Are the upcoming Black Daddies Club events; Sunday Brunch and Sunday Dinner wheelchair accessible?

BDC Event accessibility post

The upcoming Black Daddies Club (BDC) events Sunday Brunch and Sunday Dinner on August 11th, 2024, taking place in downtown Toronto, Canada are not in a wheelchair accessible venue. With this in mind we have made these events hybrid (in-person and virtual).

As these events are not wheelchair accessible, we encourage folks who experience mobility issues, or those who will be out of the geographic area, to access both events via the virtual registration options. 

Sunday Brunch : A Decolonized Space for Black Therapists, Counselors, Healers and those who work with Black Folks(11am-2:30pm)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/926270488967?aff=oddtdtcreator – virtual registration

Sunday Dinners: Therapeutic Conversations for Black Men(3:30pm-6:30pm)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/926502522987?aff=oddtdtcreator– virtual  registration

As someone who recently had leg surgery, and had to use crutches and a leg brace to move around. I have had to think about accessibility in a more intimate way than I have ever done before. Buildings that I have been in numerous times before became puzzles  I had to problem solve so that I could enter and exit these buildings, and this brought up an annoyance and feeling of  un-safety every time I decided to leave my home.

Accessibility is something that BDC has thought about at length with these upcoming events and past events that we have done over the past 18 years. We partnered with various community stakeholders to ensure that we are able to make the events free and also through community partnerships we are able to provide food for the participants who attend these events in-person at no cost to these individuals. 

We also ensured that both events Sunday Brunch and Sunday Dinners had a virtual option to access these events. However, we still ask ourselves is this enough that we are doing to ensure that we are co-creating spaces that attract people from various lived experiences to take part in our events.

BDC continues to work at ways to ensure that we are co-creating accessible, relevant and engaging community events.

Regards

Brandon Hay

Founder, The Black Daddies Club

Therapist-in-training in Gestalt Therapy

Why is it important to treat trauma in Black People differently?

Here are two events: Sunday Brunch and Sunday Dinner that explains why it is important?

Less than 1% of therapists identify as Black men in the USA. This statistic was shared at a Black Men Therapists conference in Chicago that I attended in February 2023. This number is even less for Black men practicing therapy in Canada. 

This lack of representation of Black men in the mental health profession in Canada has impacts on the larger mental health crisis that Black folks across Canada are navigating. The Shining a Light on Mental Health in Black Communities report states that 60% of the Black Canadians surveyed “would be more willing to use mental health services if the mental health professional were Black”. The report also indicated the importance of innovative mental health interventions for the Back community, as “Black persons in Canada have higher unemployment rates, as well as lower average incomes, which may preclude them from the wider selection of mental health services available to those able to pay privately or go through employer-covered insurance plans”.

My name is Brandon Hay and I am a Black man who is a therapist-in-training in Gestalt therapy, and I am also the founder of the Black Daddies Club (BDC), which is a social grassroots movement that has been co-creating spaces for Black folks and Black men in Toronto for the past 18 years.

As a therapist in training, I believe the trauma that Black folks experience looks different due to racism and their other lived experiences that come with the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. The events below will be co-created communal and decolonized spaces for Black therapists, counselors, healers and those who support Black folks to learn and network with each other. 

On Sunday, August 11th 2024, BDC is collaborating with community stakeholders from Canada, USA, and South Africa to do two events (virtual and in-person) that will focus on innovative approaches with Black folks and mental health. The event will take place at Movember Canada, Toronto, 588 Richmond Street West, Toronto,

The first event taking place from 11am-2:30pm, will be Sunday Brunch: A Decolonized Space for Black Therapists, Counselors, Healers and those who work with Black Folks,  a panel discussion and networking and knowledge-sharing event for the purpose of decolonizing therapeutic strategies for Black, Indigenous and Racialized therapists, counselors, healers and those who support Black folks with their mental health.

