The Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC) and Facebook Canada are collaborating on an initiative to support Black business owners and entrepreneurs. Facebook Canada has contributed $500,000 in funding to the CBCC’s new grant program which supports members of the Black-business community who’ve been impacted by COVID-19. The program was announced this week at the inaugural C2 Online event and coincides with Canadian Black Business Week. The grants are meant to help business owners and entrepreneurs strengthen their online presence and increase their capacity.

    Uche Okugo leads the Network of Nigerians in Canada, an association made up of mostly young Nigerian professionals residing in Canada. On one cold night in October, Okugo was part of a memorial vigil held in Brampton for victims of police brutality in Nigeria. It was a night that reminded him about the many times he and other members of his family had terrifying experiences with police back home. Police intimidation, brutality, extortion, and other vices have been a longstanding concern in Nigeria. But in recent years, a unit called “SARS” came to represent everything wrong with the Nigerian Police…

    Linton Garner was tired of the narrow perception of the history and role of Black people in Canada. Growing up, his history books and instruction in school did not have much to say about Canadians who looked like him. And when it was mentioned, slavery was the focus. It is one of the things that inspired Garner, an experienced community development worker, to create something to fill that void.

    Elementary school kids in the Toronto District School Board have been missing out on classes for the African Heritage Program. Now, a small group championed by Martine Aldridge is working towards changing that and getting more parents to take advantage of a fully-funded program that has been underutilized for years.

    For Irene Ekweozoh, a Nigerian-Canadian currently finishing her Ph.D. in Law at the University of Ottawa, home is no longer a safe place. Ekweozoh is now living with PTSD after she says she was harassed and targeted by her neighbour Erin Farrow, who is an employee in the office of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Waterloo.

    What determines parents’ decisions on virtual or physical back-to-school options for their kids? How has the pandemic impacted aid workers and their families so far? In this piece, Brenda Uji spoke with some Long Term Care workers who share their experiences on the frontlines of COVID-19, and why they look forward to physical classes despite the realities they’ve seen.

    Photo by: Dawit Tibebu Thirty years after he left home, Birhanu Teklemichael still has a vivid memory of the Ethiopian New Year celebration. The big family gathering and festivity, singing and dancing around a firework called chibo, and exchanging of gifts and best wishes are the most special moments in his life that the Torontonian can’t easily forget. He can still hear girls singing the famous traditional song called “Abebayehosh,” which is themed with best wishes for the New Year, and presenting bunches of special flowers called Adey Abeba by going door to door in their neighbourhoods. He terribly misses drawing…

    Up until now, the Canadian government has only acknowledged this country's relationship to slavery via the Underground Railroad. But right on time for Emancipation Day, the Liberal government has announced four separate "historic designations" which includes admitting that slavery existed in Canada between 1629 and 1834.

    In response to the ongoing police brutality of Canadian and US-American police, many academic institutions have followed the lead of major companies by releasing statements maintaining their commitments to anti-racist and social justice efforts, including Western University.

    Police cruisers casually stationed at a neighbourhood playground filled with Black and Brown children. These same vehicles eerily patrolling the surrounding streets in the evenings. Always present, always watching.  As a Somali-Canadian woman growing up in an ethnically diverse but historically underprivileged neighbourhood in Kitchener-Waterloo, I regularly witnessed the implicit criminalization of my community through the suffocating ubiquity of law enforcement personnel. When confronted with recent news of a Somali-Canadian man brutalized by local police after a traffic stop, I am deeply disturbed, though I cannot say I am surprised.

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