Black Daddies Club Celebrates its 14th year anniversary with Sunday Dinners initiative

Black Daddies Club celebrates its 14th year anniversary with Sunday Dinners, virtual conversations for Black men.

The Black Daddies Club co- presents Sunday Dinners, a monthly virtual conversation with Black men from around North America, and other continents, who represent various entry points into Blackness and masculinities, to speak about their hope as Black men and about where they are currently emotionally and mentally.

Sunday Dinners is online conversation series, that is held once a month on Sundays, from 3pm to 5pm (eastern time) and will take place on the zoom platform. The idea behind the virtual series is the intersections of food, conversations, and healing. The importance of gathering as Black people for Sunday Dinners resonates with many African and Black people from across the diaspora. The purpose of the Sunday Dinner gatherings is for Black men to have cross border conversations with other Black men from various entry points to explore our similarities and differences as Black men.

This online conversation series is for Black men who identify as Cis-Gendered, Trans men, or Non-binary and across sexualities Bi-sexual, Gay, Straight & Queer.

Email info@theblackdaddiesclub.com, If you are interested in registering.

14 Years & Still Learning

The past 14 years has been an extraordinary journey with myself at the helm of Black Daddies Club, with various ups and downs, but more importantly a lot of learning from various people. Throughout this journey, one of the things that has been consistent for the organization is the importance of creating spaces for Black men, where there are the possibilities of going deeper with each other. The other learning that I want to make mention will be the importance of time, patience and giving the space for emergence to happen. What I mean by this, is the growth that BDC has undergone over these 14 years has not been a linear one and our growth has sometimes feel slow but in retrospect has yielded some fantastic relationships and innovative approaches to community building, where if we had rushed our process in an attempt to become a “legitimate non-profit”, we might have missed some of the beautiful nuances that has made the process of our growth important as a grassroots movement.

2020, has been a little different in the ways that we are able to gather with each other, we went from gathering in physical spaces such as barbershops, to gathering in virtual spaces such as Zoom. This act of gathering is important especially during this pandemic where isolation and loneliness has been prevalent for a lot of people. This isolation and even depression has been the case for a lot Black men that I have come into contact with over this past year, who have mentioned that due to the lack of spaces to emote during the pandemic, they have tried numbing their feelings in various ways that do not honor their process and growth. 

BDC is grateful for all the community partners, volunteers, participants, and friendships that have been created over the past 14 years.

In Solidarity,

Brandon Hay, MES

Founder of The Black Daddies Club

University of Toronto and Black Daddies Club, collaborate for Black Like Us: Parenting from a Black Father Lens

Black Daddies Club founder, Brandon Hay. Will be working with the Family Cares office at the University of Toronto to deliver a special workshop to engage Black students and Black administrators at the University, entitled Black Like Us: Parenting from a Black Father Lens.

Join us for a discussion on what it means to teach our Black children about self-love during a time of discrimination and hate.

This session will take place on Monday November 9th 2020, from 1pm to 2:30pm and is only available to University of Toronto students and administrators, for more information or to register contact family.care@utoronto.ca

Black Men Speak Up Series & Forum

Black Daddies Club founder Brandon Hay, will be a guest on the Black Men Speak Up Series & Forum that is hosted Karen Carrington, the series will also be supported by Therapist Shane Joseph of New Journey Consulting inc. The series is hosted by Roots Community Services (www.rootscs.org), and funded through the United Way. According to Shane Joseph, “the importance of these series is that there is a recognition for the need for brave spaces for Black men to talk about some of the challenges that they have to navigate through the varied examples of Anti-Black racism and the space is also helpful to alleviate some of the isolation that has come with the Covid-19 pandemic, there is also an importance of creating these spaces for dialogue through collaboration”, which is one of the reason the Black Daddies Club will be supporting this series.