This event, the first in a series, will launch The Revelry Group, an Employment Assistance Program (EAP) that works with Black, Racialized and Indigenous Counselors, Therapists and Healers. We are currently working on inviting Black and Racialized therapists to be a part of this network.

The second event for the day, taking place from 3:30pm to 6:30pm, will be Sunday Dinners: Conversations with Black men. The purpose of the Sunday Dinner gatherings is for Black men to have conversations with other Black men to explore our similarities and differences. This 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, etc.; as long as you identify as a Black man, the Sunday Dinners space is for you.

The Sunday Dinners initiative is innovative because it takes away the stigma of therapy which is still prevalent in some Black communities. The event is also free which helps to decrease the financial barriers that often stand in the way of Black men and their mental health and wellness. The design of Sunday Dinners is built on the Gestalt Therapy theories of dialogical relationship, awareness of our bodies and being present in the here and now with the other person. Sunday Dinners also relies on Black men connecting (speaking and listening) with other Black men in a vulnerable way, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, as one participant who attended the in-person Sunday Dinners event which was held in March 2024 in Toronto, said, 

“I love having an intergenerational space where I can learn from black men. Having a space to talk to other black men is healing, especially during COVID. I also like having this space because I can share my experiences and unpack some of my own insecurities and experiences. It feels like therapy’.” Sunday Dinner attendee

If you are a Black therapist or counselor, or a non-Black therapist or counselor who works with Black men, Black boys and the Black community at large, please register for the Sunday Brunch (in-person or virtual).

If you are a Black man and interested in attending Sunday Dinners, please register (in-person or virtual). 

As these events are not wheelchair accessible, we encourage folks who experience mobility issues, or those who will be out of the geographic area, to access both events via the virtual registration options.

I would love to see you at these events. Bring a friend!

Regards,

Brandon Hay (MES, Business)

Founder of the Black Daddies Club

Therapist-in-Training at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto

OSRP member 

Meet the Panellists and Moderators for Sunday Brunch: A Decolonized space for Black Therapists, Counsellors and Healers

Antonio J. Wheeler Jr, Chicago 

Antonio J. Wheeler Jr., Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor, is a humble servant facilitating the space for change and resilience.  Mr. Wheeler’s focus is to understand what has happened to you and empower individuals to reach self-actualization and sustain being anchored in wellness.  Antonio is the founder of Anchored In Wellness Chicago which is a private practice that focuses on providing resilience focused therapy to Black men & youth. 

Kareem Perez, The Tech Effect, Toronto (Co-Moderator)

Kareem delivers high-impact and action-oriented keynotes, presentations, and workshops to empower students and professionals to maximize their potential, and train businesses to succeed in the digital economy.  A special area of focus for Kareem is to nurture youth, emerging professionals, and entrepreneurs from BIPOC and immigrant communities in Canada. He is among the North American leaders who came together to train more than 30 Black and Indigenous youth (grades 10 to 12) for a business pitch competition as part of an Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) and Entrepreneurship co-op program delivered and developed by the Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management and Toronto Metropolitan University.

Vidoll Regisford, RP, Toronto

The psychology of optimal experiences is what drives Dr. Vidoll Regisford to serve as Principal of a private consulting and clinical counseling practice. His work is to alert the self in each of us to that higher-purpose thought of one’s existence, igniting the value meaning and worth of our divinity, in human form, knowing if we are one then we are the same. The body of his work straddles both the public-non-profit and private sector, intersecting his career as an executive leader and his complementary knowledge of people with skills as coach, psychotherapist and Counsellor.

Dr. Shane Joseph, DSW, MSW, RSW, MBA, Toronto

Shane is a transplanted immigrant of the Caribbean soil who now calls Canada home.  He is a Social Worker & Psychotherapist with over twenty years of wisdom in the areas of masculinity, gender-based violence, program and policy development, suicide intervention, and mental health. Within his private practice, which is heavily grounded in intersectional and decolonizing approaches, he provides individual, couples, and family therapy for the Black African Caribbean community disproportionately..

