Toronto City Councillors have voted to move ahead with a five-year Anti-Black racism action plan.
The Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism is the result of a collaborative effort between the City of Toronto and Torontonians of African descent, who together plan to take corrective action.
“Toronto is the most diverse city in the world. However, studies continue to show that anti-Black racism still exists in this city, affecting the life chances of more than 200,000 people of African descent who call Toronto home,” states a City report.
The report said that Anti-Black racism is “policies and practices embedded in Canadian institutions that reflect and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, 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 here in Canada.”
According to the City, it’s experienced as lack of opportunity, poor health and mental health outcomes, poor education outcomes, higher rates of precarious employment and unemployment, significant poverty, and overrepresentation in the criminal justice, mental health, and child welfare systems.
Last year, the City launched the Toronto For All campaign, which continued into this year.
From January to March 2017, more than 800 Black Torontonians participated in 41 Community Conversations across Toronto that covered how to best confront anti-Black racism, according to the City.
Those discussions resulted in a draft action plan that went to the City earlier this year, and has resulted in the current Anti-Black racism plan.
The Action Plan includes 22 recommendations and 80 actions to address five issue areas: children and youth development; health and community services; job and income supports; policing and the justice system; and community engagement and Black leadership.
The City report states that implementation will start in 2018, and will follow with a corresponding progress report.