To find out more information about these series, please contact shane@rootscs.org, 647-846-9434 or office 905-455-6789 ext.123

To rsvp for the event that will feature Brandon Hay, Founder of Black Daddies Club, taking place on October 28th, 7:30pm (eastern time), please click the link  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/black-men-speak-up-tickets-124629717841– 

Learning Pods for Black Families in Toronto survey

Learning Pods mean different things to different people. For some, it’s the game plan, for others, it’s a backup plan. Some will opt for Distance Learning Pods, some for School at Home Pods, some seek full time, others only supplementary, and others yet seek virtual or social pods. Whatever your family needs, you should feel empowered to attain.

Learning Pods are often designed by a group of parents who share resources. They tend to be fairly small in size, and people have leaned on this model for a variety of reasons. Due to the pandemic, those parents that have immuno-compromised children or family members are gravitating to this model including, others that have children who need to learn in a smaller environment. Some pods will follow the online school curriculum, and others will create or use their own. Learning Pods Canada is a Facebook platform that connects parents, teachers and others interested in forming their own pods. All costs are negotiated between the parents and the educational provider. In some cases, parents will do the teaching themselves and operate it more like a co-operative. You can learn more about learning pods here: https://www.learningpodcanada.ca/

This survey is anonymous and confidential. The information gathered here will help determine if there is a need/desire for this educational model for black families.

Please take the following survey, your feedback is greatly appreciated

The survey was created by a group of concerns Black parents organizations based in the Greater Toronto Area, more info below:

Black Moms Connection (BMC) is an online global village and non-profit organization providing culturally relevant tools and resources to empower and educate the Black mother and her family. By Increasing the social, emotional, financial and well-being of the Black family–we will positively impact that Black community and the world at large.

Parents of Black Children (PoBC) is an advocacy group formed to support and address issues related to the success of Black students within schools. The group started as a collective of parents from York Region, but offers support and advice to families across the province of Ontario. We are working to ensure that our Black children can meet their full potential and achieve success in their educational outcomes.

The Black Daddies Club (BDC) is social grassroots organization, which creates a spaces for Black fathers, their families and Black communities in Toronto. The main goals of the organization are to change the image of the “absent Black father” that is prevalent in the media and to support Black men through collective discussion decreasing the isolation and increasing co-learning amongst these men.

“IT WAS MY FIRST TIME ENTERING A SPACE FOR BLACK MEN, AND I LOVED IT”

This testimonial came from one of the attendees of the Speaking Our Truths: Conversations for Black men series.

“I have attended three of your discussions so far and it was the first time I had entered a man space to talk about masculinity. I loved it. It allowed me to get new perspectives on different topics and really helped me deepen my reflection around relationships. 

It helped me understand and define what is a relationship with a woman (the exclusive type). Today at 33, I believe it is not something you (only) let yourself carried into…it has to be a choice. Deliberate and intentional. Once I had made that choice it felt much easier projecting me in a long term relationship. It also felt easier dealing with the possibilities of being tempted to “cheat”. What is there to win/loose with one main partner and side partners? Is this worth it? There is no universal answer, but I firmly believe that both partners must agree on what that means and what they expect from their relationship. When these expectations are clear it’s easier to commit. We all know this is, and will remain, a main topic of conversation for many men and women, so for me coming at peace with this really helped me.

Thanks to the space you have created and other reflections (over some time though, this didn’t happen overnight) I was able to reach back to a very special woman that I used to date and made myself available to love and be loved, truly, for the first time. We are together today.

Again, thanks guys for offering this space for us.”

Jonathan,

Speaking our Truths, conversations for Black men discussion series at Ujima House, Toronto (February 2020)

Ryerson University and Black Daddies Club co-presents “Returning Home” Online discussions

Greetings and Salutations, Community members 

Ryerson University WeSpeak research project and The Black Daddies Club have collaborated again to create the following virtual spaces for Black men.

You are invited to a two-part discussion for Black men entitled “Returning Home”. The conversation will take place on Zoom and we will be offering free registration for these events, space will be limited and will go quickly. 

Please see details below and share with your network.