Mandii Brown, Nashville

Mandii Brown, recognized as “The Relatable Counselor,” dedicates her expertise as an LPC-MHSP to supporting black boys and men, particularly those impacted by the justice system. Through her counseling work, she creates a supportive environment that addresses and advocates for their specific mental health needs, emphasizing healing and resilience. Her advocacy extends beyond individual sessions by promoting wider awareness and understanding, which helps to dismantle stigmas surrounding mental health within the community.

Dr Ryan DeLapp, PHD, Clinical Psychologist, NYC

Dr DeLapp is widely recognized for his expertise in supporting minority individuals (including Black boys and men) with healing from, and learning to, navigate cultural stressors within their lives in his program called REACH (Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Healing). His REACH Program serves youth of color in schools, community centers, and outpatient therapy settings, and offers trainings for clinicians looking to support youth in these ways. Excitedly, he will be expanding access to his program’s resources in his upcoming REACH self-help workbook for adolescents and young adults of color that will be published in collaboration with Guildford Publishing.

Rohan Thompson, Social Work Therapist/Psychotherapist, Toronto

Rohan Thompson is a Social Work Therapist/Psychotherapist. He runs his own private practice, Breakthrough Counseling and Wellness Services. He works with all populations but he specializes in supporting men and women from African, Caribbean and Black communities either in individual counseling or group programs. Using a range of treatment methods, Rohan utilizes a client-centered, trauma-informed, anti-racist, strengths-based approach.

David Lewis-Peart, Toronto (Co-moderator)

David Lewis-Peart is a Community Projects Assistant at the Talk It Out Counseling (TIOC) Clinic within the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Social Work. In this role, David collaborates with community stakeholders to develop partnerships and interventions supporting the mental health of racialized men and boys. David holds a Master’s in Social Work, a Human Services Counseling diploma in Mental Health, a postgraduate certificate in Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and specialized training in Family Group Conferencing and Restorative Justice Conferencing.

Barbara Ukwuegbu Manager, Black Youth initiatives (Kidshelpline), Toronto 

Barbara leads and manages the Black Youths Initiatives program called RiseUp, powered by Kids Help phone. In her role as the manager, she oversees implementation of RiseUp: Kids Help Phone’s Action Plan for Supporting Black Youth. Through the plan, KHP will fulfill its promise to support African, Caribbean and Black youth across Canada with e-mental health services that are more equitable, accessible and culturally informed.

Abdifatah Hussein, Co-founder of Hidaayah House, Toronto

Abdifatah Hussein is a passionate community organizer, activist, and spoken word artist dedicated to empowering his community through platforms and connections. As the Co-Founder of Hidaayah House, a collaborative movement, he has hosted over 200 events and workshops over the past 8 years, working with diverse communities and individuals in the GTA. Abdifatah’s vision is to equip communities with the necessary resources to create their own solutions, emphasizing the transformative power of love and positive reinforcement for lasting change. Hidaayah House, born out of a pressing need to address gun violence, incarceration rates, and drug use among the Somali Youth Diaspora, provides emergency support and organizes creative events to unite communities. Their future goal is to establish a community center, offering consistent physical support for communities across the city.

Vakeesan Mahalingam, Artificial Intelligence-AI and Mental Health, Toronto

Based on his own mental health journey as a man of color, having gone through drug addictions, divorce, depression, anxiety, and bankruptcies, even after multiple successful careers, Vakeesan was struggling to find help because men of color are completely overlooked and underserved when it comes to mental health solutions in today’s world. This lead him to create AMARI AI, an empathetic AI tailored specifically for men to help them navigate through life’s toughest challenges. His research and testing and work here has not limited to work with black boys/black men but men of color like himself who also come from Sri Lanka, Guyana, Trinidad, India, and other places. Vakeesan’s goal here is to eventually be able to have an AI mental health coach help young racialized males avoid the traps of addictions, loneliness, and depression, through AI based guidance and mentorship specific to the needs of men.

