Watch Toronto Life writer Desmond Cole in a CBC documentary tonight
Desmond Cole’s recounting, in a 2015 issue of Toronto Life, of the dozens of times he had been racially profiled by Ontario police officers, was a catalyst for change. Mayor John Tory read the story, met with Cole personally, and then announced that he would throw his weight behind a push to win Toronto Police Board support for reforms to the practice of carding, where officers collect personal information from people who aren’t suspected of any crime. The Ontario government enacted new, tougher carding regulations on January 1.
The story also helped raise Cole’s profile. He won a National Magazine Award for his work, and he has been a constant presence in newspaper pages and on talk radio ever since. Now, the CBC, in association with 90th Parallel Productions, has made him the subject of a documentary. The Skin We’re In, which will air tonight at 9 p.m., follows Cole as he travels the continent doing research for his upcoming book and advocating for an end to anti-black racism. A trailer is embedded above.