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Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), collaborates with the Black Daddies Club for Family Day

Paul Anthony Smith, Untitled, 7 Women, 2019. Unique picotage on inkjet print, coloured pencil, spray paint on museum board, 101.6 x 127 cm. The Hott Collection, New York © Paul Anthony Smith. Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

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.

Please see link to register here.

We hope you will join us!

Regards

Brandon Hay,

BDC Recommends this event series: Carleton University Black Mental Health Awareness Month Series (Jan 20th- Jan 31st, 2022)

Black Mental Health Month

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. 

Register at the link below

Black Daddies Club focuses on programming for Black Families in 2022

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.

These are a lot of things that Black Families are dealing with that are impacting our mental health. However, we also know that in a city like Toronto and in Canada there are limited resources for Black families to seek mental health supports that are accessible and culturally relatable, which research has shown as important for Black Canadians i.e. Perspectives on Health Well-Being in Black Communities in Toronto Experiences through COVID-19 and Shining a Light on Mental Health in Black Communities

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.

Regards,

Brandon Hay

Founder, The Black Daddies Club

Sunday Dinners: The virtual series that connects Black Masculinities, Food, Dialogues, Vulnerability and Healing (January 2022 edition)

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

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sunday-dinner-monthly-online-gathering-for-black-men-tickets-242977531337

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.

SUNDAY DINNERS: The virtual series that connects Black Masculinities, Food, Dialogues, Vulnerability and Healing

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, December 26th 2021, from 5pm to 8pm (Eastern time zone). You can register at this Eventbrite link.

Sunday Dinners is 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.

The Good Guise collaborates with the Black Daddies Club for “Loving Accountability” outdoor art installation

ABOUT THE INSTALLATION

Loving Accountability | November 19 – December 3 | Trinity in the Square (outdoors)

The Good Guise Present – Future Ancestors: From Care to Accountability

During these times of multiple pandemics, the Good Guise looked through their personal and community histories for inspiration and solace. We began at Eglinton West with the recognition that to become Future Ancestors, we would have to first learn to care for ourselves, our survival, and that of our communities. Our second installation brings you an immersive audiovisual experience that weaves together poetry and photo/videography by Jah Grey, Mosheh I – Tree Herdsman, Bidemi Oloyede and Mobólúwajídìde (Bo) Joseph with contributions from the larger Good Guise.

We have been harmed, we ourselves also have harmed. What does it then mean to be accountable to ourselves and to others in this dual reality? This installation invites you to immerse yourselves in our reflections as we approach this question from a position of self and communal care. We ask what it means to love and practice loving accountability as future ancestors rooted in community. While we don’t yet have the answers, we hope this can be a starting point for others asking similar questions.

Making With Place is SKETCH’s first series of public art projects in which artists consider the complexities of place while engaging with communities in thoughtful community-engaged design and production processes. Making with Place is part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021 – 2022, and funded by the Government of Canada, The City of Toronto, and Canada Council for the Arts.

ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT

Our public events will have ASL interpretation available. This site does have a step which renders part of the installation inaccessible, but still viewable to folks in mobility devices. Video and sound elements will be present.

This outdoor in-person event will takes place on Friday, December 3rd, 2021, from 5pm to 6pm at Trinity in the Square (outdoors) behind Toronto Eaton Centre Mall, Downtown, Toronto

This is event is free to the public

BLACK DADDIES CLUB COLLABORATES WITH SON OF DREAM PODCAST FOR EXPLORING BLACK FATHERHOOD AND JOHN HENRYISM

On Wednesday, December 8th 2021 at 7pm on huevoices podcast on Facebook Live, social worker Jermel,Gilliam, Brandon Hay, Founder Black Daddies Club, and James Collins, host of A Dad’s Thing Podcast, will join Bobby Marvin Holmes (Social Worker and Founder of Son of a Dream) to discuss Black fatherhood and John Henryism. Be sure to log on to our Facebook page to join the conversation. Also be sure to subscribe to huevoices podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.  As always, thank you for your support. 

Listen to the Huevoices podcast

https://www.sonofadream.com/podcast?utm_campaign=9a306c2d-b11f-4297-9a42-debd421362ab&utm_source=so&utm_medium=mail&cid=65762c32-f2c8-4fc7-bf23-c59c4860b20a

York University Collaborates with the Black Daddies Club, Mid-Career Conversations: Becoming a working parent: A father’s perspective

Mid-Career Conversations were created with York University alumni in mind — alumni who have several years’ experience and are now considering (or have already made) an important transition.

Each event will focus on a specific mid-career transition and feature a fellow alumni speaker sharing their own personal story and experiences. There will be the opportunity to ask questions and then move into virtual breakout rooms to discuss your own unique situations and ambitions.

Please join us on Thursday, December 9, 2021 as Brandon Hay (MES ’16) will share his experience of:

• Parenting strategies and challenges
• Cultivating community support
• Creating a network support group
• Balancing career and family
• Co-parenting
• Fatherhood

Register below

https://yorku.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sd–gpzotGNNceDNvUqHyuCLjhR5oeVXI

Sunday Dinners: A Place for Honesty and Vulnerability Between Black Men

“There is something powerful, hearing your thoughts echoed by another Black man.”

  • P.J. (He/ Him) Toronto, Canada

For so many Black men, wearing masks and concealing our true emotions has been a strategy for survival in our everyday existence, especially in spaces where Black men are less populated such as workplaces, academia, etc.  In these spaces, I have found myself building up courage to speak or inject my views into the dialogues and share my experiences, and sometimes feeling like an alien after I have spoken.

So, it is refreshing to be in spaces such as barbershops where we as Black men can share our feelings or insights unapologetically and for those thoughts to resonate with other Black men in the space. However, we have also had the experience of Black barbershops also being a place machismo and toxic masculinity that keeps many Black men from sharing our true vulnerable emotions in those spaces.

Sunday Dinners: monthly gatherings for Black men have been a place where we are co-creating something different, a new reality for Black men, a place where we are able to flex and strengthen these muscles around showing our vulnerable side with other Black men.

October 31st, 2021, we held our first Sunday Dinner of the new fall season and the conversations was a reminder of the beautiful experience that happens when Black men do not have to be guarded when we speak. Since we took a break for the summer months, so that men could focus on spending time with their families or spend time outside in nature. I found myself missing the Sunday Dinner dialogues, it is a space for me to connect with other Black men and for us to be a sounding board for one another. There is a something beautiful about how connecting with other Black men, gives us the opportunity to connect with ourselves as Black men individually, reminding us that we are not alone in this journey called life, a reminder that we are not alone as Black men who are on our journey’s finding home within ourselves.

Join the next Black Daddies Club co-presents Sunday Dinners gatherings for Black men on Sunday, November 28th 2021 from 5pm to 8pm (Est), register at Eventbrite to book your tickets.

BLACK DADDIES CLUB CO-PRESENTS SUNDAY DINNERS: GATHERING FOR BLACK MEN- ONE WEEK AWAY

The Black Daddies Club co-presents Sunday Dinners, monthly online gathering for Black men, takes place on the last Sunday of every month on the Zoom platform. The Sunday Dinners gatherings are for Black men in all of our entry points; heterosexual, LGBTQ2S+, Living with a disability, etc., if you identify as a Black man, then the Sunday Dinners space welcomes you. The next Sunday Dinners Session will take place on Sunday, October 31st 2021, from 5pm to 8pm, register at this link

The next Sunday Dinners Session will take place on Sunday, October 31st 2021, from 5pm to 8pm. There is no cost to enter the space, the only admission requirement is open mind and positive vibes

Register for the session at this Eventbrite link