Confronting Anti-Black Racism
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.
About Anti-Black Racism
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.
2018 Work Plan Priorities - Year One (May 18 to April 2019)
|Creating Culture Change at the City
Work to shift the City’s culture to better understand and actively address anti-Black racism in City practices, policies, hiring and retention strategies and service delivery.
|#11, 19||Develop and Anti-Black Racism Unit at the City to lead the implementation of the Action Plan across City divisions and agencies, including community engagement and public reporting.||Complete|
|#19||Develop the Anti-Black Racism Partnership & Accountability Circle comprised of diverse Torontonians of African descent to support accountability, transparency and the implementation of the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism and community engagement.||Complete|
|#11, 16||Develop and deliver a comprehensive, mandatory learning program for City staff and Law Enforcement Officers in the Toronto Police Service from frontline to leadership levels, leveraging the expertise of Black subject matter experts and embedding capacity within the organization.||Ongoing|
|#11||Engage City staff to develop the Black Staff Network as a professional development vehicle for members of Toronto Public Service of African descent.||Complete|
|Investing in Black Children & Youth
Work to prioritize investments that create high-quality programs and opportunities to support equitable outcomes for children and youth of African descent.
|#1||Invest in community-led initiatives to support Black youth leadership development, including rites of passage, civic and community leadership through the Black Youth Leadership Grant to Confront Anti-Black Racism.||Ongoing|
|#13||Initiate a Black Youth Internship Initiative starting with two paid internships for youth of African descent to support career exploration by working at the City of Toronto to actively support the implementation of the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.||Complete|
|Advance employment initiatives that support youth with experience in the criminal justice system through City-community partnerships with in-demand sectors, such as manufacturing, hospitality, construction, retail or information technology.||Ongoing|
|#2||Invest in effective programs and services for Black queer and trans youth.||Ongoing|
|Connecting Black Torontonians to Civic Decision Making
Prioritize City supports to connect the leadership capacity, talents and skills of diverse Black Torontonians to contribute to the success of the city through civic and business leadership and decision making.
|#15||Develop the Mayor’s Roundtable on Black Business to provide strategic advice and guidance to the Mayor on entrepreneurship, business development, cultural industries, and economic development issues in Toronto’s Black communities.||Ongoing|
|#19||Build a talent bank of Black Torontonians for Public Appointment Opportunities to City Agencies, Commissions and Corporations through targeted outreach, training and recruitment.||Ongoing|
|Prioritize City efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of the customer service experience by Torontonians of African descent.||#6, 10, 11, 17||Develop an aggregated race-based data collection strategy and public education initiative to better address racial inequities in services, program and funding delivery.||Ongoing|
|#21||Deliver the first annual public report on the economic and cultural impacts of City of Toronto-funded festivals.||Ongoing|
|#18||Invest in community capacity-building and public education on rights and policing-community issues.||Ongoing|
|#17||Activate a Community and Police Eliminating Anti-Black Racism (CAPE-ABR) Team to support the Toronto Police Service in applying an ARB analysis to procedures and policies.||Ongoing|
Partnership and Accountability Circle
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.
Confronting Anti-Black Racism Newsletters for 2019
August is Emancipation Month!
The City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism unit will host or support a series of events throughout the month of August to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Canada.
Emancipation Day: Underground Freedom Train Ride
65 Front St.
10:45 p.m. (July 31) to 12:30 a.m. (August 1)
Lunch-and-Learn with Kiké Roach
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 2
100 Queen St. W.
Noon to 1 p.m.
Finding Freedom: The Joshua Glover Story
4709 Dundas St. W.
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Purchase your tickets in advance at montgomerysinn.streamintickets.com.
Walking in the Footsteps of Black Victorians
82 Bond St.
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Lunch-and-Learn with Dr. George Elliott Clarke
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 4
100 Queen St. W.
Noon to 1 p.m.
Lunch-and-Learn with Ms. Natasha Henry
North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3
5100 Yonge St.
Noon to 1 p.m.
Black Liberation Flag Raising
In the spirit and honour of Marcus Garvey Day, the 4th annual Black Liberation (aka Pan-African) flag raising with Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of Marcus Garvey. The event will also feature musical performances and special presentations.
City Hall Podium Green Roof and Rotunda
100 Queen St. W.
Dr. Afua Cooper
A Different Booklist Cultural Centre
779 Bathurst St.
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Lunch-and-Learn with Ms. Kemba Byam
Consilium Place, Suite 1000
100 Consilium Place
Noon to 1 p.m.
Lunch-and-Learn with Dr. Chris Stuart Taylor
Toronto City Hall, Council Chamber
100 Queen St. W.
Noon to 1 p.m.
Emancipation Month Closing Ceremony
Toronto City Hall, Council Chamber/Members’ Lounge
100 Queen St. W.
6 to 8 p.m.
Confronting Anti-Black Racism Learning Resources
Articles and Reports
- Article: July 14, 2019 – Reclaiming The Legacy Of Canada’s ‘Emancipation Day’
- The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) Policy and guidelines on racism and racial discrimination contains the OHRC’s position on racism, racial discrimination and racial harassment, at the time of publication. It deals with issues that fall within the OHRC’s jurisdiction. In the policy, discrimination and harassment due to race are analyzed. The policy highlights some of the broader issues of racism to create appropriate context. The policy is bounded by the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code and Canada’s legal framework for analyzing discrimination.
- The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Under suspicion: Research and consultation report on racial profiling in Ontario is the result of a year-long consultation and a review of Canadian case law. It provides detailed policy guidance on the different forms of racial profiling occurring in Ontario. The aim of this report is to give specific information to organizations, individuals and communities on how to identify, address and prevent racial profiling.
- Every Woman Matters: A Report on Accessing Primary Health Care for Black Women and Women of Colour in Ontario (April 2011). The report provides highlights from the pilot program, A Collaborative Process to Achieve Access to Primary Health Care for Black Women and Women of Colour (hereafter referred to as the Access Study). The study examined the disparities disproportionately affecting Black Women and Women of Colour who seek access to primary healthcare. This project was conducted in partnership between Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre and the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto with collaboration from the agencies, Sistering – A Woman’s Place, Planned Parenthood of Toronto, Rexdale Community Health Centre, Parkdale Community Health Centre. It was funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care through its Primary Health Care Transition Fund. The purpose of this report is to assist community members, researchers and health service providers (HSPs) working to remove barriers and increase access to equitable, inclusive, primary healthcare in Ontario that address the challenges facing Black Women and Women of Colour.
Call it Out
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.
International Decade for People of African Descent (2015 to 2024)
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.
Committee & Council Reports
Toronto For All
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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