Community

Get Your Knee Off Our Necks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Peel Region, ON June 9th, 2020

On this day as the world celebrates the life of George Floyd, and like many across North America and the globe, the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) of Peel is deeply disheartened by recent tragedies of anti-Black racism that have sparked mass demonstrations across Canada, the U.S. and abroad. More troubling, however, is these incidents – the violent deaths of George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and D’Andre Campbell – are the tip of a pernicious tapestry of anti-Black racism baked into all public institutions including policing, courts, corrections, education, health, and child welfare. The health disparities related to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing racial inequities and tensions surrounding education in Peel are just a few examples of pressing concerns about anti-Black racism in Canadian systems beyond policing.

While we are encouraged by the outpouring of support from allies among White and Non-Black People of Colour, we remain concerned that such sentiments will remain moot if our public institutions fail to implement strategies to identify and address anti-Black racism and the culture of White supremacy which perpetuates it. Regressive, colourblind policies and discourse (such as the dismantling of the provincial Anti-Racism Directorate, hiring of an all-White team of deputy chiefs and superintendents by Peel police, and claims of Canadian exceptionalism among politicians) are a reflection of the inconsistent commitment of our institutions to address anti-Black racism and making meaningful change.

BCAN stands in solidarity with the global movement to address anti-Black racism and demands that our politicians live up to their public statements committing to address anti-Black racism through the following actions that will help to turn our mourning, our pain into policy:

Government of Canada:

  1. Health Canada declare anti-Black racism a public health emergency, and require the collection and reporting of disaggregated healthcare race-based data including, but not limited to, data related to COVID-19
  2. Corrections Canada develop and implement a strategy to urgently address COVID-19 in correctional facilities, which disproportionately affects Black and Indigenous peoples
  3. Corrections Canada implement the recommendations to address anti-Black racism in Canada’s correctional facilities, as identified by the Correctional Investigator of Canada and the Senate

The Government of Ontario:

  1. Ministry of the Solicitor General launch full, transparent, independent and public inquiries into the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet and D’Andre Campbell
  2. Re-establish full funding to the Anti-Racism Directorate
  3. Ministry of the Solicitor General develop and implement a strategy to address COVID-19 in correctional facilities, which disproportionately affects Black and Indigenous peoples
  4. Ministry of Education conduct a public review of anti-Black racism in Ontario’s public education system

Municipal governments and public organizations in Peel Region:

  1. Peel District School Board (PDSB) prioritize immediate and sustainable efforts to address anti-Black racism and respond to Ministry Directives, We Rise Together mandate and the FACES Report
  2. Peel Regional Police Service collaborate with Black communities to develop a comprehensive anti-Black racism strategy and allocate resources to support effective implementation
  3. Peel Public Health engage Black communities in developing a comprehensive strategy to address racial inequities related to COVID-19
  4. Regional Municipality of Peel re-allocate some of your funding and reinvest that money into mental health services, housing initiatives, harm reduction services, education, social workers and other vital black community/organizations-led health and safety initiatives
  5. Regional Municipality of Peel increase funding to Black-led and Black-serving social service agencies in Peel
  6. All municipalities in Peel implement an employment equity program to increase the hiring of Black and other racialized people within their organizations
  7. All municipalities in Peel implement an anti-racism public education strategy to help create a safe and inclusive community.

BCAN refuses to celebrate too soon but we are cautiously optimistic about recent efforts to address systemic anti-Black racism, such as the federal Anti-Racism Strategy, the review of the PDSB by the Ministry of Education, and the Pulling Together Initiative of Peel Children’s Aid Society. As we and other community partners commit to working with PDSB to address anti-Black racism and improve outcomes for Black students, we hope that we are also able to work with the other public institutions in the region to create a community in which all members are able to live, play and thrive.

Eliminating anti-Black racism will be a hard-fought battle that requires courageous and visionary leadership. BCAN is committed to working with our partners to mobilize our Black communities and building on a foundation of good faith with institutional partners across sectors, political affiliations and all levels of government.

The Black community is gasping for air. We all heard the dying words of George Floyd – “I can’t breathe!” and so the time has come for ALL systems to take their foot off the necks of every Black person and live up to their commitments to address anti-Black racism.

Stronger together,
BCANPEEL

Peel CAS & BCAN: #PullingTogether

 

On behalf of the Black Community Action Network and Peel Children’s Aid Society, we would like to invite you to join us in celebrating our unique collaboration on bringing the #PullingTogether Initiative to fruition, as we launch the Akoma Wraparound Service Model - first of its kind in the GTA!

This wraparound service model for Black children and families in the child welfare system would not be possible without you!

