We are Black Fathers: Inspiration

Above photo: Stephen Linton with his children Khaleya and Tait

Stephen is a husband and Father to two beautiful black children Khaleya and Tait. He enjoys spending time with his family and visiting new places. Stephen works for the City of Toronto where oversees the Street Outreach team. His children inspire him to make the world a better place for them to live, work and play in.

Black Daddies Club presents ‘We are Black Fathers’ Campaign

Above photo: Chevy Eugene (Phd Candidate) and his older daughter Julissa

Above photo: Chevy with his younger daughter Frantz.

We are Black Fathers is an online campaign that Black Daddies Club is doing leading up to Father’s Day to celebrate the Black fathers and Black men who are out there making a difference in the lives of so many people. However, these stories of Black fathers and their narratives are not usually on the front pages of the newspaper or the images we see saturated on our social media feeds these days.

During this time of Covid-19 pandemic and social consciousness rising around Black life, Black Daddies Club feels that it is important that we pause and highlight these Black men while they are still with us alive, rather than mourn their lives after they have been eradicated and taken from us, which is what it has been feeling like as I watch the news or scroll through my social media that is saturated with riots, Black people dying or being brutalized. It has been hurtful in hearing and seeing these various instances where people who are not Black sharing their sentiments that Black people lives do not matter, to the point that I have to take time off social media or decide that watching the news might not be the best thing for my mental health that day.

This brings us to the importance of sharing these stories of Black fathers with their children through the ‘We are Black Fathers’ campaign, which is to bring some positive imagery around Black men and Black fathers on social media, as it feels like we could also use some more positive imagery of Black men right now. This campaign is not here to pretend or forget that Black men and Black people are not being hung, brutalized, incarcerated, etc. This project is a reminder that that Black men/ Fathers do matter, that we are loveable, that we are human and now during these times is a reminder for the importance of critical hoping for Black people more than ever before.

Join the campaign, share your stores, Black Fathers please send us an image of yourself and your family as well as the following information:

  • Your name (first and last)
  • Your contact phone number
  • Best email to contact you
  • Bio (50-100 words maximum) optional 

These images will be used on Black Daddies Club website and social media.

In Solidarity,

Brandon Hay,

Founder,  The Black Daddies Club

Shea Moisture Canada partners with Black Daddies Club for Fathers Day 2020

Black Daddies Club and Shea Moisture Canada are collaborating this Fathers Day to ensure that we can give a little self care to the Black fathers who are doing a phenomenal job co-parenting or sole-parenting. We know this Fathers Day 2020 is a bit different that others prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. So we are doing a little campaign celebrating Black fathers in all of your beautifulness. We are looking for fathers to send us a photo of themselves with the caption “I am a Black Father” and we will be sharing these images on Black Daddies Club social media and we will be giving each of these fathers a care package courtesy of Shea Moisture Canada. Please send your photos to info@theblackdaddiesclub.com. We are also giving out some products during the Fathers Day event Dadsfest that Black Daddies Club is collaborating with Young Potential Fathers with on that is taking place Saturday, June 20th 2020. The details for the event is below:

DADS FEST: A Pre-Fathers’ Day Event 

Location: Zoom – https://bit.ly/36U2Uy

When: Saturday, June 20, 2020

Time: 3pm – 4:30pm

On Saturday June 20, 2020, Young & Potential Fathers and a collective of other Black Father-serving initiatives will be hosting DAD Fest

DAD Fest is a Pre-Father’s Day Community Online Festival, a FREE family fun event honoring fathers.

Shea Moisture Canada features Black Canadians to speak about Covid-19 and Anti-Black Racism

We have seen during this pandemic that Black men have become even more isolated during these times as many of us have lost our spaces for gathering and release such has barbershops, gyms, faith base spaces, etc. As we watch the constant anti-Black racism and violence play out on Black bodies that look like us, it has gravely impacted our mental health, but losing these gathering spaces are also impactful because these are the places that Black men would go to not feel so isolated, not to feel so alone, in these spaces we would connect with other Black men who are able to share their stories that mimic our own, and in that process, it is like finding home or respite. This pandemic is especially challenging for Black fathers who have the heart wrenching task of talking to their children about the violence that is taking place to Black people and trying to impart hope on their children when they as Black fathers may not feel hopeful themselves during these uncertain times of the pandemic. 

I had the opportunity to share my thoughts with a group of brilliant Black women on Shea Moisture Canada “Let’s Talk” virtual series on Instagram. The conversation was hosted by Karlyn Percil. You can watch the conversation below.

Dads fest 2020

For Immediate Release

Young and Potential Fathers in collaboration with Black Daddies Club, Knew Me, More Than A Haircut, Fathers 4 Fathers and Dua Kro Family Services present DAD Fest 2020 an online event

DADS FEST: A Pre-Fathers’ Day Event 

Location: Zoom – https://bit.ly/36U2Uy

When: Saturday, June 20, 2020

Time: 3pm – 4:30pm

On Saturday June 20, 2020, Young & Potential Fathers and a collective of other Black Father-serving initiatives will be hosting DAD Fest

DAD Fest is a Pre-Father’s Day Community Online Festival, a FREE family fun event honoring fathers.

The festival will take place online via Zoom from 3pm – 4:30pm and will include family entertainment, live demos, insightful panels and discussions, and culturally-relevant resources and information for Black Fathers and their families.

