Healthy Communities YMCA Events

Celebrate Black History Month with events across the GTA

Black History month graphic with words: inspire, remember, share

Black History Month is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate Black Canadians who paved the way for others through new inventions, remarkable achievements, or acts of courage and bravery.

This February, we celebrate the contributions of Black Canadians in education, medicine, art, culture, public service, economic development, politics and human rights. Join us for a series of events across the GTA, all month long (see below for details).

Many of these events are inspired by the Black Experience Project, a seminal research study focused on examining the lived experiences of individuals who self-identify as Black and/or of African heritage living in the Greater Toronto Area. This study aims to provide a better understanding of the lives of Black individuals within the GTA, including the factors leading to their successes and challenges. The YMCA of Greater Toronto is proud to be one of the lead partners in the Black Experience Project and to share some exciting developments in this key project, which impacts the collective experience and the health of our communities.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto’s involvement in the Black Experience Project since its beginnings in 2010 provides a valuable opportunity for us to better understand and address some of the challenges and opportunities facing the community, while supporting the ability for all individuals to reach their full potential by promoting and supporting initiatives true to our mission and vision.

On July 19, 2017, many gathered at the Toronto Grosvenor St. Central YMCA, where the Black Experience Survey findings were shared. The results of the study are intended to “provide valuable insight and direction in identifying policies and other initiatives that will contribute to the health and vibrancy of the Black community, and by doing so, the health and vibrancy of the entire GTA community and beyond.”

“The survey outlined a number of challenges within the Black Community that the YMCA is in a unique position to address,” says Garth Neilson, Senior General Manager Employment and Community and lead on the YMCA Black Experience Committee. The YMCA of Greater Toronto sees valuable opportunities to use the findings from the study to make a positive impact through our programs and services.

By recognizing opportunities to learn about each other and share with each other, we strengthen and enrichen our communities in all our diversity and cultivate hope for a positive future for generations to come.

YMCA of Greater Toronto Black History Month Events

Join us for the following public events we will be hosting in recognition of Black History Month:

Saturday, February 10
Documentary & Discussion: The Blind Stigma
Teen Night guest speaker Stacy-Ann Buchanan
Mississauga Burnhamthorpe Rd. YMCA Centre

Saturday, February 17
Black History Month Celebration
Speakers, entertainment, and food
Brampton Union St. YMCA Centre

Friday, February 23
Documentary & Discussion: Last Ride Through Regent
Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre

Saturday, February 24
Black History Month Celebration
Teen Night Guest Speaker: Milt Ottey (Canadian Olympian)
Toronto Scarborough Town Centre Ct. YMCA Centre