To celebrate Black History Month in February in Canada, make a donation to Organizations that Support Black Canadians.
I grew up in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario and every day I walked by a church. What I didn’t know until years later was that the Salem Chapel of the British Methodist Episcopal (BME) Church, the church I walked by every day, is a significant monument to Black history in Canada.
As a white women I’ve been privileged to learn about black history in Canada without understanding what the experience of living this history would be. Even more, the privilege to choose not to learn it. I took for granted and overlooked the importance of learning about Black history. I walked by that church every day and still didn’t learn more.
Let me tell you about that unassuming church in the heart of my hometown. The most notable member of the Salem Chapel was Harriet Tubman. The unassuming church I walked by every day was the end of the Underground Railroad where Harriet Tubman guided Black slaves to freedom in Canada.
In May when George Floyd was killed and the Black Lives Matter movement called for change, I took note of how I had been burying my head in the sand. While I know I’m stumbling my way through learning I want to learn.
Black History Month felt like the right time to round up Organizations that Support Black Canadians. While it is easy to talk about Black History Month I have heard the voices of Black women reminding me as a privileged white woman to DO something. Put action behind our lip service. Giving to Organizations that Support Black Canadians is vital way to be a good ally.
Organizations that Support Black Canadians
Black Lives Matter Canada
With Regional Chapters in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Waterloo, BLM Canada is a platform for and in solidarity with Black communities across Canada dismantle all forms of anti-Black racism, liberate Blackness, support Black healing, affirm Black existence, and create freedom to love and self-determine.
Through alternative forms of education, events, and cultural creation BLM Canada creates spaces to build community.
In addition to Black liberation, BLM Canada is committed to Indigenous liberation.
Federation for Black Canadians
The Federation for Black Canadians is driven by organizations across Canada that focus on the advances the social, economic, political and cultural interests of Canadians of African descent.
Black Artists’ Networks In Dialogue
BAND Gallery and Cultural Centre located in Toronto is dedicated to supporting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists in cultural worker in Canada and beyond. It is a charitable organization that seeks to connect Black culture to communities to inspire, enlighten and educate through the arts.
Black Health Alliance
The Black Health Alliance in Toronto strives to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada through research, partnerships, and financial resources.
The statistics are staggering: while Black Canadians represent 2.9% of our population, they represent 18% of Canadians living in poverty.
Black History Ottawa
Black History Ottawa is an organization that seeks to increase our awareness, our appreciation and continue researching the history culture, traditions and achievements of Black Canadians.
Black Mentorship Inc
Black Mentorship Inc. in Oakville, Ontario is dedicated to the development of Black leaders by providing access, training and mentorship to all age groups. There are programs to increase awareness, build self-esteem and confidence, and learning to problem solve.
BC Black History Awareness Society
The BC Black History Awareness Society strives to advance our knowledge of the contributions and achievements of Black Canadians in British Columbia and promote diversity through education and opportunity.
Black Academic Scholarship Fund
Contributions to the Black Academic Scholarship Fund in Quebec help to support Black students in their pursuit of higher education.
Black Educators Association
Based in Nova Scotia, the Black Educators Association (BEA) assists the community to develop an equitable education system.
Black Mental Health Canada Inc.
BMHC based in Mississauga, Ontario seeks to bring awareness to the fact that Mental Health issues are a significant problem within the black community and provide access to affordable, culturally safe and affirming mental health services to support Black Canadians through education, advocacy and resources.
This includes working with mental health professionals to create a network of clinicians who are aware of the unique needs of the Black community, acting as a hub for relevant mental health research, and offering workshops, training and education.
Black Women in Motion
Black Women in Motion is a Toronto-based, youth-led organization that empowers and supports the advancement of black womxn and survivors of sexual violence with culturally-relevant content, educational tools, healing spaces and economic opportunities and through a anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework.
Black Youth Helpline
Black Youth Helpline aims to provide primary prevention to help all youth and specifically the need for a Black youth into productive adults by focusing the pillars of education, health and community.
Their objectives are:
- To prevent social, emotional, and psychological breakdowns that leads to violence and crime in youth population
- To provide access to professional services to support all youth and address the root cause of problems
- To keep youth in the school system or other development education activities
- and, to provide culturally appropriate professional and social supports
Black Space Winnipeg
Black Space Winnipeg strives to open the conversation about everyday experiences of being Black and create safe spaces for people of colour through hosting community events, artist demonstrations and workshops. By challenging anti-Black racism and discrimination, Black Space Winnipeg seeks to create inclusivity for Black people.
COBA or Collective of Black Artists is dedicated to the preservation of the cultural traditions of Africa and the African Diaspora. COBA aims to share the beauty of storytelling, music, and drama through African and Caribbean dance. The Collective offers dance classes, lectures, workshops, and professional training opportunities specializing in African and the African Diaspora dance culture and music.
CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals
Based out of Toronto, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals aims to address the economic and social barriers affecting Black youth. They focus on youth workforce development, education, and advocacy to influence systems and policy.
Their mission is to achieve a society and economy where Black youth achieve economic stability, a stronger knowledge of themselves and their potential, and contribute to building prosperous communities.
Guelph Black Heritage Society
The purpose of the Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) is to preserve the historical significance of the former Guelph British Methodist Episcopal (BME) Church, renamed Heritage Hall, by creating a cultural, historical and social centre within Guelph and Wellington County.
The Guelph BME, like the Salem Chapel in St. Catharines, was built by formerly enslaved Black individuals and their descendants who arrived in the area via the Underground Railroad.
Black Mental Health Matters
Black Mental Health Matters is a Toronto-based organization that supports low income clients with low cost mental health treatment options, and access to a therapist who is culturally understanding.
Donations allow Black Mental Health Matters to create programs that end stigma surrounding Black mental health, provide more low-cost therapy to support Black Canadians healing due to racial trauma, and conduct workshops that educate broader communities on the realities of anti-Black racism.
Hogan’s Alley Society
Hogan’s Alley Society based out of Vancouver is committed to sharing the presence, preserving and promoting the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions of Black Canadians throughout history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.
Malton Black Development Association
The Malton Black Development Association strives to for the creation of a good inter-community relationship in the Malton area in Mississauga, Ontario and beyond, through educational cultural and social activities.
This includes programs like scholarships, mentorship, workshops, and employment help.
NIA Centre for the Arts
Based in Toronto, NIA Centre for the Arts is dedicated to supporting artists, of different experience levels, showcases and promotes an appreciation of arts from across the Afro-Diaspora. NIA strives to support the development of healthy identity in Black youth and to connect the community to artistic and cultural experiences.
Harriet Tubman Community Organization
The Harriet Tubman Community Organization works with young Black people, aged 8 – 25, who are experiencing racialization engaged in positive activities by collaborating with diverse institutes, organizations, groups and individuals to create a ‘railroad’ network of resources like identity development and life skills.
Ontario Black History Society
The Ontario Black History Society focuses on the study, preservation and promotion of Black History and heritage by encouraging public interest in Black history.
This is accomplished through education, research and collaboration; development and support of educational initiatives and exhibits; and inclusion of Black history material in school curriculum.
Sheffield Park Black History Museum
Located in Clarksburg, Ontario, the Sheffield Park Black History Museum brings to life the dream of Howard Sheffield; to expose the contributions and achievements of local Black men and women in the Simcoe and Grey Counties to the surrounding community, business world, military & marine service, and sports arena.
The Society for the Protection and Preservation of Black Culture in Nova Scotia
Better known as The Black Cultural Society is dedicated to the ongoing feat to Protect, Preserve and Promote Black Culture and Heritage in Nova Scotia by providing program supports and services to create a greater understanding of diversity.
The Association of Black Social Workers
The Association of Black Social Workers in Nova Scotia acts as support group and professional development resource for African Canadian workers by providing a structure and forum for Black Social Workers and workers in related fields can exchange ideas, offer services and develop programs in the interest of the Black Community and the community at large.
The ABSW ABSW offers educational and community based programs ranging from clinical counselling to professional development and conducts awareness sessions on social issues such as: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Gambling, Parenting Bi-racial/Black Children, and Palliative Care.
The Black Business and Professional Association
The Black Business and Professional Association, located in Toronto, addresses equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education and economic development. This includes providing a National scholarship, community events, and recognition awards.
The Council for Advancement of African Canadians in Alberta
The Council for Advancement of African Canadians in Alberta (CAAC) serves as a community hub that provides programs and services from a place of cultural awareness and competency to the families in our diverse community.
Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention
The Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention or Black CAP works to respond to the threat of HIV and AIDS in African, Caribbean and Black communities in Toronto. Black CAP strives to create culturally relevant outreach, prevention and support services for people infected with, affected by, or at risk of contracting HIV.
This is done by providing counselling, settlement, practical and peer support, employment, housing and social support services.
Toronto Black Film Festival
The Toronto Black Film Festival is dedicated to giving unique voices in cinema the opportunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world and encourage the development of the independent film industry and promotion of more films on the reality of Black people from around the Globe.
The Toronto Black Film Festival is an expansion of the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF). Both were created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, an organization dedicated to education in the arts and to supporting the creation, promotion and showcase of Canadian and international cinema, art and culture.
Black Legal Action Centre
The Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC), located in Toronto, provides free legal services to Black residents in Ontario who have low or no income.
Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Clinic
The Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Clinic in Toronto provides healthcare to women from the African, Black, Carribean, Latin American and South Asian communities and addresses the issue of access to healthcare for these women. They do so with a feminist, pro-choice, anti-racist, anti-oppression, and multilingual framework
Black Boys Code
The Black Boys Code strives to develop a generation of young Black men to find success in technology careers through the development of digital literacy and computer competence.