Vaccinating Black Toronto: pop-up clinic of the Black Health Vaccine Initiative, a collaboration between the Black Physicians Association of Ontario (BPAO) and a number of local organizations servicing the GTA’s Black community
The outsized impact of COVID-19, married with lower rates of vaccination in the Black community, mean that it has been much more difficult to manage the spread of the disease within a population that is already marginalized. Saturday’s event was an amalgamation of information session and vaccination clinic, and by the end of the weekend, the group had administered 2,231 doses. While planning for more pop-up clinics, the BPAO is continuing to run a standing vaccination clinic in partnership with Taibu Community Health Centre in Scarborough and other community allies. BPAO physicians have successfully vaccinated about 250 people per day at that location, coming up to a total of about 2,350 vaccinations before last weekend’s event at the JCA.
OpenSidewalks.com is a platform to map pedestrian paths, like sidewalks for accessibility, in ways that users can understand detailed attributes like width, surface composition, steepness, and shared traffic.
OpenSidewalks leverages collaborative collection and sharing of data in OpenStreetMap, an open database of geographic information. OpenSidewalks is led by the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology (TCAT) at the University of Washington, whose mission is to develop and deploy technologies that improve quality of life for people with disabilities.
Reclaim Your Campus is a toolkit for students or individuals seeking to organize to bar enforcement agencies from entering their campus or community spaces.
Reclaim Your Campus is a movement of students seeking to reclaim control of their campuses. Institutions cannot continue to ignore and harm the students who finance, occupy, support, create, subsidize, and fortify them. The Reclaim Your Campus movement encompases both the De-ICE Your Campus Initiative and the Cops Off Campus Initiative, which was inspired by the work of Jael Kerandi, the co-author of the Cops Off Campus initiative, and other student organizers at the University of Minnesota.
The City of Mississauga is conducting 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.
Seizing the Moment: concrete ideas for building back better from the pandemic.
Some propose ideas in bills already filed with the Legislature, while others are still taking shape and may need refinement before moving forward. There’s also some productive tension across proposals, giving readers an opportunity to weigh them against each other. Ultimately, though, they share a common goal – foregrounding justice and equity and ensuring that our region is more resilient when the next crisis hits.
CHANGING FACES of GREATER BOSTON: An in-depth look at how the opportunities and challenges of rapidly changing demographics are playing out in the region today
A collaboration between Boston Indicators, the UMass Donahue Institute, the four free-standing research institutes at UMass Boston dedicated to the major communities of color (the Trotter Institute, the Gastón Institute, the Institute for Asian American Studies and the Institute for New England Native American Studies) and faculty from UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School.
The City of Toronto has partnered with service providers to offer transportation services for people who need support to get to vaccination appointments.
Transportation options are available to people with disabilities, those 55 years old and older, and others who are frail or have underlying conditions which make them at greater risk from COVID-19 and/or render them unable to safely access other modes of transportation.
This program is intended for those who have no other options for transportation to vaccination appointments.
Black on the Prairies: A CBC project
What does it mean to be Black in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba? The Prairies, like the rest of the country, were gripped by the rallying cry of “Black Lives Matter.” That conversation revealed a mutual desire to share the fullness of Black life on the Prairies. These stories are vital and urgent, especially during what the United Nations has labelled the International Decade for People of African Descent.This project does not position the Prairies as Black ancestral territory or homelands. To be Black on the Prairies is to be part of a colonial legacy that begins on the ancestral lands of the First Nations and Métis people of this region. We aim to recognize Black and Indigenous peoples’ shared histories and affirm our ongoing relationships. Through five themes — Migration, Putting in Work, Black and Indigenous Relations, Politics and Resistance, and Black to the Future — this project places Black people’s experiences at the centre of the Prairie narrative.
BIKEPOC group working to make Toronto’s cycling community more welcoming to under-represented groups
BIKEPOC partners with local community bike groups like Charlie’s FreeWheels and Bike Chain to build and repair donated bikes. They completed 20 bike matches last year, getting bikes in the hands of women, children and people of colour.
City program aims to increase digital equity and access to affordable high-speed internet in Toronto
The City of Toronto is introducing ConnectTO – a City-driven collaborative program that aims to leverage the use of municipal resources and assets to help bridge the increasing digital divide by expanding access to affordable, high-speed internet to underserved Toronto residents.
City of Toronto’s Black Community COVID-19 Response Plan to provide enhanced support for Black Torontonians
Developed as part of the TO Supports: Targeted Equity Action Plan and in response to data released in late 2020 that revealed the highest rates of COVID-19 cases in Toronto (26 per cent) and vaccine hesitancy experienced by Canadians (about 30 per cent) were among Black people of African and Caribbean descent.
To help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and effectively address the issues around vaccine trust and confidence within Black communities, the City has partnered with community agencies to provide COVID-19 health and safety awareness in Black communities and work with experts to prepare for and support immunization.
The City of Edmonton is using social innovation to improve Edmonton’s Urban Wellness
The City has been working with residents, businesses, agencies and government to develop a ‘Recover’ approach to improve urban wellness. Urban wellness includes economy vitality, social capacity, physical and mental health, built and natural environments. Bringing all kinds of people together, from businesses to residents to talk about their lived experiences, is not easy;If we can ensure the right systems are in place, we can promote and sustain conditions for people and neighbourhoods to thrive.
