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Anti-Black Racism in Toronto

When I first heard about the new Toronto sign, my thoughts were:

1) What’s wrong with the old sign?

2) Where are we getting this money from?

3) How does this address anti-black racism within Toronto?

Now what is anti-black racism, because it can get confusing. It’s a double negative anti-black (okay bad), racism (also bad), so good?


Anti-black racism is defined as “prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and/ or discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and colonization”.


In 2016, the City of Toronto partnered up with OCASI-Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and developed a campaign to raise awareness and address conversations that we need to have about anti-Black racism in Toronto. They even created this cool guide that you can work through.

Five topics we need to talk about;

1) Children and Youth Development

42% of children in care, are Black children. Black youth have higher drop out and expulsion rates than other Toronto children. The unemployment rate of Black youth is two times higher than the national average. And Black youth report not feeling welcomed or supported in many programs funded to assist them.

2) Community Engagement & Black Leadership

For over 41 years Torontonians have been asking for government support for sustainable investment in Black specific spaces, programming, etc. that will strengthen the social, economic, and spiritual capacity of Black communities.

3) Health and Community Supports

Anti-Black racism continues to impact the lives of Black people in Toronto and limited access to health and community supports remains a huge challenge for Black individuals and families living in Toronto.

4) Job Opportunities & Income Supports

Black Torontonians experience lower graduation rates and high rates of unemployment and poverty. Many are stuck in part-time and precarious work that fails to meet their needs or leverage their talents.

5) Policing & The Justice System

Black Torontonians are over-represented in the prisons. There are concerns about policing practices.

Click this link to read more about the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Initiative


City of Toronto. (2019). Toronto For All: Confronting anti-black racism initiative. Community Conversation Guide. City of Toronto.

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