Sunday Dinners: Gathering for Black men our next session takes place on February 21st 2021

We are two months into the new calendar year of 2021, and we are gearing up for the Black Daddies Club, Sunday Dinners online gathering for Black men series, which takes place Sunday, February 21st, 2021 from 5pm to 7:30pm.

There have been a few instances over the new year that I have missed having a space to connect with other Black men to talk about some of the things that have been impactful and I know I am not alone in this sentiment.

You can register for this free event on Eventbrite.

What: Sunday Dinners, monthly online gatherings for Black men
Where: Zoom platform
When: Sunday, February 21st, 2021 from 5pm to 7:30pm
Actions: If you are a Black man register on Eventbrite, if you are not a Black man, please share with those that maybe interested
Cost: Free

Black Fathers give advice to their children

BDC- Gathering our voices research

Eight years ago (2013), The Black Daddies Club partnered with Dr. Carl James (York University), Dr. Lance McCready (University of Toronto, OISE) and the City of Toronto do a research project called Gathering our voices (report can be found on the report tab on the Black Daddies Club website). In our conversations around marketing and promotion for the research project, in where we wanted to capture the voices from Black fathers in the Greater Toronto Area. We landed on the idea of creating a series of video montages in where we would speak with various Black fathers in Toronto about some issues that we wanted to talk about in the research project and hear what they would have to say. The result was three videos that was created and edited with Toronto photographer Steve Carty.

The videos are still relevant 8 years later, and the issues that Black men were navigating in 2013 are still issues a lot of Black men are still navigating in 2021. The fact that we are navigating a pandemic with Covid-19 and we are not able to gather in our usual spaces and be able to speak freely with other Black men (i.e. barbershops), we have to think of innovative ways of creating spaces where Black men have the freedom to speak authentically and most importantly a space where Black men can resonate and even see themselves in the words that are said by other Black men.

One of the outcome from the research project, was that Black men in Toronto repeatedly said they wanted more spaces to connect with other Black men, for them to talk about various issues that they are navigating amidst other Black men and also to share their experiences as Black men and listen to other Black men’s experiences that mimics their own or that they can learn from. The Black Daddies Club has continued co-creating various spaces for Black men and the Black communities as a result of the recommendation from the “Gathering Our Voices Research, 2013”. The newest Black Daddies Club initiative Sunday Dinner, is creating this virtual space for Black men (Straight, Gay, Trans, Bi-sexual and Non-binary).

The Black Daddies Club co-presents Sunday Dinners, are monthly online discussions for Black men that takes place on the Zoom platform, these conversations takes place on the last Sunday of each month. The next Sunday Dinner will take place Sunday, February 21st, 5pm to 7:30pm. You can register for this free event on EventBrite

York University features Alumni, Founder of The Black Daddies Club: Brandon Hay

York University Alumni, Brandon Hay was featured in York University’s Alumni newsletter which came out in February 2021. Here is an excerpt from the article.

“I think barber shops have been these traditional spaces for Black men to talk and to get therapy, and it’s good for Black men to talk – but your barber is not a trained therapist. And we were suffering in silence. I think the struggle is definitely ongoing, but BDC has been an immense change in the way I parent. My children are definitely informed. Over the 14 years there have been a lot of changes within the community, but also a lot of changes within me. The saying really is right – it takes a village.”

Read the remaining article here.

Gestalt Therapy and Black Daddies Club

Whatever Works Podcast with Talia Singer, PhD RN RP (She/Her) Psychotherapist

Going to visit a therapist has been a bit of taboo for myself and for other Black men, or atleast amongst the Black men I grew up around. The idea of unmasking in front of a stranger and sharing all your deep secrets, seemed terrifying to me. This changed four years ago, once I began going through a separation from my 16 year marriage and found that I needed to find a space that I could speak honestly about what pain and shame I was navigating.

After deciding that I was going to visit a therapist, then came the issue of finding the right therapist for me, as I wanted to find someone who l would feel comfortable with, and someone who looked like myself, a Black man. I went to see a few different therapists, until I came across Gestalt Therapy. Even though non of my therapist has been a Black man, i have found spaces where I can share more than i can in the “regular world”, it has also made me go on the journey of becoming a Gestalt therapist myself, as I have been attending the Gestalt Institute of Toronto for the past 2 years apart of their 5 year program.

