Leaders across multiple industries and sectors highlight continued efforts that support Black success across Canada.
Nico Taylor & Queen Kukoyi
Executive Director of Communications & Executive Director of Operations, Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada
As a Toronto-based cultural arts non-profit and a collective of multidisciplinary artists and art educators, the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) Canada is interested in changing how society connects, relates, and engages with public art and space. It’s an organization that truly values community participation in its art-making practice and believes that it should be more of a focus on arts and cultural spaces. BSAM Canada’s approach to speculative art involves the ability to reimagine constructions of race that place limits on our participation in Canadian society and to envision alternative worlds where we set the foundation for the society we would like to live in. The BSAM Canada team believes Black History Month and Black Future Month, and every day of the year should elevate the way that public art can speak to the processes of establishing a more equitable city while expanding the imagination through creating art that discovers other narratives and reverberates joy.
Director of Professional Practice and Quality, Across Boundaries
Across Boundaries believes that Black mental health matters this month and every month. The organization is helping Black people who use its services to create Black history. Across Boundaries is a mental health centre providing support for Black and racialized people since 1995. It recognizes that systematic racism impacts the physical and mental health of Black and racialized people, and offers a diverse spectrum of mental health services based on anti-racism, anti-Black racism, and anti-oppression frameworks. It provides a wide range of holistic programs to enhance the mind-body connection, including meditation, yoga, nutrition, employment, and much more. They’re all free and available online for Black and racialized people. Across Boundaries is not only creating change from within — it also recently hired a new Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism Training Manager who will begin educating outside groups on how to combat anti-Black racism in their workplaces.
Founding Director, The Reading Partnership
There have always been Black advocates and leaders responding to and addressing the challenges Black communities face with ingenuity and creativity. During Black History Month and beyond, it’s important to acknowledge and support Black leaders and their initiatives to ensure sustainability and growth. For a decade, The Reading Partnership’s work has been shaped by Black women educators who have worked collectively to develop evidence-based programs to address local issues of literacy. The organization is proud to see these initiatives, incubated in East Scarborough, being scaled nationally to serve children and families in need of support across the country. This is Black Girl Magic at its best!
Founding Director, The Black Outreach Collective
Strong identities enhance personal character, and an enhanced character can allow one to pursue their purpose. As a born leader growing up in one of the most marginalized communities in Canada known as Jane and Finch, I was a part of a generation of Black youth and young adults who needed to be equipped with the right mindset to thrive in this country. I started the Black Outreach Collective, a Black young adult-led non-profit organization with a mission to reach, enhance, and educate Black youth and young adults aged 18 to 35. We provide Afrocentric socioeconomic, sociocultural, and sociopolitical education and tools of radical knowledge via our digital platforms. Black history and culture are relevant to who we are. To become community catalysts, we must act with a full understanding of the past, our history, the present social interface, and an equitable future. It starts by navigating with the knowledge that revolutionizes our nation.