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Open for consultation City project

Mississauga’s Black Community Engagement

From May to June 2021, the City of Mississauga, led by Mayor Bonnie Crombie, conducted a series of six consultation sessions with Black communities to generate greater insights into their lived experiences, challenges and opportunities to create a more inclusive and accessible City and Region.

These consultations have been derived from Council Resolution 207 passed in June 2020 in an effort to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, which have been identified as historic, pervasive, institutional and systemic issues in Mississauga that must be addressed.

As part of Resolution 207, the Mayor established a Black Caucus composed of Black community members who are an advisory body working with the Mayor on issues pertaining to the Black community in addressing racism, discrimination and systemic changes in Mississauga.

The Black Caucus has been instrumental in the development of the consultation plans and will be pivotal to the process.

Sessions

About this session

Accessing Political Power in Canada specifically aims to empower Black communities by inviting them to learn more about Canada’s political structures and how to best utilize those structures to enrich their lives in Mississauga.  To do so, the session will first acknowledge the historical challenges Black communities have had accessing political spaces. Then, the session will host a presentation given by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will discuss the powers of each level of government and explain what each level of government oversees and how best to access them.

SME presentation segment will include Mississauga’s Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Peel Regional Chair, Nando Iannicca, MPP Michael Coteau and MP Greg Fergus who will all discuss the powers and limitations of each level of government.

Following the SMEs presentation, community members will have the opportunity to respond to and interact with the SMEs to gain further clarification on Canada’s political structures.  This clarity will then inform the community’s participation in the following breakout sessions:

  1. How can the Black community use political engagement as an economic tool?
  2. How can faith-based leaders elevate Black political power?
  3. How can Black youths find empowerment through political engagement?

About this session

Accessing Mississauga’s Resources specifically aims to empower Black communities by both inviting them to learn more about how to access the resources of the City of Mississauga as well as provide feedback to the City on how it might deliver those services to better serve Black communities and their needs. Furthermore, this session will explore ways to better promote Black culture and history. The session will first acknowledge the historical challenges Black communities have had accessing resources in the City of Mississauga. Then, the session will host a presentation given by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will discuss the vast number of resources the City of Mississauga’s offers.

Following the SMEs presentation, community members will have the opportunity to respond to and interact with the SMEs to gain further clarification on the vast resources of the City of Mississauga.  This clarity will then inform the community’s participation in the following breakout sessions. Each session will focus one two themes: Resources for senior and those with accessibility needs, as well as Resources for families and youth.

The three breakout sessions were:

  1. How can we make programs and grants more supportive of Mississauga’s Black non-profits?
  2. How can the City of Mississauga better support and promote Black culture?
  3. How can the City of Mississauga decrease barriers to increase Black communities’ access and engagement with City services?

About this session

There has been a rise of police and community tensions, especially in the past year. Such tensions have made it clear the policing becomes less effective in the face of community distrust and anxiety. Yet, every community needs effective policing for safety and crisis response. How do we get there?

The session on Policing will specifically aim to empower Black communities by inviting them to share ideas and pathways for better relations and effective strategies to improve safety, well-being and positive policing in Mississauga and across Peel. To do so, the session will first acknowledge the historical challenges between Black communities and Peel Regional Police (PRP). We will also look at City Corporate Security and the challenges and opportunities that the communities face when accessing City facilities. Then, the session will host presentations given by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will discuss policing and its impact on Black Communities in Mississauga and across Peel.

The SMEs will include community advocates along with presentations from Justice Michael Tulloch, the Peel Police Service Board Chair, Ahmad Attia and Peel Police Deputy Chief, Marc Andrews, who will outline the current challenges and opportunities for Black communities and the police to foster better relationships.

Following the SMEs presentation, community members will have the opportunity to respond to and interact with the SMEs to gain further clarification on the current policing realities and policy impact on Black communities.  This clarity will then inform the community’s participation throughout three community-breakout sessions:

The three breakout sessions were:

  1. How to create better spaces for Black voices in Peel Region Police strategies and Peel Police Services Board governance?
  2. How can new technologies be used to address unconscious bias?
  3. How can we create strategies for improving engagements between Black youth and police?

About this session

Wellbeing: Designing Healthy Black Communities specifically aims to empower Black communities by informing the City of Mississauga what they need to achieve greater health and wellbeing.  To do so, the session will first acknowledge the historical challenges of Black communities accessing great health care in the City of Mississauga. Then, the session will host a presentation given by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will explore programs, services and access to public health, mental health, and housing. We will then engage the community by receiving feedback on solutions that would support the wellbeing and health of Black communities and the ways that the City can assist in the process.