The work Black Daddies Club has been doing for 14 years has been focusing on creating safe spaces for Black men and Black folks to speak unapologetically about their Blackness and their perceived positionality in the world that we live in.

Take a listen as I speak to Talia Singer, PhD RN RP (She/Her) Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, and Podcast Host for WhateverWorks about my journey to become a Gestalt Therapist, listen to this episode on Spotify.

Black Daddies Club, thanks Ian Kamau for is continued contributions to the Canadian art scene

Toronto artist Ian Kamau, getting a haircut from the renown Halifax/ Toronto barber “Pops”

Non Essential by Ian Kamau

Toronto artist recently released a very important poetic piece about what is deemed essential and non essential work. Ian has been creating great music in Toronto for decades and this video is a good reason to pause and thank Ian for his thought provoking work.

Ian is not a Black father himself, however has mentored thousands of artists over his career, and he is the son of Roger McTair who is one of Canada’s pioneering Black documentary filmmakers and author. Ian, the Black Daddies Club is hailing you up and giving gratitude for the work that you have done, and the even the work that goes unrecognized, we see you and love brother.

You can find Ian Kamau’s music on Spotify, YouTube, I-Tunes and other platforms.

What makes Ecoversities Gathering transformational?

As the founder of the Black Daddies Club, I first got introduced to the Ecoversities Alliance in 2015, when I connected with them at Tamera in Portugal, and the idea of Un-conferences and un-learning really spoke to me. Most importantly, the idea of re-imagining education really resonated to me as a community activist here in Toronto, where community based education approach is something that Black Daddies Club has been doing since our inception in 2007. Meeting folks from all around the world and finding out more about how we differ but more importantly what do we have in common, made me think about the opportunity to network with like minded folks and to grow the work that I wanted to do, ever since then I have been apart of the network.

Fast forward to 2021, and I am on the planning committee for the first North American Turtle Island Ecoversities Gathering taking place on January 22nd to 24th 2021, which is taking place virtually due to Covid-19. You can see the schedule here and register for the free gathering by filling out the short form. For folks who are interested in hosting a session over the weekend, you can do so by filling out this form.

Also a part of this weekend’s gathering will be the Black Daddies Club co-presentation of Sunday Dinners virtual discussions (The Black Liberation edition), the online forum will focus on Blackness, Gender and Race. This special session will be open to the general public and not only to Black men, which the Sunday Dinner online gatherings are usually known for. This special edition of Sunday Dinner is a collaboration with Michael Roberson Maison-Margiela (New York) and Twysted Miyake- Mugler (Toronto). In 2016, Black Daddies Club partnered with Michael and Twysted to co-produced the Journey to Black Liberation Symposium and the Black Liberation Ball, which was held at the Harborfront Center in Toronto. In 2021 we will be collaborating with quarterly online conversations a part of the Sunday Dinner conversations, these conversations will look at various entry points into the Black communities, to register for the Sunday Dinner taking place Sunday, January 24th 2021 from 5pm to 6:30pm, you can register at this link.

Anthony Gebrehiwot will be in conversation with Brandon Hay and Randell Adjei to discuss Gebrehiwot’s ‘From Boys to Men

Join us Tuesday, January 26 at 5:30pm! Anthony Gebrehiwot will be in conversation with Brandon Hay and Randell Adjei to discuss Gebrehiwot’s ‘From Boys to Men: The Road to Healing’, currently installed in the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus  Instructional Center Vitrines.

Image: Anthony Gebrehiwot, A Soft Touch, 2019

‘From Boys to Men: The Road to Healing’ challenges how masculinity can fit into today’s society by focusing on the act of care. This series is a continuation of Gebrehiwot’s ‘From Boys To Men’, presented in Scarborough’s 2019 Nuit Blanche. This exhibition features portraits of artists from RISE (Reaching Intelligent Souls Elsewhere), a Scarborough-based, youth-led, movement that provides opportunities and spaces for youth to develop artistically, professionally, and spiritually.

