Black Canadians constitute 1 million of the Canadian population. This number is projected to double by 2036. Today, black communities across Canadian face unique challenges that affect their integration into the greater Canadian economy. Poverty abounds in the community due to inherent systemic racism and discrimination that have worked together to ensure less than optimal economic conditions for the black community.

We have unique opportunity to come together to chat our own course to improve our socio-economic conditions. We live in a new world where almost everything is based on head count. We now have the numbers to take our share of the Canadian economy to improve our lots. Black owned enterprises and businesses are increasingly becoming reality. If you believe in ACAO’s mission of working to lift blacks up economically, join us.

Poverty makes people sick. Mental health issues are on the increase in our community, however, stigma and lack of resources will not allow us to seek help, most of the time. African Caribbean and the Black Canadians are 4 times at risk of getting diabetes, cataract and many other illnesses. One in seven people living with HIV in Canada is from the ACB community though we only constitute 3% of the population. Research indicates we suffer from Healthy Immigrant Effect which means our health which is higher than average Canadian starts deteriorating 5 years after arrival in Canada due to several factors including racism and discrimination.

We face challenges at all levels of Canadian education system not because we are not smart. In face Statistics Canada data indicate 34% of racialized Canadians have at least first degree compared to 20% of non-racialized Canadians. In simple terms, racialized Canadians are more educated. Why is the education system failing our children? This is a million-dollar question that requires million-dollar answer, but we cannot completely answer it. Racism, discrimination, bullying and intimidation, lack of cultural competency, low expectations and morale, lack of role models and socio-economic factors work against our children in the education system.

We have the opportunity to stay engaged. Let’s participate in the school system, join the school council in your neighbourhood. Go to your child’s school often. Let their teachers know you will follow up and demand explanation. Never accept in face value what the teachers say about your child. Encourage your children, take keen interest in their education. Let’s come together to help demand change in the education system for our own future sake. Join the ACAO education committee.

We are working to control our own narratives. What the mainstream media write about our experiences are often not true. Let’s promote our own stories let the mainstream know of our experiences. Let’s not be afraid to join the discussions about us. We have a unique opportunity press for fair reportage and changed own the narratives.

Join ACAO Media Committee to learn more our how we can take control of our story.