Family Day with the Black Daddies Club is a collaborative initiative with the AGO to ensure that Black Families are able to spend time together in an interactive way, even during the pandemic.
The Black Daddies Club and the AGO would like to invite you to a moment to celebrate Black Families. We welcome families that self-identify as Black, Black families from the diaspora, families from the Caribbean, families who are allies and families who want to learn more about art and culture. The AGO is closed as per provincial health guidelines, but we would like to share the exhibition, Fragments of Epic Memory which invites visitors to experience the multiple ways of encountering the Caribbean and its diaspora, from the period following emancipation through today.
Hosted by Brandon Hay, MES (founder of Black Daddies Club) and Audrey Hudson, PhD (Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief, Education and Programming). For this event, we invited Curator, Julie Crooks, to do a talk on the big ideas, art works and artists in the exhibition and we will also have Art Educators conduct a mini-art tour and making lesson geared towards families. As a thank you for participating, we would like to mail you a care package of art supplies to use in the session. Please include your mailing address in the zoom registration form by February 1, 2022 so we can ensure the packages get to your family on time. Limited quantity of 100.
In many Black communities, mental health is stigmatized, and talking about your mental health issues can have social consequences. The ACMP aims to provide ACB youth with the tools and safe opportunity to successfully talk about mental health issues in the open. To ensure that this discussion is trauma-informed and attentive to stigma, the ACMP will engage with a range of experts from the mental health field, covering the most common and most harmful mental health issues that ACB youth face. In January 2022, the Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program (ACMP), partnered with the Royal Bank of Canada will host four events to address some of the major issues that the ACB community faces. Prizes will be given away at each event!
Let’s Talk: Anxiety and Depression: January 20 at 6pm
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health issues. Everyone can sometimes feel anxious or depressed and may need support or skills to cope as best as possible. For many of us, anxiety and depression can have a profound effect on our lives depending on our own lived experiences. Our goal is to explain what each of these conditions entails, how to recognize them, share strategies to mitigate and cope, and how to support people who live with anxiety and depression.
Changing The Narrative: How do Black people cope with the new “Normal?”: January 22 at 6pm
The Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program (ACMP), partnered with the Royal Bank of Canada, invites all community members to a FREE showcasing of the film “Home,” directed by Oliver Jono. The film is a story of an African American man dealing with mental health concerns that limit his ability to assert himself in mainstream society. “Home” showcases the main character’s plight to transition from living in a group home to suitable and independent living. Although the movie is not directly tied to the COVID pandemic, we showcase this film to encourage critical thinking and meaningful conversations about mental health concerns in the Black community.
Panel Discussion: Locating the (A)ccess for African descent people in addressing their MENTAL HEALTH concerns-January 26 at 6pm
This bilingual event will host African descent Therapists/Psychologists through an online panel discussion.
The event focuses on providing ACB community members and the broader community with the opportunity to talk about mental health issues openly and safely with mental health professionals. By creating a safe space for ACB people and folks from different ethnic backgrounds to connect with experts in the field, we strive to empower people by granting them access to tools and resources that allow them to seek help but know how to (a)ccess help. Additionally, we hope to raise awareness about the wide spectrum of mental health issues that affect the ACB community and reduce the stigmas associated with mental illness. This can include promoting positive behaviours that encourage people to seek help and inspire others to consider their emotional well-being.
Self Care: Supporting Your Own Mental Health-January 31 at 6pm
This event is intended to provide attendees with an opportunity to learn from our invited mental health professionals. The ACMP is focused on providing ACB youth with the opportunity to talk about mental health issues openly and safely with mental health professionals. By creating a safe space for ACB students to connect with experts in the field, we hope to empower students by granting them access to tools and resources that allow them to seek help. Additionally, we hope to raise awareness about the wide spectrum of mental health issues that affect the ACB community and reduce the stigmas associated with mental illness. This can include promoting positive behaviours that encourage people to seek help and inspiring others to give more consideration to their own emotional well-being.
Happy new year, sending you love and positive vibration throughout 2022.
We are a few weeks into the year 2022, and for me personally the year has sort of carried over some 2021 hangover and it has impacted my mental and physical health and I am not the only one. In Toronto, Canada, lockdowns and going in and out of them, it has taken away the ability to spend time with our loved ones outdoors and in some cases COVID has also taken away our ability to spend time with some of our loved ones indoors.
For over 2 years in Toronto, the pandemic has impacted how we are able to take care of our physical and mental health by the restrictions of being able to go to gyms, it has closed businesses and impacted people’s employment who are taking care of their families. We have seen how our mental health have been impacted by restrictions on our families not being able to travel, limiting how our families are able to spend time together over the holidays, prohibits our children from taking part in organized sports activity in their schools for the past 2.5 years, all of these things have taken a toll on our well-being.
The pandemic has caused tension within families, turning those family members who are for vaccinated against those family members who are not vaccinated, this is further complicated for Black families who are also navigating anti-Black racism outside in the world.
For families who are going through separation or divorce, the pandemic has created more barriers for civility between parents. One of which is how the pandemic has been used as a way to limit some fathers or even some mothers’ access to their children based on the fact that he or she is not vaccinated.
“No one is coming to save us, so we need to learn how to save ourselves.”
This Black Daddies Club (BDC) post is not about your choice to be vaccinated or not being vaccinated. What this post is communicating is that BDC feels that this pandemic is a part of our current reality and there is a necessary need for us in the Black community to strategize of ways that we are able to support each other and ourselves during this time. “No one is coming to save us, so we need to learn how to save ourselves.” Was some advice a dear friend and fellow Black father told me a few weeks ago and this deeply resonated with me.
Black Daddies Club is focusing our 2022 programming efforts and collaborations on initiatives that are experiments that will look at supporting Black fathers and Black families mental health and over all well-being. We call them experiments because these are new initiatives that BDC will be doing and we do not know what the outcomes will be. We do know that there has been shift happening in the world since this pandemic began more than 2 years ago and there is a shift also is happening within this grassroots organization based in Toronto called the Black Daddies Club, we are also learning and unlearning as we do this work. As BDC goes into our 15th year doing community-based programming and community engagement/ community building with Black peoples in Toronto and globally, we know that we are growing throughout this process of this work and sometimes the process is what really matters.
A lot of us are really going through it starting off the 2022 calendar, some of us are finding that we are numbing ourselves to get through the day, some of us may not really know why we are grieving or feeling frustration, please trust you are not alone.
The Black Daddies Club co- presents Sunday Dinners, which is 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.
The next and final Sunday Dinners for this year takes place on Sunday, January 30th 2022, from 5pm to 8pm (Eastern time zone). Register on eventbrite on this link
Sunday Dinners is an online conversation series, that is held once a month on Sundays, from 5pm to 8pm (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. Using large rooms and breakout rooms on the zoom platform we will have conversations about strategies and learnings for Black men navigating Anti-Black racism in the territories that they live. This online conversation series is for Black men who identify as cis-gendered, heterosexual, trans-men, gay, bi-sexual, mixed race, living with a disability or non-binary Black men; as long as you identify as a Black man the Sunday Dinner space is for you.