Confirmed Presenters:

  • Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Public Health, Medical Officer
  • David Smith, CEO of CMHA Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin
  • Dianne Fierheller, co-lead for Co-Design an Equitable and Inclusive Health System in Peel
  • Hope Ramsay, Executive Director at Moyo Health & Community Services
  • Aileen Baird, Region of Peel, Director of Housing Services
  • Victoria Nelson, President of Camille’s Place

Following the SMEs presentation, community members will have the opportunity to respond to and interact with the SMEs to gain further clarification on our medical, housing and accessibility services.  This clarity will then inform the community’s participation in the following break out sessions:

  1. How could the City of Mississauga assist Black communities access better affordable Housing?
  2. How can the City of Mississauga support strategies to create an equitable and inclusive public health system and mental health supports in Peel?

About this session

Accessing an Age Friendly Society will explore ways to create an accessible City through programs for children, youth and older adults (seniors). The session specifically aims to empower Black communities by inviting them to discuss Mississauga’s and Peel Region’s services and programs around children, youth, and older adults, including accessibility services. This foundational understanding will then inform the engagement sessions where Mississauga can learn where the gaps exist and what further could be done to create a more inclusive and accessible City and Region for residents. The session will host presentations given by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will discuss cradle-to-retirement services and programs.

Following the SMEs presentation, community members will have the opportunity to respond to and interact with the SMEs to gain further clarification on the City’s accessibilities realities.  This clarity will then inform the community’s participation in the following breakout sessions:

  1. How could the City of Mississauga assist Black communities access better child and youth care services, including educational programs?
  2. How could the City of Mississauga assist Black communities access better services and programs for Older Adults and those living with accessibility challenges?

About this session

Black Economic Empowerment specifically aims to empower Black communities by inviting them to share their insights on the resources required in building successful Black businesses, entrepreneurs, employment opportunities and wealth.  To do so, the session will first acknowledge the historical challenges that Black communities have had in building and accessing economic development resources within the City of Mississauga and across Peel Region. The session will host presentations given by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will discuss strategies on how to nurture Black economic empowerment in Mississauga.

Following the SMEs presentation, community members will have the opportunity to respond to and interact with the SMEs to gain further clarification on Canada’s political structures.  This clarity will then inform the community’s participation in the following break out sessions:

  1. How could Mississauga create strategic paths to build Black Wealth in Mississauga?
  2. How could Mississauga support and attract Black business development and innovation?

Purpose

These consultations are designed to empower and encourage Mississauga’s Black communities to gain greater insights and access to the City’s resources as well as its social and political institutions.

The goal will be to develop mutual understanding, trust, and partnership between the City and its Black residents through the following:

Engagement with Mississauga’s Black communities to better understand their lived experiences, challenges and identify opportunities to improve access to:

  • Social, library and recreational services
  • Employment and housing
  • Local, provincial and federal political institutions
  • Positive promotion of Black history and culture

Identify pathways that will lead Mississauga’s Black communities to achieve better outcomes through effective political engagement, as they aim to resolve challenges relating to:

  • Economic development
  • Housing and health care
  • Education and child/youth welfare
  • Policing, justice and law enforcement

Improve the lived experience and wellbeing of members of the Black communities within Mississauga and Peel Region.

Engagement

  • Each session will be facilitated by a moderator and subject matter experts to guide the community engagement session
  • Each session will focus on one subject
  • The consultations will use data-driven open questions and will also include online surveys
  • There will be an email address dedicated to the community engagements for further correspondence and for the community to share any feedback they wish in addition to the consultations
  • Throughout each session, emphasis will be placed on identifying the correct political agencies that govern the subject being addressed. This will ensure community action plans include effective advocacy strategies.
  • The sessions will be virtually hosted and publicly accessible via Webex

Session feedback

Following each session, the community will also be able to provide feedback at the following links:

Outcomes

  • The feedback from each consultation session will be generated into a comprehensive report that will be used to develop a set of recommendations for Mississauga’s City Council.
  • The recommendations will also pinpoint strategies for advocacy and recommendations for Peel Region, the Province and the Federal Government.
  • The consultations will be designed to foster stronger ties between Mississauga’s Black residents and the City.

Contact us

For more information about these consultations, please email Mississauga Black Community Engagement at BCE@mississauga.ca.

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