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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

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

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 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. 

Under the Acacia Tree interviews Black Daddies Club founder Brandon Hay

I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Kahmaria Pingue RECE, B.A.(Psych), B.Ed, M.A.Ed, who works with Under the Acacia Tree, which is a program put on by the Somali Centre for Family Services in Ottawa a few weeks ago, and here is the interview for folks who are interested in taking it in.

Here are also some assets that can be viewed that was extracted from the interview

Black Daddies Club will like to thank Under the Acacia Tree for the opportunity to interview the founder of the Black Daddies Club and helping spreading the word about the work that we are doing.

The Next Sunday Dinner- December 27th 2020

This upcoming Sunday, December 27th, 2020 from 5pm to 7pm (eastern), marks the final Sunday Dinner virtual gathering for Black men of 2020. The last session which took place, had representation from Black men from Toronto, Baltimore, Chicago,and Bay Area (California) and the consensus that was reached was that this monthly space is necessary for Black men to attend. 

The idea behind the monthly Sunday Dinner gatherings which takes place on the last Sunday of every month, is to create a space for Black men to connect and talk about things which are relevant to them. 

We will be starting Sunday Dinner back in the new year with a special collaboration edition to start off the new year, more information will come in January 2021.

This time of year can be stressful for a lot of folks, with so much extra pressure being put on buying gifts and spending time with loved ones, however the pandemic has made this even a more trauma induced time, where economics and finances for folks have been impacted, and the ability to spend time with loved ones has also been impacted. The Black Daddies Club recognizes that Black men are going through it right now and a lot of us are suffering in silence, and we ask that we bring all of ourselves into the Sunday Dinner virtual gathering and take of our masks, and share what we are grateful for this year or share what has been challenging for us this year. 

A couple of things to keep in mind:

Please have your video on

These conversations will be online, with that being said, we would like for folks to have their videos on, so that we are able to see who we are in dialogue with, this helps with the creation of trust amongst people on the call


We are asking that what happens on the call, stays on the call and that we do not speak about things that comes up during the call outside of these virtual gatherings

This is a gathering not a workshop

The Black Daddies Club intention with these dialogues is that we will be gathering and the dialogue will be co-created by the men who are in the conversation.

Be open minded

There is no set destination that we are going towards. In many ways these conversations will be an experiment, so please come with an open mind and see where the conversation takes us.

No homophobic or discrimination vibes

Black masculinity is not a monolith, all of our entry points are different and valuable. With that being said, these conversations are open to Black men who are straight, gay, trans, non-binary. So if you identify as a Black man, you are welcomed on the dialogue, we will not tolerate any language that seems to be homophobic.

No sexist language

Let us be mindful about how we speak to issues relating to black women and women in general. Not to generalize our experiences but speak specific to the experiences that we have with women and not paint the picture that all women are the same. 

Break bread with us

The premise of these Sunday Dinners virtual dialogues is that we will be gathering over food and we will engage with each other throughout the process. So we are asking that we all have something to eat while we are engaged in the dialogue. I know our parents say that we should talk with our mouth full, but we will make an exception for these gatherings.

Please be on-time

We will be connecting from 5pm to 7pm, and I will be letting people into the zoom room at 4:50pm. Please be on for 5pm, so that we are able to get into the dialogue. If you are running late, please drop a line to me in advance to give a heads up.

How to register for the dialogue, if you are interested in attending, please send an email to, and put “Registering for Sunday Dinner” in the subject line.

Please share with Black men in your networks.


Brandon Hay (MES, Business)

Founder, the Black Daddies Club

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, 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