Notice Submitted by Federation of Black Canadians

On Sunday, March 25, more than 35 representatives of Black Montreal organizations, serving Black Anglophone, Haitian, continental African, Afro-Latin and Black LGBTQ+ communities, met at Union United Church for a Town Hall meeting. This initiative was organized by a group of volunteers in Montreal, in conjunction with the Steering Committee of the Federation of Black Canadians/Fédération des Canadiens Noirs.
The Federation of FBC/FCN is a nationally registered not-for-profit organization that is managed by an interim steering committee. It is a volunteer group of individuals tasked with working with Black communities across Canada to set up the national coalition infrastructure and Board of Directors for the FBC/FCN. Currently, Donald McLeod serves as the committee’s Chair.
Mr. Donald McLeod and Ms. Dahabo Omer, Director of Operations, were on their cross-country tour to gather information on matters of concern to Black Canadians. The six areas discussed included Mental and Physical Health, Employment/Economic Security, Justice, Education, Community Building, and the Reduction of anti-Black racism. Their purpose for being in Montreal was to better understand the realities faced by Black Montrealers from all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.

They have already met with Black leaders in Nova Scotia and Ottawa, during similar town halls and been a partner on the National Black Canadians Summit, gathering hundreds of communities leaders from across the country.   Later this year, they will travel to the West to meet with representatives and conduct more town halls sessions.
As stated in its Mission, the FBC/FCN is driven by Black organizations across the country and serves as a vehicle to advance the social, economic, political and cultural interests of Canadians of African descent.
Although this committee was formally launched in December 2017, they have worked with Black community organizations, which already have substantive impacts. This includes the earmarking of $214 million dollars by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the January 2018 Federal Budget.  This money can be access by Black communities across our vast country to eradicate racial barriers and improve their quality of life. This non-partisan group has also reached out to and met with all political parties to understand how all parties can serve the needs of Black Canadians.  In so doing, they have been approached by groups outside of Black communities for partnership opportunities and potential collaborations.
In visiting and speaking with representatives in each province, the Steering Committee wants to ensure that they capture all voices and as many Black realities as possible with a keen interest on marginalized groups within Black communities, such as Black Native Canadians, Black Latinos, Black LGBTQ+ and other Black allophone groups, which are not readily featured in the Black Canadian context or narrative.
Those representatives present at Union were pleased with the outcome of the meeting and were also encouraged to know that strides are being taken by Black Canadians for Black Canadians with fervor and determination at the national level.
More information to follow as it becomes available.
For more information on the Federation of Black Canadians, visit: http://www.fbcfcn.ca/

Sharon Nelson