The City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism unit (CABR) is responsible for rolling out the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. The action plan is SMART – strategic and specific; measurable; achievable; relevant and realistic; and timely. Most important, it responds to the priorities identified by Toronto’s diverse Black communities.
Black Torontonians (African descent or origin, African Black Caribbean, African-Canadian, Canadians of African descent) are contributing to all areas of city life-adding their talents and assets to make Toronto stronger, more vibrant and more successful.
However, studies continue to show that anti-Black racism still exists in this city, affecting the life chances of more than 200,000 people of African descent or origin who call Toronto home. Anti-Black racism has had detrimental impacts on the life and work of Black people in our city.
As the government closest to the people, the City of Toronto recognizes its responsibility to create a city that works for all residents. Confronting and removing barriers caused by Anti-Black Racism benefits all Torontonians, especially other Toronto communities experiencing racism and marginalization.
To begin confronting anti-Black racism in Toronto, City Council adopted on December 5, 2017 the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.
The Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism is the result of a collaborative effort between the City of Toronto and Torontonians of African descent. The review of 41 years of reports and recommendations on anti-Black racism formed the basis for 41 community conversations in partnership with 18 community agencies, and engagement from over 800 members of Toronto’s diverse Black communities.
The chart below captures the Year Two actions from the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. The CABR Unit continues to work with the City’s Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Divisions to track, evaluate, and report out on the status of actions. The Year One Work Plan Summary is also available for review.
Staff are working to develop the year three work plan priorities and will be available on this page in the fall.
|Building an Inclusive & Equitable Economy
Prioritize efforts that promote inclusion and equity in City programs and services where people of African descent can access viable training and employment across sectors, and Black-owned businesses receive sustainable supports to grown and compete.
|#13.2||Enhance the quality of targeted employment and skills development programs in community hubs and Black-focused agencies.||Ongoing|
|#13.5||Champion inclusive and equitable hiring practices among non-profit and private sector employers that focus the use of police reference checks, including vulnerable sector checks, only for circumstances where there is a legal obligation.||Ongoing|
|#15||Support Black-owned businesses to better compete and thrive in Toronto as part of the City programs including the Toronto Social Procurement
|Community Capacity Building
Priority will be to build on recognition, justice and development for Black Torontonians through the City’s declaration of the International Decade for People of African Descent, which recognizes that people of African descent represent a distinct group.
|#3.1||Advocate for and coordinate with the province and
the school boards the need for education
improvements that support safe and effective learning for students of African descent.
|#4.0||Improve the quality and availability of City programs
and community mental health services to enable more mental health and addiction treatment services for Torontonians of African descent.
|#7.1||Improve youth recreation spaces in new community centres and renovation projects in neighbourhoods with high proportions of Black youth.||Ongoing|
|#8.0||Work collaboratively with Black communities to
improve food access for Black Torontonians with low income through food justice initiatives.
|#19.1, 19.2||Continue to promote the City’s public appointments and opportunities on program advisory bodies through the “Blacks On Board” campaign to ensure that Black Torontonians have opportunities to
participate in City decision-making.
|#22||Provide public education on issues of Anti-Black racism in Toronto as part of the City’s recognition of the International Decade for People of African
|Continuing to Create Culture Change at the City
Prioritize increasing the number of staff trained,
|#11.1||Engage diverse Black experts and community members to inform a recruitment and talent strategy for employees of African descent at the City of Toronto.||Ongoing|
|#11.2, 16.5||Continue to deliver a comprehensive, mandatory learning program for City staff and Law Enforcement Officers in the Toronto Police Service from front line to leadership levels, leveraging the expertise of Black subject matter experts and embedding capacity within the organization.||Ongoing|
|#11.5||Strengthen and grow the Black Staff Network as a professional development vehicle for members of Toronto Public Service of African descent.||Ongoing|
|Investing in Black Children & Youth
Build on the City’s investments in the creation, continuation and expansion of high-quality programs and opportunities to support equitable outcomes for children and youth of African descent.