Matilda Kissi, Toronto

Matilda is a law clerk with over 17 years experience assisting families navigate the Family Court process. Through her work, Matilda acknowledges, supports and empowers black men in the critical role they play as fathers in the legal system. Matilda de-stigmatizes the myths that exist in family law and the realities of the court process as a Black person. 

Mara Clarke, Family Lawyer, Toronto

Mara is a family law lawyer, owner and operator of The Law Office of Mara Clarke. Her resolution-focused, culturally sensitive approach to family law practice prioritizes her client’s interests and the parties’ relationship, helping them establish the “new normal” that will guide their interactions moving forward.  At times, the assistance of the court is required to settle matters, in those cases, Mara offers zealous advocacy, paired with a no-nonsense but reasonable, client-focused approach. 

Chef Nonhlanhla Moroenyane, Johannesburg, South Africa 

Chef Noni is a mother, healer, and artist, amongst other things. She is the great mother at Noni’s Home Dish which is a portal to reconnect food and people, rekindling kinship between our people and the land through unorthodox (forgotten) culinary food experiences, storytelling and food rituals. She is an Indigenous food specialist building a bridge to remembering and healing using the grains of the first people.

Contact info:,

Instagram: 

@Zulustarr

@Organiconversation

@plugndigenous

Cat B (Catherine Buccello), Founder of #BlackMenCryToo and The Bodega Lounge, New York

#BlackMenCryToo is an invitation for men of color to feel safe to share their truth and unpack their hurt . This space was created as an invitation for black men to feel empowered to share their truth and know it’s okay, that they can cry too.

Brandon Hay, Founder of The Black Daddies Club, Toronto (Co-moderator)

Brandon Hay (MES) is a graduate of York University, with a Masters in Environmental Studies and an Environmental Business Certificate from the Schulich School of Business, his thesis focused on Scripting Mature Black Masculinities and Love in Toronto.

He is a father of three boys, and the founder of a Toronto based grassroots social movement called the Black Daddies Club which celebrated their 16th year anniversary in November 2023. Currently Brandon is a therapist-in-training, practicing in Gestalt therapy, having recently finished his 5 years training at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto therapy program.

Brandon works as the Community Development Officer for the City of Toronto, and manages several portfolios which includes: the Community Healing Project, and Workforce Development. He is also a part-time Professor at George Brown College in Toronto.

Brandon is a strong believer in equitable and innovative approaches to his community work; he works with an intersectional lens around issues of marginalization. Most importantly, he brings 15 years of mobilizing, community based research, event planning, and leadership experience to this role.

To register for the event use the QR code on the flyer below

Sunday Brunch: Event at a glance

Here is the event at glance:

11am-1130am– opening and welcome (Movember Canada and Black Daddies Club)

Panel a- 11:30am-12:30pm

  1. Panel topic: What are some things to consider if you want to grow your therapy practice? How does Innovation play a role in your therapy practice?
  1. Kareem Perez, Toronto, Co-Moderator -(Toronto)
  2. Antonio J. Wheeler Jr.,(Panelist) – (Chicago)
  3. Vidoll Regisford, RP, (Panelists)- (Toronto)
  4. Dr. Shane Joseph  DSW, MSW, RSW, MBA, (Panelist)- (Toronto)
  5. Dr. Ryan C.T. DeLapp, PhD-Panelists – (New York)
  6. Mandii Brown, M.S., LPC-MHSP, NCC; Certified Life Coach-Panelists -(Tennessee) 
  7. Rohan Thompson, (Panelists)- (Toronto)

Panel b- 12:45pm- 1:45pm

b) Panel: What are some innovative strategies to consider when working with Black men and Black boys? 

