Impact North Shore has been proud to center black voices and leadership during February 2023 and we also know that participating in Black history month is not enough!
This resource encourages everyone in our North Shore community to celebrate Black identities, and the achievement of Black Canadians and champion Black Futures. Connection and building community is important whilst we also actively stand together to dismantle racism that disproportionately affects the black community on the North Shore.
Finding Connection: Resources for Black Community Building
New to British Columbia and the North Shore? A combination of factors including natural causes and systemic redevelopment in Metro Vancouver have impacted local black communities. Though this is true, there are still many places for learning, finding community, accessing resources, and finding places to celebrate black life, online.
Here are some of the many resources that foster Advocacy and Community Building, Events and celebrations, Arts Culture and Education, and Health and Community Support Resources for the black community.
Black Lives Matter Vancouver – “Black folks & allies working in solidarity with communities seeking justice from racialized violence”. Starting in the US in response to the systemic and racial injustices that came about surrounding the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, international outcry prompted the creation of many chapters that all support black lives and all marginalized people in the fight for justice and liberation.
Black Women Connect Vancouver – creates opportunities for celebration, community building, and highlighting the experience of black women’s joy. The Collective “came together to inspire, empower, leverage our [their] strengths and embrace our [their] diverse experiences.”
Black Girl Collective Vancouver – “connecting and advocating for Black women through specially curated programs such as mentorship, community-centred events and more”, creating opportunities to celebrate black women, femmes, and non-binary folk in the Lower Mainland.
National Congress of Black Women Foundation (NCBWF) – a registered non-profit and non-partisan organization focussed on “identifying and addressing issues and barriers that are uniquely impacting Black community” through engagement, research and advocacy. NCBWF activities “foster the advancement, recognition, health and education of Black women and their families.”
Black Business Association of BC (BBABC) – “focuses on supporting Black entrepreneurs and small businesses in our [their] community. We [they] pride ourself [themselves] on providing programs and services that are meant to elevate our [their] businesses to keep them sustainable …” Services offered include support to entrepreneurs trying to attract funding, mentoring and networking opportunities. BBABC also advocates for members and provide an online marketplace and directory of Black-owned businesses offering products and services to the community.
Afro Vancouver Connect – dedicated to empowering people of African Descent through conversations, collaboration, creation & performance, creating space for them to flourish, be seen, and find solutions to the problems faced by underserved communities.
Ghana Canada Association of BC – an Association of Ghanaians in British Columbia, it was founded to support the social and economic well-being of Ghanaians through scholarships and events to celebrate and connect the Ghanaian community and the African diaspora.
Events and Celebrations
Vancouver Black Block party – an organization that creates spaces for black vendors, artists, and community members to make connections and celebrate black culture.
Black Van Club – “was born out of the desire to connect and share events around Vancouver for and by Black People.” They make weekly posts, promote local activities that create opportunities to network, celebrate and engage with black events and culture in the Lower Mainland
Arts, Culture and Education
African Descent Society– non-profit, that “exists to foster, empower and increase education, economic development and tolerance for the preservation and promotion of Black Canadian Heritage.” It creates and offers events, workshops and educational presentations that explore and maintain the rich history of Canadian artists, activist and pioneers, past and present.
BC Black History Awareness Society – organization dedicated to educating and archiving the history of the Black communities of BC. Provides online and published historical resources to increase education and awareness around black issues. It also hosts public events throughout the year that celebrate and commemorate the history of black lives in this province.
Vancouver BIPOC-CA– a “newly formed non-profit grassroots collective created in solidarity to reclaim space and create equity in the creative industry.” They support BIPOC community members who are creating workshops and events, resource centres, creative spaces and networking platforms, blogs; and those seeking donations and or grants.
Black Arts Center (BLAC) – based in Surrey, BC and dedicated to supporting multidisciplinary art created by Black youth and providing services including events, workshops, and mentorship relationships for artists. BLAC is committed to serving and reflecting the perspectives of IBPOC and underserved communities to better represent their experiences and foster inclusion.
Hogans Alley Society (HAS) – non-profit organization created “to advance the social, political, economic and cultural well-being of people of African descent (Black people) through the delivery of inclusive housing, built spaces, and culturally informed programming and operations.”
Vancouver Black library – place that offers study spaces, educational tools, art events and community facilitation “built for and by people of colour”. It is a non-profit organization that provides a safe space for community building through open mic nights and art events, and provides opportunities for black youth to learn, commune and express themselves.
Health and Community Support Resources:
BC Community Alliance (BCCA) – working “to develop programming to further support the Black community on an ongoing basis, and further improve the state of racialized communities throughout the province”. Created in response to a racist incident at a Vancouver high school, BCCA focuses specifically on the wellbeing of racialized students and community members in BC, advocating for a more comprehensive K-12 provincial curriculum that showcases Canadian Black History, and holding police and government accountable for racist incidences, in an effort to work toward creating safer and more inclusive environments for racialized youth.
Healing in Colour – fosters healing for BIPOC and intersectional communities in the Lower Mainland. Adopting an anti-oppressive approach, they ensure equitable access of marginalized folk to therapy and care that supports their healing and liberation. They offer mental health resources, events and workshops, and a directory of BIPOC therapists and allied professionals.
Restorative Justice North Shore – uses a restorative justice model to address, assess, and heal instances of harm and injustice that occur on the North Shore. Their vision is to “work towards a future where restorative justice practices, principles and values are used throughout North Shore communities to prevent conflict and heal harms.”
Vancouver Black Therapy – “non-profit organization that raises funds to connect Black community members with accredited Black counsellors and therapists locally.” This organization provides accessible mental health access to the Black community in the Lower Mainland, prioritizing people who are disabled, low Income, and/or LGBTQIA+.