Gathering Our Voices Research Project (2013)

In May 2013, the Black Daddies Club (BDC), under the leadership of Mr. Brandon Hay, Dr. Lance McCready at the University of Toronto and Dr. Carl James at York University, embarked on a unique and necessary research project to collect information about the issues, challenges, roadblocks, opportunities and successes associated with Black fatherhood in the City of Toronto. The research project titled, Gathering Our Voices, was designed to address the paucity of information on the lived experiences of Black fathers in Toronto.

This research project sought to inform current literature on the issues, challenges, opportunities and successes associated with Black fatherhood in the City of Toronto from the perspective of Black fathers themselves, their partners, family members and friends. The project included the following key research questions:

  1. What are the issues, challenges, opportunities, and successes associated with Black fatherhood in the City of Toronto from the perspective of Black fathers, their partners, family members and friends?
  2. What are the implications of these perspectives for programs and services for Black fathers in the City of Toronto, as well as for future research and policy making in health and human services?

The project took a community-based approach, meaning all decisions concerning Gathering Our Voices including the design, data collection and analysis of findings were guided by community members in the form of a Community Advisory Board (CAB). The Board consisted of Black fathers and their allies in the City of Toronto. Community-based research involves a collaborative relationship between researchers and community members in which they share control of the research agenda through active and reciprocal involvement in the research design, implementation and dissemination.

Community-based studies involve a research topic of practical relevance to the community and are carried out in community settings. Moreover, results of community-based studies are action-oriented and useful to members of the community. Towards these ends, the CAB met prior to the submission of ethics documents, again following the completion of the community forums, approved the guide for the one-on-one interviews, and then met to discuss the research findings.

Read the final report here:  Gathering Our Voices – BDC Research Project

Breaking Bread Report (2011)

The Breaking Bread program was conducted in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto from April through September 2011. The main project idea focused on fostering a desire in men on the cusp of adulthood to take up the positive values of manhood through a sense of self-control and commitment to values of parent involvement, healthy relationships, and positive roles for Black men in the community. It offered a nurturing environment to openly discuss and share the unique experiences and challenges related to their daily-lived experiences of being young Black men who are also fathers, and the complexities that sometimes emerge at the intersection of these three identities. Within the environment created by Breaking Bread young men began to identify and equip themselves with strategies to overcome challenges related to fatherhood, the criminal justice system, and education that they believed would benefit them, their families, and their communities.

The Breaking Bread model was not limited to the conversations that occurred in the group sessions, but extended into the community through a series of coordinated neighbourhood organizational partnerships. In coordinating these partnerships we operated from the premise that ‗It takes a healthy village to raise a healthy child/man‘ and with this in mind we sought to form sustainable community partnerships that would narrow the gaps in young Black men‘s access to community resources that were available to support their goals for positive manhood and fatherhood. The Breaking Bread program also aimed to create a support network (across neighbourhoods) of young fathers so that they can continue to offer and receive social support to/from other young Black fathers who have experienced Breaking Bread. These networks will be generated through the Breaking Bread retreat (anticipated for first quarter 2012), which is a reunion of participants from all four neighbourhoods who will convene to celebrate their contributions and commitments to their families and communities. This report outlines the history, successes, and challenges of Breaking Bread. 

Read the final report here:  Breaking Bread Final Report – Feb 1, 2011

A Movement Built on Love