|#1.2||Increase supply and variety of culturally appropriate before and after school programs for children, including STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).||Ongoing|
|#1.3||Continue to invest in community-led initiatives to support Black youth innovative leadership development, including rites of passage, civic and community leadership.||Ongoing|
|#2.2, 2.3||Continue to engage Black parents, service providers and youth to identify relevant education and support services to better support Black queer and trans youth.||Ongoing|
|Improving Customer Service
Expand actions to promote how Black Torontonians can access and engage with City programs and services.
|#9.1||Engage seniors of African descent in Version 2.0 of the Toronto Seniors Strategy.||Ongoing|
|#10.1||Advance the recommendations of Tenants First, including improvement in the quality of Toronto Community Housing through a revised tenant-focused service delivery model that better serves
families, youth and vulnerable tenants, including
seniors, with a stable funding formula.
|#18.1||Invest in community capacity-building and public education on ‘Know Your Rights’ and policing-community issues.||Ongoing|
|#19.5||Engage Black communities in promoting information on how to access City programs and services, including the City’s complaint process using an anti-Black racism analysis.||Ongoing|
Meaning of Status
The City of Toronto commits more than $1.2 million in cultural and economic investments to confront anti-Black racism. The City is making multiple investments in Toronto’s Black arts and culture community and business sector to address the systemic economic, social and cultural exclusion facing Black communities in Toronto.
This year, the City will make the following investments in arts, heritage and creative industries to confront anti-Black racism:
The City will make the following economic development investments to confront anti-Black racism:
The City is also committed to establishing a Community Accountability Circle, with key leaders from the Black business and cultural communities to co-develop goals and programs to confront anti-Black racism.
As part of the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, the City will be engaging with 12 Black Torontonians (African descent or origin, African Black Caribbean, African-Canadian, Canadians of African descent) as part of the Partnership & Accountability Circle to guide and support the full implementation of the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.
Learn more about the Partnership & Accountability Circle.
July 31 to August 1
10:30 a.m. (Friday) to 12:15 a.m. (Saturday)
Join us in supporting A Different Booklist Cultural Centre’s 8th Annual Underground Freedom Train Ride taking place on Friday, July 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. (August 1). You, your family and friends are invited to join as we welcome Emancipation Day, August 1 to commemorate the official abolition of slavery in (most of) the British colonies on August 1, 1834. Details
A brief list of provincial, national and international anti-Black racism resources are listed below. Download the more extensive list for additional resources.
A 30-minute interactive e-course that offers a foundation for learning about race, racial discrimination and human rights protections under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The course offers a historical overview of racism and racial discrimination, explains what “race,” “racism” and “racial discrimination” mean, and provides approaches to preventing and addressing racial discrimination. Note: Call It Out is designed for use on desktops, laptops and tablets in landscape orientation.
The modern and simple design of the International Decade for People of African Descent logo anchors Afro-descendants in the now and the future, and connotes advancement now and in the years to come. It implies inclusion of all people of African descent into one group, who share a common history and heritage. The abstract form of a spiral coming off and spreading out from Africa (as the ‘origin’) in its center represents simultaneously the past, present and future of people of African descent. The spiral itself symbolizes the globe, and represents migration and advancement/progress.
If you missed the confronting racism and mental health panel discussion on Black Mental Health Day, you can stream it on Facebook. Watch it now!
In November 2016, the City and its community partner, OCASI-Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants launched a public education campaign to raise awareness about anti-Black racism in Toronto and to equip people with the means to identify it, question it and challenge it.
This was the second phase of the City’s Toronto For All initiative which is intended to challenge people’s perspectives and beliefs and encourage them to self-identify their implicit biases and negative attitudes in order to support a Toronto that says “no” to all forms of discrimination and racism, and which supports Toronto’s motto: Diversity Our Strength.
Visit the Toronto For All Anti-Black Racism page to see all the phases of our campaign.
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