“Hating people for their skin color is always wrong, regardless of who is doing the hating.”

A Discussion with Charities Supporting Black Communities during Black History Month

Discover the impactful endeavors undertaken by these charities supporting Black communities in Canada during Black History Month. Gain insights into their missions, hurdles, and opportunities for involvement to enact positive change.

Please note that responses from some charities have been condensed for brevity.

Why is Black History Month celebrated?

Black History Month serves as a poignant tribute to the resilience and contributions of Black communities in Canada. It also recognizes the dedicated efforts of Black-led charities combating racism, systemic inequities, and resource constraints. By spotlighting the vital work of these charities, we pay homage to their commitment to fostering a more equitable and inclusive society.

In solidarity with Black communities, Unite for Change established the Black Solidarity Fund to bolster organizations striving to dismantle systemic racism and uplift the well-being of Black Canadians. We engage with several charities supported by the fund, shedding light on their initiatives, challenges, and the impact of donations in effecting tangible change. These insights underscore the significance of Black History Month.

Q: What initiatives has your organization undertaken to address challenges faced by the Black communities you serve?

The Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum (SACHM) endeavors to celebrate and preserve the history, heritage, and contributions of individuals of African descent in their province. Their Virtual Museum and public art sculpture, the Honouring Tree, commemorate notable figures and highlight the vibrant Black population in Saskatchewan. Additionally, they’ve developed educational resources like the children’s book “Li’l Shadd: A Story of Ujima” and host community events to honor African-Canadian legacies.

Youth Now On Track (YNOT) in Toronto focuses on enhancing the quality of life for children, youth, and families. Their Youth Leadership and Empowerment Program, mentorship initiatives, Restorative Justice Program, and Mental Health Program aim to equip young people with essential skills, support, and resources to navigate various challenges they may encounter.

Promoting Education and Community Health (PEACH) has been a stalwart supporter of Toronto’s Black community for over 35 years. Their programs, including the Learning Beyond Adversity Program, Wraparound Program for Youth in Crisis, and initiatives supporting Black entrepreneurs, strive to empower individuals, foster resilience, and address community needs comprehensively.

Q: What challenges does your organization face in supporting communities amid systemic racism?

PEACH encounters difficulties in securing adequate funding to sustain and expand their initiatives addressing systemic racism-related challenges. This funding gap underscores the systemic inequities prevalent in Canadian philanthropy, where Black-led organizations often receive disproportionately less support compared to their white-led counterparts.

Q: Can you share success stories resulting from your efforts to support Black communities in areas like mental health, poverty, or education?

YNOT’s mental health programs have effectively enhanced well-being within Black communities by improving access to services and reducing stigma surrounding mental health concerns. PEACH has witnessed positive outcomes through initiatives like their food distribution program and Weekly Legal Clinic, which alleviate food insecurity and provide essential legal assistance, respectively.

Q: How can Canadian donors actively support Black-led and Black-serving charities beyond financial contributions and Black History Month?

In addition to monetary donations, individuals can volunteer their expertise, participate in advocacy campaigns, amplify organizations’ efforts on social media, and attend networking events hosted by Black-led organizations to foster community connections and collaboration.

Q: What role does collective financial support like Unite for Change’s Black Solidarity Fund play in addressing social and systemic issues facing Black Canadians?

Collective funds like the Black Solidarity Fund provide crucial resources to Black-led organizations, enabling them to expand their programs, outreach, and impact. Funding from the Black Solidarity Fund has facilitated initiatives like SACHM’s user-friendly website creation and enabled free events that promote community engagement.

Black History Month serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience, activism, and achievements of Black communities and organizations. Let us recognize and support these endeavors not only during February but throughout the year, fostering a more inclusive and just Canada. We extend gratitude to the aforementioned Canadian organizations for sharing their stories and inspiring collective action.


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