Join us Thursday, February 6th, 2020! We are indeed stronger together!

Thursday, February 6th, 2020 

The Gospel Café, 

5120 Dixie Rd, Mississauga, ON L4W 4K2

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

 

 

#PullingTogether: BCAN/Peel CAS Purpose & Strength Forum

 

Happy New Year Community Leader!

The BCAN/Peel CAS #PullingTogether Collaborative once again expresses our appreciation to you for attending the Purpose and Strength Partnership Forums in November of 2018. We can still feel your energy, your commitment and your proactive vision for supporting African Canadian families as we worked and learned together during the Forums.

As promised we are doing it again! We are therefore so pleased to remind you of Part 3 of the BCAN/Peel CAS Purpose & Strength Forum(s).

Join us as we follow through with the ‘community report back‘ YOU indicated as being the next step in our collective goal to create a Wraparound protocol that will highlight how we can collaborate and partner together to better serve African Canadian youth and their families in Peel!

 

Saturday, January 26th, 2019 

The Gospel Café, 

5120 Dixie Rd, Mississauga, ON L4W 4K2

12 PM – 4:30 PM

 RSVP HERE!

We truly appreciate your continued support. Looking forward to seeing you on January 26th!

Peel CAS & BCAN: #PullingTogether

PeelCAS_BCAN_memorandum_of_understanding_Super_Portrait

Peel CAS and BCAN have formed an alliance to lead the development of an anti-racism, community capacity-building and systems change initiative with African-Canadian families, the organizations that serve them, and community leaders. The goal of this partnership is to build regional capacity in Peel so that African-Canadian families receive relevant, meaningful and appropriate services and supports, while promoting greater systemic equity. This partnership and project will launch on January 25, 2018.

This partnership came about formally out of a BCAN position paper that examined the impacts of systemic racism on African-Canadian families involved with the child welfare system. Racial disproportionalities in child welfare are caused by a variety of complex factors that lie beyond the child welfare system and include various mainstream organizations, policies and practices that are deeply rooted in Canadian history, culture, politics and the economy. Based upon research and community conversations, BCAN identified nine key causal factors that contribute to racial disproportionalities: Anti-black racism, racialized poverty, family structure, immigration stress, biased decision making, agency-system factors, placement dynamics, policy impacts and lack of culturally relevant services. The goal of this partnership is to build regional capacity in Peel so that African-Canadian families receive relevant, meaningful and appropriate services and supports, while promoting greater systemic equity.

Mississauga News

PeelCAS_BCAN_memorandum_of_understanding_Super_Portrait

Peel CAS and BCAN Partner Together to Help Youth

Peel CAS and BCAN Peel sign memorandum of understanding with the shared goal that African-Canadian families receive relevant, meaningful, culturally safe and appropriate services and supports. From left: Peel CAS CEO Rav Bains, Peel CAS board president Juliet Jackson, BCAN Community Development Manager Sophia Brown Ramsay and BCAN board member Dr. Julian Hasford.

Read Full Post From Mississauga News

 

2017 J.S.Woodsworth Award Nomination

JS Woodsworth 2017 127

BCAN was honoured with the 2017 J.S. Woodsworth Award. Hosted by Andrea Horwath and the Ontario New Democrats for the celebration of human rights and equity, in recognition of the International Day for the elimination of racial discrimination. The 17th annual award recognized Ontarians working towards the elimination of racial discrimination by promoting human rights and equity.

BCAN Collaborative Brunch

bcan-brunch-2016

 

In December 2015, the Black Community Action Network of Peel launched its position paper – Pathways and Prevention of Africa-Canadian Disproportionalities and Disparities in the Child Welfare System. Within this paper we offered ten recommendations to develop a ‘framework of rigorous monitoring and accountability’ to address the ongoing issues affecting the African-Canadian community; especially our youth.

In continuing the ongoing conversation on transforming our systems while strengthening our community and our youth, BCAN put together a collaborative lunch where we were able to discuss how far we’ve come within the year since the launch of our position paper, while also looking at the ‘next steps’ that we will take together!

This conversation was enriched by a number of our community organizations and included appearances from the following: Kike Ojo- One Vision One Voice, Sharon Douglas – FACES Report, Chief Jennifer Evan – PRP, Rav Bains- CAS-Peel, Peel District School Board – We Rise Together Report, Chair Amrik Ahluwalia- PPSB, Dr. Julian Hasford-BCANPeel enriched by an number of our community organizations.

F.A.C.E.S. Report

The F.A.C.E.S. report – Facilitating Access, Change and Equity in Systems – examines the social well-being of Black youth in Peel Region and the supports needed to ensure the opportunity to thrive. The research presented is a compilation of demographic and socio-economic data as well as key interviews with service providers and Black youth themselves.

