Rochelle Ignacio never envisioned she’d become the co-founder of local popup Black-Owned Market Edmonton (BOM YEG).
“I never wanted to start a market, but I got invited on to this project and it was really just a grassroots-plus-get-people-together initiative,” says Ignacio.
Growing up in a small Alberta town, Ignacio struggled to find a community where she belonged. It wasn’t until she attended a healing circle after the murder of George Floyd that she felt like she found her community and developed connections that would lead to the creation of BOM YEG. Over the last year, the popup market has hosted a handful of physical and virtual markets. From the beginning, the goal of the volunteer collective was to uplift and support as many Black-owned businesses as possible, while also learning from them.
“We’re rooted here in Treaty Six Territory, but we all have such different experiences. And I think that’s what the market has shown me,” says Ignacio. “Despite the fact that we have different experiences and we might have different goals in life, we can use that to our benefit to unite and figure out how to bring all of our different cultures and our communities together and collaborate with one another.”
This article appears in the November 2021 issue of Edify