Speakers Corner Is Returning to Address Systemic Racism
No coin-operated booth required
Published Jun 03, 2020Iconic Canadian media fixture Speakers Corner — now remembered as social media before social media existed — is coming back. Only it won't be shot from a booth on Toronto's Queen Street West anymore, and don't expect the usual marriage proposals and rants either.
Citytv and Rogers Sports & Media have officially launched a submission form for the rebirth of Speakers Corner, asking Canadians to upload their own videos — via YouTube, Dropbox, Instagram or the new Speakers Corner website — for the launch. In keeping with the current political climate, they're also asking applicants to speak up about politics and racial injustice.
"Systemic racism happening in the U.S. and Canada is on the forefront of what seems to be every single conversation happening right now," the form reads. "Police brutality is being filmed, slurs are being hurled and cities are burning. Here's your opportunity to speak up — speak out — and let us know what you think."
Jordan Banks, president of Rogers Sports & Media, explained further in the following statement:
With racial inequality, hatred and discrimination still so prevalent, we as a society must do better. We have a unique responsibility to engage Canadians in conversation through our media assets and help be a catalyst for positive change by amplifying voices that have not always been heard with equal measure. Canada has systemic inequalities, and we must firmly embrace inclusion and equality as it will lead to a stronger and more united society for future generations.
You can also post on social media with the hashtag #SpeakUp. The videos will then air across various Rogers radio and TV channels, including Citytv, City News, Sportsnet and OMNI TV — but not Much, which is now owned by Bell Media.
The original series ran from 1990 to 2008 and was shot in multiple coin-operated booths across the country. In 2014, it was revived for one night only as an opportunity for voters to speak out on the Toronto mayoral election.
See the announcement below, and submit your own videos to the Speakers Corner website.
#SpeakersCorner is back!— Rogers Sports & Media (@RSMCanada) June 3, 2020
Share your voice to #SpeakUp against racism.
Submit videos at https://t.co/3os1nik9gd or on social using #SpeakUp, then watch for them across our media platforms. pic.twitter.com/MsoUE5TFBL