We use a social innovation framework which allows for constant learning, testing and adapting ideas, while considering their cumulative impact. This isn’t about replacing existing strategies, programs or services. It’s about testing small solutions to improve urban wellness and finding ways to align and collaborate across different orders of government, agencies, local businesses and the community.
In Edmonton, outdoor library services set up for homeless
The Edmonton Public Library is taking some of its operations outside to give the city’s homeless a place to read books and magazines, use a laptop computer or participate in adult classes. Called EPL on the Square, the pilot project has three designated areas in Sir Winston Churchill Square for outdoor library services. The initiative is a collaboration between EPL and the City of Edmonton, was launched five days after the Edmonton EXPO Centre closed as a temporary drop-in day shelter. The city, social agencies and the province have been working on a plan to find hundreds of physically distanced spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic since the EXPO closed.
Toronto Public Library to offer free WiFi in two parks The city is teaming with the library to give residents free internet access in neighbourhoods hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic
The week-long pilot project Wi-Fi on Wheels begins on August 4. The Toronto Public Library’s bookmobile will travel to two parks in areas hit hard by the pandemic and provide free internet during the afternoon. Anyone can bring their own device to the park to connect or temporarily use a city device. City devices will be sanitized between use and staff will assess users to ensure they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Toronto Public Health data shows that the northwest parts of the city are being most affected during the coronavirus pandemic. As of the weekend, the Jane and Finch and Rexdale areas had 511 and 496 cases, respectively.
Policy Recommendations: Race, Risk, and Workforce Equity in the Coronavirus Economy
To address the inequities highlighted in this analysis and lay the foundation for an equitable recovery, policymakers must protect workers by ensuring safe conditions and adequate protections and improving the pay and quality of low-wage jobs; supporting dislocated workers through direct supports and targeted job training and placement programs; and plan for a changed economic landscape in the wake of the pandemic downturn. Policy recommendations included here.
The All-In Cities Toolkit part of “All-In Cities initiative” of PolicyLink to accelerate the work of government leaders and community advocates to advance racial economic inclusion and equitable growth
The All-In Cities Toolkit offers actionable strategies that advocates and policymakers can use to advance racial equity. Each tool contains information on important policy considerations, who can implement it, and examples of where it is working.
The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health collects COVID resources related to health equity and the social determinants of health that are of relevance to Canadian public health.
Updated regularly, this site includes links to webinars, organizations, publications and tools.
First Book Canada launches campaign to deliver 1 million books to low-income families during COVID-19 pandemic
Canadian publishers who have committed books to the program include Kids Can Press, Penguin Random House Canada, HarperCollins Canada, Breakwater Books, Simon & Schuster Canada and Inhabit Media. Donations are also being made by distributors like Raincoast Books and Publishers Group Canada and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
Hamilton to convert rec centres into COVID-19 self-isolation shelters for homeless residents
The City is also working to ensure existing drop-in spots have the resources necessary to stay open. The new “backstop” self-isolation sites will only accept homeless residents who are referred by shelter officials, doctors or hospital authorities. That means the city will not publicly release the rec centre locations.
Ruckify partners with United Way to connect vulnerable people with technology during COVID-19 pandemic
The Ottawa-based company is calling on the public to donate or rent out unused items like tablets, smartphones, webcams and laptops, so they can get into the hands of those who need them. Ruckify will provide pickup and delivery of the items. The items will be sanitized when picked up and dropped off, and it will be insured for damages in case something happens.
Guelph launches Supported Isolation Centre for homeless facing coronavirus
A group of community and health-care organizations opened the Supported Isolation Centre (SIC) in downtown Guelph. This particular model is not a medical model, meaning that the people who are there are not being medically monitored; they’re being supported to self-isolate.
Le travail inquiétant des femmes dans la pandémie COVID-19
Au Canada, les femmes sont nettement plus inquiètes que les hommes au sujet de la crise COVID-19. Par exemple, un récent sondage réalisé par Abacus Data a révélé que 49 % des femmes ont déclaré se sentir “très inquiètes” de l’épidémie, contre 33 % des hommes. Trente-sept pour cent des hommes ont déclaré qu’ils n’étaient “pas du tout inquiets” ou “peu inquiets” à propos de l’épidémie.
Gendered Impacts of Coronavirus
Any emergency or disaster is experienced differently by different genders, and it’s not just a matter of biology, infection rates, and severity of illness. The gendered experience of coronavirus is grounded in gender inequalities that impact all of us, every single day. Here are some interrelated gendered impacts to think about and act on.
The Assembly of First Nations declares a state of emergency
Calling for increased resources for First Nations on a “needs and equity basis,” with specific consideration for northern, remote and isolated communities.
COVID Disability-Related Resources for Families
Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) will be sharing disability-related resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic on this page, pulled together in one spot for families. New resources will be added as they are developed.
Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University holds a webinar on inclusive online engagement through an equity lens.
Creating safe and equitable spaces needs to happen online, just as much as it happens in-person (if not more so). How can we take an equity lens to our online convening? Cicely Belle Blain and Alia Ali, to discuss equity, safety and inclusion in online engagement. This webinar will explore the experience of minority communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and explore innovations and tips from different communities to create meaningful and respectful online engagement spaces. This interactive session will allow our guests and participants to share their good practices for building equity in online engagement. SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Gender and COVID-19 Working Group has developed a google doc of COVID-19 and Gender Resources and Articles
Compiled by Rosemary Morgan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health