Celebrating Black History Month

February 6, 2024

Throughout the month of February, United Way Centraide Canada proudly joins the celebration of Black History Month.  

This is a time to honour the resilience and many contributions made by the Black community, while also recognizing the socioeconomic hurdles still being faced.

The long-lasting impact of Black community leaders, both past and present, has significantly contributed to shaping Canada’s heritage, communities, and identity.   

We recognize this and we are taking Black History Month as an opportunity to uplift and support our Black communities with focus and intention.    

Let’s recognize trailblazers such as Virnetta Anderson, who served on the United Way Calgary Board and their Speakers Bureau. In 1974, Virnetta shattered barriers by becoming Calgary’s first Black city council member. Today, the main reception area in the original city hall building bears her name in her honour. 

The United Way Centraide network is committed to pursuing an equitable future for all.  

At United Way Centraide Canada, we’ve launched a national Diversity Council made up of members across our network who provide advice and guidance on the implementation of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Indigenous Collaboration Strategy. United Way Centraides are actively working on their investment strategies to ensure they are responsive to the diverse needs of equity deserving communities they support.   

Centraide of Greater Montreal supports the Bureau de la communauté haïtienne de Montréal (BCHM), an agency dedicated to guiding children and teenagers to adulthood, while relying on the skills and contributions of seniors, particularly within Montreal’s Haitian community.  

United Way Niagara is committed to providing resources for newcomers to Canada, as the region witnesses an influx of African asylum seekers entering the area. United Way Niagara has also partnered with the Niagara African Caribbean Cultural Organization (NACCO), to hear about some of the issues facing Black communities today. 

Additionally, United Way Greater Toronto brings together the private, public, and community sectors to find innovative ways to reduce gaps in economic prosperity at the neighbourhood level through the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) . ILEO is convened by United Way Greater Toronto in partnership with BMO. 

We remain committed to doing our part to contribute to building a more equitable future for all and to realize our vision of a country where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. 

Learn more about Black History Month in Canada here. 

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