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.
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.
|Continuing to Create Culture
Change at the City Year 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.||Planning underway|
|#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.||In-progress|
|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.||In-progress|
|#2||Meeting the specific needs of Black queer and trans youth through intentionally designed outreach initiatives and housing supports.||Not-started|
|#7.1||Improve youth recreation spaces in new community centres and renovation projects in neighbourhoods with high proportions of Black youth.||Planning underway|
|#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.||In-progress|
|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.||In-progress|
|#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.||In-progress|
ResilienceYear Three work will prioritize building Black community resilience through the Black Resilience Cluster and
increased institutional investments in the “Black COVID-19
|#8.0||Work collaboratively with Black communities to improve food access for Black Torontonians with low income through food sovereignty initiatives.||Planning underway|
|#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.||In-progress|
|#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.||In-progress|
|#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.||Planning underway|
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 engages with Black Torontonians (African descent or origin, African Black Caribbean, African-Canadian, Canadians of African descent) as part of the Partnership & Accountability Circle (PAC) to guide and support the full implementation of the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism.
The City of Toronto is seeking 12 Torontonians of African descent or origin who would like to join the Anti-Black Racism Partnership and Accountability Circle to guide and support the full implementation of the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. The Partnership and Accountability Circle will be supported by the City of Toronto’s Anti-Black Racism unit.
Deadline to apply as been extended: Monday, March 29, 2021
Applications must be submitted by email to CABR@toronto.ca. Please use the subject line: “ATTN: Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit – PAC”.
Download, fill out and submit the application form.
To learn more about the Partnership & Accountability Circle, consider attending the Virtual Information Session scheduled for March 17. Registration details are available in the Upcoming Events section on this page.
March 25 is the UN International Remembrance Day for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
For over 400 years, more than 15 million Africans were victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.
Every year on the 25th of March, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
This year’s theme Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice calls on us to look at eradicating the legacy of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in all of its forms.
In order to more permanently honour the victims, a memorial has been erected at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The unveiling took place on 25 March 2015. The winning design for the memorial, The Ark of Return by Rodney Leon, an American architect of Haitian descent, was selected through an international competition and announced in September 2013.
The Toronto Sign at City Hall will be dimmed in tribute to the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
For the story of slavery in Canada, visit humanrights.ca/story/the-story-of-slavery-in-canadian-history.
Below is a list of events that are taking place from March 24 to 26 in remembrance:
1 to 2 p.m.
Watch the episode: Episode 1. Cultures Left Behind
The discussion will take place online via Microsoft Teams.
8:45 to 10 a.m.
Dr. Lisa M. Coleman, senior vice president for global inclusion and strategic innovation at New York University (NYU) will deliver the keynote address.
10 a.m. to noon
The Department of Global Communications will organize an online discussion considering Senegal’s approach to memorialization and education about the transatlantic slave trade. The panel will include a discussion of the Gorée Memorial Project, and Senegal’s planned memorial to honour Africa, the global African diaspora, and the victims of the transatlantic slave trade.
The discussion will take place online via Microsoft Teams.
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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