Toronto reports 3-year progress in its anti-Black racism strategy

Over the past three years, the City of Toronto has invested more than $25.8 million in 48 of its 80 objectives to confront anti-Black racism, according to a report to council.

The funding includes $7.1 million to advance Black arts, culture and heritage, along with $3 million for organizations that are led by and serve the Black community and focus on mental health.

“The Confronting Anti-Black Racism Year Three Update demonstrates progress, as well as persistence, on the part of City staff to respond to the significant toll the pandemic has taken on Black communities in Toronto and take real and effective action,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement.

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In a press release, the City of Toronto said one of its actions was to establish the “ground-breaking” Black Scientist’s Task Force for Vaccine Equity to help with vaccine hesitancy in the city.

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Dr. Akwatu Khenti, chair of the task force, said the city’s work had “made the work of the Black Scientists’ Task Force on Vaccine Equity that much easier.”

The city has also worked to include race-based data in its public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 9,000 municipal staff — alongside external agencies — received training for Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism plan, including ways to “embed” an anti-racism lens into their work.

The plan to tackle anti-Black racism was unanimously approved under the previous city council in December 2017. It had a five-year horizon nd 80 separate actions.

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