Image: Anthony Gebrehiwot, A Soft Touch, 2019

Register for this free event

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/anthony-gebrehiwot-in-conversation-with-brandon-hay-and-randell-adjei-tickets-129766484047?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

Black Daddies Club Co-presents a special edition of Sunday Dinner- Virtual Gathering for the January 2021

The Black Daddies Club has collaborated with Michael Roberson Maison-Margiela (New York) and Twysted Miyake- Mugler (Toronto) to put on a special edition Sunday Dinner- Virtual Gathering , which will be taking place on Sunday January 24th 2021 from 5pm (est) to 6:30pm (est). This special virtual conversation will apart of the Ecoversities Alliance North American online Gathering which takes place from Friday, January 22nd 2021 to Sunday January 24th 2021. This special gathering is open to the general public, this event will be a free event.

Register here for this event

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sunday-dinners-a-virtual-conversation-around-blackness-and-gender-tickets-135925058509

Black Daddies Club Takes part in Ecoversities Alliance North American Gathering to start off the 2021 calendar

First… Thank you for all your inspiring work in the world. We honor and welcome your commitment, your diverse dreams, your gifts, your struggles and your experiments.

We invite you to gather this January (22nd – 24th) as part of a growing community of learning practitioners from around the world committed to re-imagining higher education. This gathering will be specific to those in Turtle Island/North America, to connect around the unique social, political, and educational ecosystems present here and now. We see these as charged times, with much at stake. This gathering is a place for deep, Earth-based togethering, so while we will use screens, we will also use our feet and hands and roots to learn.

The theme we are centering around is HOPE. Arms open. Fists raised. Hearts ablaze. Breathing together we will find our inner orientation that allows us to more wholly embody the hope we each hold.

Together, anchored by our individual and collective hopes, we will hold questions such as:

  • How do we practice a politics of care and pedagogy of hope in these times of multiple crises?
  • How can we learn with/from the multiple knowledges that are found in Turtle Island?
  • How can we create the kinds of relationships that can hold us as we address the racial, ecological, patriarchal, capitalistic violences of white supremacy and settler colonialism?
  • What could accountability, reparations, and healing look like in our learning communities?
  • How can we collectively build learning communities rather than education systems to meet the challenges of the time and to nurture future generations? 
  • How can we be queering education? What can the LGBTQ community teach us about learning?
  • What kinds of healing practices can be used to support us through times of crisis?
  • How can we re-build and re-connect our relationships to the places we dwell?

About Ecoversities

We strive to cultivate human and ecological flourishing in response to the multitude of urgent and critical challenges of our times. Since 2015, the Ecoversities Alliance has hosted  4 international gatherings and regional networks have been active in Latin America, Indian sub-continent, Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Arab World. 

The Invitation

We invite you to join us as a co-creator of the 1st Turtle Island Regional Gathering of this planetary alliance. We will be meeting for ~4 hours per day on Jan 22-24th, 2021.  Our aim is to keep this first gathering focused on connecting, opening, and exploring how we desire to be a regional group.

Please complete this short form. We will then send more details as they become available.

Note: There is no monetary charge for this event, we recognize it is an investment of your time and energy. We are creating a solidarity fund that will be available to support certain folks’ participation and hope those who are able can donate gifts (money, skills, time, etc.).

Our vision

The Ecoversities Alliance seeks to transform the unsustainable and unjust economic, political and social systems/mindsets that dominate the planet. We wish to do this by actively transforming the ways we learn, the tools we use to make sense of the world, and the ways we create and share knowledge.

Our mission

– To support learners and communities around the world to reclaim their own processes of un/learning, knowledge co-creation and community building.

– Inspiring, nourishing, connecting and giving visibility to diverse ecoversities initiatives around the world.

– Building solidarities, collective inquiries, inter-cultural dialogue and new experiments in higher education.

– Nurturing an ecology of knowledges, radical pedagogies and learning commons to expand human consciousness and cultural and ecological regeneration.

We invite you to be part of our Community.

The Ecoversities Alliance is a trans-local learning community of over 100 transformative learning spaces from more than 40 countries around the world who have been meeting and working together since 2015 through international and regional gatherings, learning exchanges, campaigns, workshops, learning journeys, film festivals and publications.

Take your time to explore our website at http://ecoversities.org/ecoversities/ to learn about other Alliance members and how to reach out to them.

With love,

Udi, Kelly, Brandon, Kate, Rosemary, Eileen, Sierra & the Ecoversities Alliance

P.S. If you’re still wrapping your head around what it’s like to join an Ecoversities gathering, this and this may be places to explore.