• Councillor Mark Grimes

Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism outlines bold actions taken to support Black communities

Toronto City Council approved the Year Three Update of the City of Toronto’s five-year Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism (CABR). As part of the report, Council also adopted key priorities to deliver the fourth year of the Plan running from January to December 2022, and a community report assessing the City’s progress to deliver the Plan.

Since the Plan’s launch in 2018, more than $25.8 million has been invested to deliver 48 of the its 80 actions, with $21.5 million provided to respond to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in Year Three of the Plan. This includes $7.1 million to advance Black arts, culture and heritage initiatives, including $1.8 million to support Black artists through ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, and an additional $3 million for Black-led and Black-serving agencies to increase capacity to respond to rising mental health challenges among Black Torontonians.

As part of Year Three of the Action Plan, the City also mounted a targeted COVID-19 response for Black communities, including:

  • The establishment of the ground-breaking Black Scientist’s Task Force on Vaccine Equity to engage Black communities in dialogue around vaccine hesitancy and how to keep Black families and essential workers safe

  • The creation of the Black Vaccine Engagement Team, a hyper-local approach that helped increase COVID-19 testing, vaccine confidence and access among communities

  • The integration and advancement of disaggregated race-based data into Toronto Public Health’s approach to reporting on COVID-19 cases

Information on the City’s immunizations strategies, including work in Black communities is available in this Black Scientists’ Task Force backgrounder.

Additional results delivered by the Action Plan in Year Three included:

  • Launch of the Toronto Community Crisis Service to protect Black, Indigenous and other communities in vulnerable circumstances, as part of the 36 police reform directions adopted by Council in June 2020

  • More than 9,000 City staff, agencies and external agencies received CABR training to ensure that City staff both understand how to identify and respond to anti-Black racism and embed anti-Black racism analysis into all areas of the City’s work

  • Creation of the Centre for Advancing the Interests of Black People through Toronto Community Housing’s (TCHC) Confronting Anti-Black Racism Strategy and Eight-Point Action Plan

  • Establishment of the CABR Advisory Committee to foster Black leadership in the City governance and decision-making processes

  • Development of more workforce pathways and employment initiatives, including engagement of more than 1,300 youth in various employment and training initiatives, such career counselling, and the inaugural years for the Black Fellowship and Black Youth Employment Program

City staff also provided an outline of Year Four Priorities that are currently underway, including advancement of the Toronto Black Food Sovereignty Plan, the Black-mandated Funding Framework, a Black Housing Set-Aside, the Black Health Service Coordination Strategy and delivery of the Little Jamaica Initiative. Across these priorities and initiatives, efforts will be targeted to support 2SLGBT+ youth and Black women, strengthen Black capacity and leadership networks, and foster initiatives that support Black communities to live and recover with dignity from COVID-19.

In December 2017, Council unanimously approved the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism: a five-year plan containing 22 recommendations and 80 actions across five outcome areas, including Children and Youth Development, Health and Community Services, Job opportunities and Income supports, Policing and the Justice System, and Community Engagement and Black Leadership.

More about the Toronto’s CABR office and work is available on the City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism webpage.

The Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism – Year Three Update is available on the City Clerk’s website.