StreetARToronto announces its latest art call, ‘Just Us’, for works that highlight relevant themes such as social justice, equity, race relations, and community engagement.

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.

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 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.

Priorities Recommendation(s) Key Deliverables Status
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
Program.
Ongoing
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.
Ongoing
#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.
Ongoing
#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.
Ongoing
#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.
Ongoing
#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
Descent.
Complete
Continuing to Create Culture Change at the City

Prioritize increasing the number of staff trained,
expanding 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 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.
Complete
#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

  • Completed – the deliverable has been completed by the City agency, board, commission or division responsible for it.
  • Ongoing – the deliverable has been started or is currently being completed by the City agency, board, commission or division responsible for it.
  • Not Started – work has not started on the deliverable by the City agency, board, commission or division responsible for it.

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

If you are not already subscribed to the CABR newsletter, you can subscribe at the bottom of this page.

8th Annual Emancipation Day Underground Freedom Train Ride

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 is listed below. Download the more extensive list for additional resources.

Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool for a Radically Equitable COVID-19 Response

Governments, non-profit agencies, foundations and community groups can use the Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool for a Radically Equitable COVID-19 Response to develop effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that pays attention to the unique and distinct histories, experiences and needs of Black people.

Criminal Record Disclosure E-Learning

A new online tool is available to help those with a police record to better navigate the job-seeking process. Learn how to proactively and transparently disclose a police record to a potential employer.

Ontario Focused Resources

Intersecting Forms of Discrimination

Education

Unemployment & Housing

Child and Family Health and Welfare

Policing & Justice

International & Canada-Wide Resources

Canada’s African Canadian Population: Historical & Current Overview

Policing & Justice

Understanding Racism – General Resources

  • Behind the Numbers, “Black Women in Canada.”
  • Book: Abigail, B. B., and Dua, E. (Eds.). (2015). Theorizing anti-racism: linkages in Marxism and critical race theories. Vol. 76. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.
  • Giroux, H. (1992). Resisting difference: cultural studies and the discourse of critical pedagogy.
  • Giroux, H. A. (1997). Racial politics and the pedagogy of whiteness.

Child and Family Health and Welfare

Education

Court Decisions

Confronting Anti-Black Racism Learning Resources

Articles & Reports

  1. Article: July 14, 2019 – Reclaiming The Legacy Of Canada’s ‘Emancipation Day’
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 addresses the challenges facing Black Women and Women of Colour.
Flow chart showing how to increase access to primary health care for Black women and women of colour by developing and implementing a more efficient model of care.
Primary Health Care Logic Model. Click on the image for a larger version.

e-Learning

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)
United Nations web banner for 2015 - 2025 International Decade for People of African Decent.
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 the 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.

Black Mental Health Day

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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