By: Priscilla Wiredu
Published on September 16, 2022.
The Centre for Advancing the Interests of Black People is a place established by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). It is meant to help develop strategies to combat anti-Black racism and provide resources for Black communities to better address racism in Toronto. From award ceremonies to special workshops, the Centre aims to create a diverse and inclusive environment.
Starting in 2020, TCHC created a ‘’Confronting Anti-Black Racism” (CABR) Strategy team that created a report addressing and taking action against systemic barriers of discrimination in the TCHCs policies, programs, and service performance. In February 2021, this report was approved by the Board of Directors, and the Centre officially launched on December 2, 2021, as a leading organization to implement the CABR strategy.
What Do They Do?
In order to understand the Centre’s mission, we must first identify what Anti-Black racism is.
Anti-Black Racism is defined as institutional policies and practices that reinforce prejudiced beliefs, stereotyping and/or discrimination against people who identify as Black or are a part of the African diaspora. Anti-black racism is deeply rooted in Canadian society, where discriminatory practices have been normalized, often going unnoticed by the general population.
The Centre allows THCH to acknowledge and address systemic barriers affecting tenants and staff in order to become more inclusive to employees and social housing providers.
Activities and Events
The Centre offers many events, workshops, and resources for those who wish to engage in these activities. Some of their most prominent events are as follows:
Black Youth Gala
The Toronto Youth Cabinet partnered with the Centre for the Advancement of Interests of Black People and is hosting its first ever Black Youth Gala. It is set to recognize and celebrate Black youth and organizations that serve those youth. As well, it will promote empowerment and advocacy to create a safe space where Black youth can network and build together. Those nominated and attend are entitled to win awards that acknowledge their achievements in their communities.
Awards that will be handed out are as follows:
●Building Community through Athletics
●Building Community through the Arts
●Building Community through Entrepreneurship
●Building Community through Research, Science and Technology
●Equity and Diversity (two awards)
●Urban Health Promotion
●Beyond Call of Duty
Nominations have closed for this year’s event, but if you would like to attend, you can register for the event by completing the RSVP form.
TCHC Equity and Diversity Award
This award is given to the TCHC resident who has proven leadership, tackling issues, and demonstrated commitment to community engagement. This individual is also determined to create an inclusive space for racialized, marginalized, and vulnerable communities with involvement in working with Black communities.
In order to be eligible for this award, you must be:
● A Black identifying individual who lives in Toronto Community Housing
● A youth aged 13-27 years
● Proven strong contributions to their communities, particularly promoting inclusive spaces for the racialized, marginalized, and vulnerable communities, with a focus on working with Black communities
How to Apply
Although the deadline has passed, people can still apply by completing and submitting the nomination form online for the next cycle. Follow the submission instructions on the form.
Tenant-Staff Oversight and Advisory Board
The CABR strategy team is always looking for individuals who want to help build their community. They are hiring staff and tenants to join their Tenant-Staff Oversight and Advisory Board. This group serves as an accountability group to support the Centre and Toronto Community Housing in advancing CABR’s strategy.
Their duties and responsibilities are as follows:
●Provide oversight and ensure accountability on the delivery of CABR strategy
●Cooperate with community stakeholders
●Report to stakeholders on the progress of the strategy
You can download a copy of the poster (PDF) for more information about the Tenant-Staff Oversight and Advisory Board.
Applications for the Tenant-Staff Oversight and Advisory Board are currently open. If you have any questions about the Tenant-Staff Oversight and Advisory Board, you can email The Centre team at TheCentre@torontohousing.ca.
How to get involved
Working with the CABR strategy to eliminate systemic barriers in Toronto Community Housing is a continuous effort. Anyone interested in being involved must take a role in shaping the strategy to facilitate its success.
If you are a Black Toronto Community Housing tenant looking for more information on how to get involved or if you would like to participate in a session (CABR Team engages with Black tenants through WebEX sessions, phone calls, online submissions and other platforms that work for tenants) take a look at their contact information below.
Stand up and help make a difference at the Centre and Toronto Community Housing!
For inquiries not related to The Centre or the CABR strategy, please contact Client Care Centre at email@example.com 416-981-5500.
Priscilla Wiredu is a writer for this year’s Black Voice project. An alumni of York University, she graduated with Honors where she studied Social Sciences. She then went on to get an Ontario Graduate certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers, and a college certificate in Legal Office Administration at Seneca College. She is currently studying for the LSAT in hopes of going to law school. Her main goal as a Black Voices writer is to ensure Black issues and Black Pride are enunciated through her works.