  1. David Lewis-Peart, HSC, MES, MSW(Co-Moderator)- – (Toronto)
  2. Barbara Ukwuegbu, Kids Helpline  (Panelist) – (Toronto)
  3. Abdifatah Hussein, Co-founder of Hidaayah House (Panelist) – (Toronto)
  4. Vakeesan Mahalingam, T- (Panelist) – (Toronto)
  5. Matilda Kissi, AccFM (Panelists) – (Toronto)
  6. Mara Clark – Family Lawyer (Panelists) – (Toronto)
  7. Chef Nonhlanhla Moroenyane ( Chef Noni)- (Panelists) – (Johanessberg, South Africa) 
  8. Cat B (Panelist) – (New York )

C) Conversation Cafe and networking led By Brandon Hay – 1:50pm- 230pm

Event ends at 2:30pm

Sunday Dinner: Therapeutic Conversations for Black men (August 2024 registration now open)

What: Sunday Dinner: Therapeutic Conversation Series for Black men

Topic: As a Black Man, how do you navigate loneliness? As a Black man, Do you feel alone?

Hybrid (in-person and virtual)

When: Sunday, August 11th, 2024 (3pm-6pm)

Where: Movember Canada, Toronto, 588 Richmond Street West, Toronto,

Cost: Free with registration (food included with registration – for those who show up in person)

Why: Black Daddies Club co- presents Sunday Dinners, is a quarterly in-person therapeutic conversation series with Black men from Canada and around the African diaspora. The purpose of the Sunday Dinner gatherings is for Black men to have conversations with other Black men from various entry points to explore our similarities and differences as Black men. This 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, etc.; as long as you identify as a Black man the Sunday Dinners space is for you.

Register below for online or in-person attendance

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/926500185997?aff=oddtdtcreator – in- person

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/926502522987?aff=oddtdtcreator– virtual

Sunday Brunch : A Decolonized Space for Black Therapists, Counsellors, Healers and those who work with Black Folks

Black Daddies Club believes that the trauma that Black people experience can look and feel different than other folks who are not Black, we also feel it is important for people to engage in talk-therapy but we also recognize that there are other innovative therapeutic practices from around the world outside of talk-therapy that can be more impact-full to people from the African Diaspora.

The Black Daddies Club, will be introducing Sunday Brunch is a networking and knowledge sharing event for the purpose of decolonizing therapeutic strategies for Black, Indigenous and Racialized therapists, counsellors and healers. The event will focus on hearing the narratives and strategies from Black, Indigenous and Racialized therapists on best practices and innovative methods of working with the mental health of Black, Indigenous and racialized communities across various communities and geographies, with the goal of learning new ways for working with Black, Indigenous and Racialized communities.

This first Sunday Brunch will launch on Sunday August 11th 2024 and will include two panel discussions, which will feature panellists from Canada, USA and South Africa.

1) “What Strategies people should consider when working with Black men and Black boys?”

2)What are some things to consider if you want to grow your therapy practice? How does Innovation play a role in your therapy practice?

What: Sunday Brunch : A Decolonized Space for Black Therapists, Counsellors, Healers and those who work with Black Folks

Topic: Panel Discussion on What therapeutic strategies to consider when working with Black Men and Black Boys?

Hybrid (in-person and virtual)

When: Sunday, August 11th, 2024 (11am to 1:30pm)

Where: Movember Canada, Toronto, 588 Richmond Street West, Toronto,

Cost: Free with registration (food included with registration – for those who show up in person )

Why: Black Daddies Club, will be introducing Sunday Brunch which will be a networking and knowledge sharing event for the purpose of decolonizing therapeutic strategies for Black, Indigenous and Racialized therapists, counsellors and healers. 

The event is to launch the series that is also connected to the launch of The Revelry Group, which is a Employment Assistance Program (EAP) which works with Black, Racialized and Indigenous Counselors, Therapists and Healers.

Register below

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/926256737837?aff=oddtdtcreator – in-person

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/926270488967?aff=oddtdtcreator – virtual