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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 importantly, it responds to the priorities identified by Toronto’s diverse Black communities.

Read the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism and the first annual report.

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 Three 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 and Year Two Work Plan summaries are also available for review.

 

Priorities Recommendation(s) Key Deliverables Status
Continuing to Create Culture
Change at the CityYear Three will prioritize increasing the number of staff trained, expanding the use of anti-Black racism analysis by City staff, and recruitment and talent strategy for Black staff, which is particularly important as the City focuses on building a workforce that reflects our city’s diversity.
#11.1 Engage diverse Black experts and community members to continue to inform recruitment and talent strategies with the aim to advance professional development, promotion, and
leadership opportunities for employees of African descent at the City of Toronto.
#11.2 and 16.5 Continue to deliver a comprehensive, mandatory
learning program for City staff from frontline to leadership levels, leveraging the expertise of Black subject matter experts and embedding capacity within organizations.
#20 Make city spaces more accessible and welcoming to Black Torontonians through reviews of City consultation processes and public space and street naming review.
#6.3, 6.4, 10.5 and 11.3 Promote the institutionalization and support for disaggregated race-based data collection through the creation of strategies, public awareness initiatives, and corporate strategies.
Community Capacity Building

Year Three will prioritize building 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.

 

#21.3 and 21.4 Enhance supports to the Black arts and culture sector through increase investments in Black festivals. This includes promoting and preserving Black cultural heritage while conducting targeted outreach to Black communities.
#2 Meeting the specific needs of Black queer and trans youth through intentionally designed outreach initiatives and housing supports.
#7.1 Improve youth recreation spaces in new community centres and renovation projects in neighbourhoods with high proportions of Black youth.
#5 Enhance the quality and effectiveness of health and community services for Black Torontonians through the creation of new Black organizations focused on funding frameworks.
Community Safety, Wellbeing and Alternatives to Policing

Year Three will focus on supporting the development of alternatives to police response for mental health crisis calls, wellness checks and low-level disputes between community members.

#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.
#18.2 and 16.0 Implement measures to stop racial profiling and over-policing of Black Torontonians through the development and implementation of new alternative models. This will advance models of policing that focus on community engagement, including the implementation of community-led safety initiatives and increased investments in Black communities.
Black Community
ResilienceYear Three work will prioritize building Black community resilience through the Black Resilience Cluster and
increased institutional investments in the “Black COVID-19
frontlines”.
#8.0 Work collaboratively with Black communities to improve food access for Black Torontonians with low income through food sovereignty initiatives.
#10.0 Improve shelter and housing conditions for Black residents through the creation of corporate anti-Black racism plans and collaboration with community partners to address gentrification and Black displacement.
#4.0 and 22.2 Improve the quality and availability of City programmed community mental health services for Black Torontonians through a community partnership and Black mental health awareness.
#15.0 Support Black-owned businesses to better recover
from COVID-19, compete and thrive in Toronto as part of the City programs in including Digital Main Street and Social Procurement Programs.
#13.2 Enhance the quality of targeted employment and skills development programs in community hubs and Black focused organizations and Black focused employment agencies.

 

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:

  • Support key Black heritage organizations through the re-allocation of $300,000 in funding, along with technical assistance and access to safe, affordable and accessible space at City-run museums and heritage sites.
  • As part of the City’s initiatives to address anti-Black racism, the Toronto History Museums will reopen with a new programming philosophy of anti-oppressive practice, advocacy and storytelling to connect the public to art, creativity and innovation to work with the community in reshaping culture, to build room for self-reflection and accountability.
  • Commit $300,000 to expand workforce development initiatives with key industry partners that accelerate the career pathways for Black youth in creative industries with a focus on screen-based industries, including management roles.
  • Reallocate an additional $300,000 to support the career development of Black professionals in arts and culture with a focus on connecting community-based training programs and post-secondary institutions with sustainable employment opportunities.
  • Work with the Toronto Arts Council to identify $300,000 in reallocated 2020 and ongoing funding to support the Black arts community with initiatives designed through consultation with the Black arts community.
  • Ensure that City funding for arts, heritage and cultural organizations is prioritized for organizations that reflect the diversity of this city in their leadership and operations, supports smaller and often newer organizations to increase their reach and impact, and addresses social and economic exclusion.

The City will make the following economic development investments to confront anti-Black racism:

  • Provide $250,000 over five years, or $50,000 annually, to support the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson’s Black Innovation Fellowship program supporting tech entrepreneurs.
  • Develop a five-year community economic development plan for Black communities while continuing to support established initiatives such as those in Weston Mount Dennis, Golden Mile, Little Jamaica and East Downtown.

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.

Read the latest news from the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit.

Summer Edition 2020

In this issue:

  • COVID-19 Response and Supporting Our Community
  • Rebuild and Recovery Details & Resources
    • Survey on How the City Can Recovery and Rebuild from COVID-19
    • Host Community Conversations
    • COVID-19 Response Micro-Grants for Emerging Black-Led & Black-Serving Organizations
    • Anti-Black Racism Analysis for COVID Recovery Plans
  • Updates on CABR Unit Actions
    • Learn about what the CABR Unit has been doing since the last newsletter, including policing reforms and community consultations, Black Food Sovereignty Alliance, the launch of Little Jamaica campaign, working with Heritage Toronto, investing in Black youth to attend Collision, #SoulFoodProjectTO and training of City of Toronto staff and elected officials.
  • Upcoming Events & Job Opportunities
    • Black LGBTQ+ Townhall
    • 8th Annual Emancipation Day Underground Freedom Train Ride
    • Da Mic Is On Online Series
    • A History of Styling Black Hair in Canada: Past and Present
    • Call for Applications for Citizen Lab Fellowship on Surveillance Technologies
    • Funding for Projects to Improve Black-Led Organizations’ Workplaces and Community Spaces
    • Job opportunities at the City and its Agencies and Corporations

Download the full version of the 2020 summer edition newsletter.

Winter Edition 2020

In this issue:

  • Changes to the CABR team.
  • Update for our five priority areas for Year Two
    • Building an Inclusive & Equitable Economy
    • Community Capacity Building
    • Continuing to Create Culture Change at the City
    • Investing in Black Children and Youth
    • Improving Customer Service
  • Other Updates, Upcoming Events & Job Opportunities
    • Year One creative report and video.
    • The PAC held it’s fourth meeting in November to discuss its ongoing engagements with the work of the unit.
    • Waging Action Against Hate and Racism in Hamilton Conference – The CABR Unit participated in this conference that focused on spurring action at the individual, community and institutional levels to counteract the spread of hate and build community and solidarity.
    • National Black Canadian Summit will convene in Halifax, Nova Scotia in March 2020 and aims to bring awareness to the major challenges faced by Black communities across Canada and discuss effective ways to advance positive outcomes for Black communities in Canada.
    • Job opportunities at the City and its Agencies and Corporations.

Download the full version of the 2020 winter edition newsletter.

Previous Editions

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There are no events scheduled at this time.

There are many resources available to learn more about anti-Black racism and systemic racism in the areas of education, unemployment and housing, child and family health and welfare, and policing and justice. Learn more about what Canadian, Ontario and international resources are available.

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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