

How can I appreciate a culture without appropriating it?

Seek out knowledge and information. What is the significance of an Indigenous headdress? Why is it an earned honor that bares great responsibility in Indigenous communities? What does it mean, then, when they are sold as accessories for music festivals?

Let’s appreciate, not appropriate.

Think about the context. Are you in a setting where you are being asked to participate in a certain cultural practice by people of that culture to honor a certain occasion or out of respect? Or are you choosing an “attractive” element of a culture for a costume party?

Let’s appreciate, not appropriate.

Think about your privilege in being able to take off this “costume” at the end of the day. Would someone from this culture feel entirely comfortable walking down a busy street in their traditional clothing, free of second glances, generalizations, discrimination or constant questioning? Do you experience any of the things that marginalized communities often face when you wear their cultural clothing as your costume or accessory?

Let’s appreciate, not appropriate.

Don’t conflate intent with impact. Are you assuming that a good intention guarantees a good impact? Are you assuming that others should view your choices positively simply because you meant no harm when you made them?

Let’s appreciate, not appropriate.

Recognize that not all people from this identity group will feel the same way. Are you making an assumption people will not offended by your choice to have fun with a group’s cultural symbols, simply because you “have a friend” from that group who said it didn’t bother them? Are you recognizing that people within groups have diverse views, even when they share an identity?

Let’s appreciate, not appropriate.

Sign the pledge here!