August 4, 2022 – Press Release on Emancipation Month

Skills for Change wishes our Black colleagues, clients and all Black Canadians a Happy Emancipation Month. When we celebrate Emancipation Month, we commemorate our ancestors who suffered in slavery and colonialism for hundreds of years. We recognize the suffering of Black people who are victims of post-slavery systemic oppression. We recognize members of our community who have been victims of police brutality. We recognize our population who have been facing Anti-Black Racism. We recognize Black Canadians who have struggled to pursue human rights, equality and justice. We celebrate the strength and perseverance of Black Canadians who have become a strong community, irrespective of the suffering and oppression they have been through.

Following the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, more than 800,000 African slaves were emancipated in the British-controlled regions of the world, including Canada. After 188 years, in 2021, the government of Canada proclaimed August 1 to be Emancipation Day. August is designated to be Emancipation Month in the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto. We welcome the proclamation that recognizes the suffering of Black Canadians under slavery; however, there is more to be done. Skills for Change strongly condemns any form of discrimination against Black Canadians and we call to action governments, policy makers, employers and community to end Anti-Black Racism.

Despite the racism that Black Canadians experience everyday, the community continues to persevere and contribute to their societies. We at Skills for Change aspire to recognize and remember August, the Emancipation month, as a month of healing and reflection. It is a remembrance month about creating awareness and eliminating systemic discrimination based on race, especially against African descendants living across Canada, and beyond in all the regions of the World. Through this kind of recognition and act, Skills for Change hopes everyone is treated with respect and dignity, as we aim to build equitable and welcoming communities.,
To learn more about Skills for Change’s Black Community and Access Programming, see below.

– Surranna Sandy, CEO, Skills for Change

Black communities in Canada have diverse experiences and backgrounds which contribute in many ways to the growth, diversity, and development of the country. They continue to grow and break boundaries. However, Anti-Black racism and systemic racism have often made it more difficult for the Black community to gain access to certain resources more easily available to other non-racialized members of the Canadian Society. At Skills for Change through our Black Community Access and Programming (BCAP) department, we would like to do our part in contributing to the Black community. In BCAP, we hope to do that by focusing on the type of access to resources and program offerings that is needed within the Black community.

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