Summary – Research findings from 4 reports

 

  • This report is about the social well-being of Black youth in Peel Region and the supports they need in order to improve their quality of life and achieve their aspirations. It was commissioned in 2014 by F.A.C.E.S. of Peel (Facilitating Access, Change and Equity in Systems) - a collective made up of organizations and individuals who strive to improve the state of equity and inclusion in Peel’s human services sector, with a major emphasis on racialized and marginalized groups, especially Black youth. The information in the report – mostly qualitative and perception data - was collected from consultations with Black youth, adult Black residents, service providers and key informants in Peel Region (a total of 103 respondents). The findings and recommendations are based on the acknowledgment of systemic anti-Black racism in Canada and are focused on issues of equity and inclusion in the Peel community, with emphasis on the educational system, employment and poverty, the Police and community-based services in Peel Region. The main audiences for this report and its recommendations are service providers, funders of public and social services, Black youth, and community leaders in the Black community.

    Report - Fighting an uphill battle

  • As of 2011, there were 116,265 Black people living in Peel Region (a growth of 21.8% since 2006). This report provides an overview of selected demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the Black population in Peel. The information provided may be useful for determining priorities for social services and community development for the Black community in Peel Region as a whole and within specific Peel municipalities.

    Report - A Socio-Economic Profile of the Black Population in Peel, 2006 & 2011

  • Many studies on how to improve the quality of life of citizens recommend focusing public policy and social programs on where people actually live: local neighbourhoods. This paper provides a preliminary comparative analysis of the socio-economic status of the Black population across neighbourhoods in Peel Region. Thirty-one (31) neighbourhoods in Peel are included in this study. The focus of analysis is on three areas of socio-economic status: education, employment, and income. A total of twelve (12) social indicators related to these three areas of socio-economic status are chosen for analysis.

    The taxonomic method is used to measure and analyze variations among the neighbourhoods with respect to the socio-economic status of Blacks in Peel. The findings of this research reveal many differences among Blacks in Peel both within and among neighbourhoods, with the neighbourhood of Urban Caledon (L7C) having the highest percentage of Blacks of high socio-economic status, and that of East Brampton (L6T) having the highest percentage of Blacks of low socio-economic status. The findings of this study can be used to inform the development of public policy and the provision of services for the Black community.
     
  • Number of Black-focused Organizations in Peel Region

    • Fourteen (14) Black-focused organizations in Peel Region.
    • Three (3) mainstream agencies offering specific services for the Black community (for Black seniors).
    • Four (4) agencies in Toronto serving the Black population in Peel. (mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention, youth in the criminal justice system)

    Report - An Inventory of Agencies that Serve the Black Community and Youth in Peel Region

Toronto Star articles

thestar.com

2016 BCAN Honours

On Friday, November 13, 2016 the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) honoured some of our community’s Trailblazers, and celebrated the contributions of leaders who inspire us in the area of SERVICE, LEADERSHIP, COMMUNITY and EXCELLENCE! In the wake of the historic election south of the border and the ensuing uncertainty and civil unrest, this event brought some much needed inspiration and conversation to Peel Region!

HONOUREES:

Kike Ojo – Project Manager, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (One Vision One Voice); Amrik Ahluwalia – Chair, Peel Regional Police Services Board; Sharon Douglas – Director of Community Investment, United Way of Peel Region; Ingrid Berkley Brown – Superintendent, Peel Regional Police; Nicholas Davis – Manager, CBC Radio; African Canadian Legal Clinic; Christien Levien – Founder, Legalswipe; Sean Liburd – Owner, Knowledge Bookstore; Wambui Karanja – Executive Director, African Community Services; Rick Williams – Trustee, Peel District School Board; Orlando Bowen – Executive Director, One Voice One Team; Adaoma Patterson – President, Jamaican Canadian Association; Anthony Morgan – Lawyer, Falconers LLP; Sharon Telfer – Owner, Potluck Restaurants & Caterers.

PRESENTERS:

The evening’s presenters included a range of esteemed guests, including Shelly White – President/CEO, United Way of Peel Region; Jagmeet Singh – MPP, Bramalea/Gore/Malton; Jennifer Evans – Chief, Peel Regional Police; Norma Nicholson – Vice-Chair, Peel Regional Police Services Board. Toronto’s Carlos Morgan and Greg Jackman did a fantastic job of entertaining and inspiring throughout the evening.

The 2016 BCAN Honours was hosted Craig Wellington – Director, AMCTO (The Municipal Experts) and Dr. Vidoll Regisford was one of our inspirational speakers for the evening.