We encourage all community members, especially all the fathers, to come and join us on Saturday June 20, 2020 for the DAD Fest

For more information, please contact Ed Gough – Fatherhood and Manhood Advocate 416-717-3535 or email edgoughjr@gmail.com.

This event will be offering 50 food baskets to Black fathers and their families courtesy of Shelley Cares foundation https://www.shelleycaresfoundation.com, for any fathers who are interested please contact edgoughjr@gmail.com and we will deliver the food basket to you.

SPEAKING OUR TRUTHS: A Three-Part Conversation Series about Black Masculinities


JANUARY |  Modern Love: Social Media and Romantic Relationships


Date: Friday, January 31, 2020
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Venue: Hair Play Salon. 2444 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6E 3T1

FEBRUARY |  Re-imagining Black Masculinities: Health and Wellness Among Black Men**


**Please note this event is aimed to be a solely Black Men’s space. Black Men are HIGHLY encouraged to attend.

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2020
Time: 3pm – 6pm
Venue: Ujima House – Young and Potential Fathers. 1901 Weston Rd Unit 18, Toronto, ON M9N 3P5

MARCH |  Being Your Best SELF: What Would It Take?


Date: Friday, March 27, 2020
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Venue: TAIBU Community Health Centre. 27 Tapscott Rd #1, Scarborough, ON M1B 4Y7

NOTE TO ATTENDEES:


Social justice and equity are principles that guide weSpeak Black Daddies Club (BDC) activities. weSpeak and BDC strive to offer anti-oppressive workshops and to create a safe space that is welcoming, empowering, and open to all and free from any form of discrimination and harassement.

**Light Refreshments Provided**

These discussion are free, please RSVP here 

——

(Gender Pronoun: He/ Him)

Brandon Hay, MES

This Calendar Year of 2020 for Black Fathers

This Calendar year of 2020, will make the 13th anniversary of Black Daddies Club (BDC), and I had to ask myself do I have the capacity to steer the direction and grow the organization of how we should grow moving forward. Over the past 13 years, I have dealt with burnout, depression and isolation more times than I can account for, navigating personal issues such as navigating the separation of my marriage and learning how to co-parent from outside of the home, has been a really challenging, guilt-ridden and isolating process for me, many times not feeling like a “good” Black father myself (whatever this means).

During the years of 2017- 2019 I decided that I needed to limit the number of events Black Daddies Club took on and really focus on working on myself, really try to figure out how to heal myself and learn how to co-parent after a separation. During this process of my separation from my marriage, I started to seek out a Black Therapists and ideally wanted it to be a Black man, as I wanted to bring my whole self into the conversation without feeling like I was being Judged. I couldn’t find a Black male therapist, but I found a great Black therapist who was a woman and she helped me move some emotional blockages by supporting me to discover some unhealthy patterns that I had grown to normalize.

However, I still felt distant in my conversations with my therapist and what I desired was a space where I could see myself in the other person I was engaging with, and what I wanted this to look like was connectivity by the other person sharing of their own experiences, and for our experiences to intersect; what I was seeking was not feeling like I was alone going through this process of my marriage separation and figuring who I was as a Black father and Black man. I had experienced this type of confluence in barbershops discussions as well as dialogical spaces that were co-created through the Black Daddies Club, and I feel it is important moving forward to be intentional to put work into co-creating more spaces for Black conversations in Toronto.


In 2019, I decided that I wanted to take a more pro-active step towards healing myself, so I went back to school to become a therapist at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto for their five-year program. With that, the understanding that the first two years of the program was to focus on working on myself healing and then the remaining three years was focusing on how I could support our people in my community on their own path towards healing. Before I can do any kind of therapeutic work, I must heal myself first and have a better understanding of myself and how to support myself in the process.

This brings me to the direction that I want to take Black Daddies Club over the next few years which will be to focus on co-creating healing spaces for Black fathers, Black families and the various Black communities in the Greater Toronto Area. I wanted the work that Black Daddies Club would undertake in the year 2020 and 2021 to be grounded in research that we have done through the Gathering Our Voices Research Project in 2013. The research that was a collaboration between York University, University of Toronto, The City of Toronto and The Black Daddies Club, captured the voices of Black fathers in living in Toronto and produced several themes that BDC will be delving into deeper over 2020 and 2021. I wanted to create a framework of Collaboration, Co-Creation and Innovation to determine the future work that BDC will undertake moving forward after 2021. This process will be steeped in collaboration, how I define collaboration in this sense is that it should be win/win, potentially long term, and cross-sectorial.

Collaborating from the roots versus collaborating from the branch, which speaks to working together from early in the process versus collaborating later on in the process. Our goal for this work is to be mechanisms for transformation, with that being said, our hope is to change or strengthen existing policy, decrease isolation in our communities and moving towards a more collaborative approach to limit the work done in silos that I have been seeing popular due to non-profit industrial complex.

Our first collaborative project of 2020 will between Ryerson University research project WeSpeak and The Black Daddies Club. The WeSpeak project is research looking at Black men in Canada living with HIV and hired Black Daddies Club as consultants to produce three community based dialogues in the months of January to March 2020, which will take a look at issues around dating and healing from Black men perspective.

We hope you can join Black Daddies Club in 2020 as we plan on continuing to co-create relevant initiatives with the support of community members as yourselves.


Regards
Brandon Hay, MES (Bus.)
Founder of The Black Daddies Club