How can we as Black men find a space for respite within ourselves as well as tap into other Black men, family and friends, and the broader community for support? Returning Home asks these questions. Centered on love, compassionate relationship building, and solidarity, we will also discuss community resources needed to support Black men’s general wellbeing.

Purpose of events:

Co-creating spaces for self-identifying Black men to talk about health, masculinities, and individual and community wellbeing, COVID-19 and beyond.

Event one:  The Gathering Place

Date

Friday July 17th 2020

6pm to 8pm

Description:

This event focuses on Black men “returning home within ourselves”.

Event two: “Sharing. Feeling. Caring”

Date: Friday July 31st 2020

6pm to 8pm

Description: 

This second event builds on the inward focus of the first event. Event two explores Black men “returning home with others”:

Goal of the events

Returning home centers love, compassionate relationship building, and solidarity. Also, what community resources are needed to support Black men’s general wellbeing?

Register below for one or both events

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/returning-home-talking-black-mens-health-masculinities-wellbeing-tickets-111848881014

Thank you in advance,

Brandon Hay (MES, Business)

Founder of The Black Daddies Club

Thank you to our Father’s Day 2020 sponsors: Shelley Cares Foundation and Shea Moisture Canada

Black Daddies Club (BDC), would like to thank our sponsors Shelley Cares Foundation and Shea Moisture Canada, who helped us support more than 60 (plus) families during Father’s Day 2020. Your contributions not only supported fathers and their families connected to the Dadsfest Father’s Day event. Through our sponsors contribution we were able to help provide additional supports to families through African Food Basket and Black Creek Community Farm, who are doing phenomenal work around food security in the City of Toronto.

 The Dadsfest Father’s Day event was spectacular and special thanks to Ujima House (Young Potential Fathers) for asking BDC to collaborate with them on the project. Special thanks to all agencies and individuals who were involved, notable mentions to Dwayne Morgan, More Than A Haircut project, KnewMe book project, Dalton Higgins, Lions Circle, Benjamin Degraaf, Brother Kofi and the other individuals that played a collective role in putting together a very necessary event. 

Ryerson University and Black Daddies Club collaborates for Returning Home: An Online Discussion series for Black Men (July 2020)

Ryerson University (WeSpeak Research project) and Black Daddies Club collaborates for the second time in 2020 for “Returning Home: Online conversations for Black men (Summer edition)

Where are Black men going to process and digest the pain and uncertainty that has come up for a lot of folks during this Covid-19 pandemic?  

A lot of our places of congregation such as gyms, barbershops, places of worship has been closed and for a lot of us these places are our non-traditional therapeutic spaces where we go to heal. During this pandemic, a lot of us have lost these spaces where as Black men we could be intimate with other Black men with our stories and our experiences and not feel isolated. However, I recognized one of my strategies for coping during the Covid-19 pandemic was to numb myself and not give the opportunity to feel the pain that was seeping-in (regardless how much I tried not to feel it) over the weeks and months as there was a multitude of images online showing violence being placed on Black and Indigenous bodies around North America. 

Returning Home online discussions are follow up dialogues to the Black Men Speaking their Truths discussions, A three part series which was held in Toronto during the months January, February and March 2020. Returning Home summer discussion series will be held in the month of July 2020, here are the descriptions of the two discussions, hope you will be able to join the dialogue or tell a Black man who could benefit from the dialogue.

1st Dialogue Description: Finding home within ourselves

This event focuses on Black men “finding home within ourselves”. The themes that will be discussed here deal with men’s individual coping strategies including feelings, thoughts, behaviours, and actions. 

We will explore how we can promote and maintain our good best possible health and well-being regardless of current circumstances.

2nd Dialogue Description: Finding home with others

While the first event looks inwards, this one explores Black men “finding home with others”. Particularly, with other Black men, family and friends, and the broader community centered on love, compassionate relationship building, and solidarity. 

Also, what community resources are needed to support Black men’s general wellbeing?

Keep posted for more information in the coming weeks.