ACSDC Logo

Articles

African Canadian Social Development Council
Celebrates Black History Month

ARTICLE

African Canadian Social Development Council Celebrates Black History Month
By: Emmanuel Ayiku & Jonathan Annobil, Toronto, Ontario
FAISAL HASSAN

(MPP, York South-Weston)
(Community Opportunities and Mobilization)

MR. MOSES MAWA

(Group Chairman & President)
AfroGlobal Television

The Black History Month is a special time to bring focuses and attention to the experiences, achievements and contributions of people of African descent in Canada. This year African Canadian Social Development Council (ACSDC)celebrated Black History month with the theme: "Breaking Barriers-Contribution of Continental Africans". The event which was celebrated in person and in Zoom across Canada was held on Saturday February 26, 2022 at 5145 Steeles Avenue, Toronto.

It started with the playing of the Canadian National Anthem followed with reading of the indigenous land acknowledgement. A short Video presentation about the history of ACSDC followed after the president of the ACSDC Mr. Kabu Asante welcomed all the participants and recounted the purpose of gathering and emphasized on the theme: "Breaking Barriers-Contribution of Continental Africans"

As part of his contribution, the Consul General of Ghana in Toronto, Hon Hakeem Balogun via zoom stressed that, "No one will celebrate us except when we trumpet our own achievements and in the same breadth project our potential. I want to state that Continental Africans have played a very major role in breaking the many barriers that have been placed on our path to global development and indeed to our own projection as Africans on the international scene.

He added that "there is no gainsaying that Africans are the most affected of all races when it comes to barriers to progress. In as much as Africans have been tolerant, warm and generous to all other races from ancient ages to date, other races have constantly raised barriers through condescending definitions that cast negative slurs on our race, thus wrongfully profiling us and denying us the recognition that we rightfully deserve, irrespective of our contribution to progressive development globally.

Ranging from the field of politics to the physical sciences; from literature to social sciences and from sports to authentic culture to mention a few."


MPP Faisal Hassan (York South-Weston) said he was inspired by the great work ACSDC does in improving social, economic and cultural conditions and in advocating for the rights and well-being of the Canadian African community. He continued that our Black History shows the generations of struggles we have known continue in many ways today despite the many gains and victories we have had to fight so much for. "For generations, Black Canadians have been contributing to the political, cultural and eco­ nomic fabric of our society."


"As Canada's very first Black MP, Cabinet Minister and Ontario's 24th Lt. Governor, Lincoln Alexander was a trailblazer, a champion for human rights and continues to be and inspiration for us all." He ended by quoting the late Desmond Tutu who passed away on December 26, 2021 whose words inspires him every day "There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in." On his part, MPP Tom Rakocevic (Humber River-Black Creek) who stated that "Anti-Black racism exists and this is something that we cannot rest until we stop it systemic barriers in education and many different places in all forms." He then wished all a very happy Black History Month. He continued that "it is time to celebrate, not just black a hi vements, but black greatness, and I can tell you within my community, the black community have been exceptional," and ended by saying we must continue to work together.


Mr. Emmanuel Duodu who is the President of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO) spoke about the impact the pandemic had on the community. And that the impact derailed all the laid-out plans but the resilience of the community became a positive thing. He narrated how the association from the onset of the pandemic purchased items on the open market at exorbitant prices from their own resources till help from the government came in.

He also touched on plans for seniors and the com­ munity s a whole and ended by wishing all Happy Black History Month, Mr. Emmanuel Duodu who is the President of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO) spoke about the impact the pandemic had on the community. And that the impact derailed all the laid-out plans but the resilience of the community became a positive thing. He narrated how the association from the onset of the pandemic purchased items on the open market at exorbitant prices from their own resources till help from the government came in. He also touched on plans for seniors and the community as a whole and ended by wishing all Happy Black History Month, Ms. Patricia Falope of Early Childhood Development Initiative spoke about the entire education and our children. She stated that a four-year-old boy (Nigerian parents) whose school took decisions about the boy without involving the parents to the extent of calling Police to remove the four-year-old from school. The school was refusing to take the boy back so she intervened to resolve the ugly situation. She added that her organization is there to bridge the gap so that we can lay a solid foundation for a child's wellness without sacrificing.

Ms. Julie Lutete, Francophone Community Executive Director and a candidate for Etobicoke North MPP the upcoming Provincial Election also spoke about the barriers she faced when she came to Canada in 1997 as she could not speak English. She struggled, but had to cope with the situation as she could not access French services everywhere. But by dint of hard work now she can speak better English and is now in Politics provincially and called on the audience to support her.

The main Key note Speaker was Mr. Moses Mawa, Group Chairman & President of AfroGlobal Television. Mawa said. "For us to be able to make a significant difference as Canadian people of African descent, we need to be as united as we possibly can and this is very important because we actually have many of us who are from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and different places but we need to recognize our common "Africaness" because of our experiences and the challenges that we face are actually very similar as well."
"I am actually best known for the AfroGlobal TV channel of which I am President and CEO. It means that whether you are Afro-Caribbean, Afro-American, Afro-Canadian, Afro-Brazilian, and as long as a person of African descent, you are part of the global African sort of family as well," he added. "In the corporate sector at large, you are beginning to see Continental African people making waves, taking strides and together we can actually increase opportunities and make it possible for us to succeed as a community. So in essence, it is important for us to be able to appropriately share our experiences and make it possibility for especially our children to have a better experience than ourselves," he emphasized.

Mawa shared some of his experiences when he came to Canada; "when I arrived in Canada, I noted that image of Africa and the African diaspora on TV and print media was actually negative. I there­ fore resolved at that time to get into the media field in order to make a difference, and then seeing the kind of systemic barriers that affect people of African descent when they want to get into any profession, I decided that if I cannot be hired, I would create a job for myself and then open more doors for others as well." "So, while still a student I decided to start the company Silver Trust Media. I was lucky to have been helped by Senator Donald Oliver to secure a student venture loan of $3000 which I paid back to the bank after starting my company by 2002 we launched the Planet Africa TV on Omni TV and by 2016 we launched the Global TV channel a 24-hour channel on Rogers, Bell and Telus cables."

"I really appreciate the ACSDC for creating a platform similar to what we are doing that will bring all of us together to celebrate. In academia we have Prof George Dei originally from Ghana who is probably one person who have enabled so many people from our community to secure masters' degrees and PhDs and so on in this country," On Mental Health, Mawa alluded to the fact so many of our people are going through tremendous challenges in part because of the experience of racial discrimination and other challenges as well. It is through advocacy to address this successfully. He ended his speech with the statement that, "our latest project 100 most influential black Canadians project is our way of making sure that we are able to identify members of the black community, including those who are actually from the Continent of Africa." Closing remarks was delivered by Kabu Asante, ACSDC President.

There were two Masters of Ceremonies, Ms. Kemi Amusan (Lady Kay) at location and Ephraim Mwaura virtual.

SHARE

POST COMMENTS

Leave your comment
Comment
Name
Email

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emmanuel Ayiku, Toronto, ON
Emmanuel Ayiku, Toronto, ONEmmanuel Ayiku works as a Vice President at National Ethnic Press, their management level is VP-Level. Emmanuel is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

The National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and integrate the economic, social, and cultural interests of ethnic communities into the mainstream of Canadian society. Over the last twenty-six years, the NEP has built a strong membership that today stands at more than 800 titles.

Read More

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Annobil, Toronto, ON
Jonathan Annobil, Toronto, ON---

Read More

COMMUNITY NEWS

AGENCIES & EVENTS

NEWSLETTERS

SOCIAL MEDIA