Ontario’s Black Youth Action Plan is a four-year, $47 million commitment to help reduce disparities for Black children, youth and families.
Systemic Racism Exists
Black children and youth in Ontario can face disparities in many aspects of their lives. For example:
- In Toronto, Black youth make up 41 per cent of the youth in the care of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto – five times their representation in the overall population
- Black students become “early leavers” of high school at higher rates – in Toronto, 23 per cent, compared to 12 per cent of white students
- Black youth across the province are unemployed at nearly two times the provincial rate.
The Ontario Black Youth Action Plan
Through the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, the government is investing $47 million over the next four years to support 10,800 Black children, youth and their families. This includes:
- Investing in culturally focused parenting initiatives and mentoring programs
- Supporting Black children to stay in school by investing in early intervention programming
- Helping Black students access higher education through culturally focused outreach
- Ensuring programs and policies meet the specific needs of at-risk youth through Ontario-based research
- Helping Black youth find their career path by investing in targeted skills development programs
- Investing in community outreach and promoting anti-violence
- Using a collective impact approach, an innovative way of tackling deep-rooted and complex social problems by aligning efforts and existing resources across sectors to provide a local voice for Black organizations.
How the plan is implemented is equally important to its success. Black leaders, organizations and youth will be co-producers of the plan. An external implementation steering committee will continue to build partnerships in the community and ensure recommendations provided by Black community leaders are reflected in ongoing work.
The Ontario Black Youth Action Plan will contribute to the goal of eliminating outcomes disparities for Black children and youth in schooling, postsecondary education and employment within 10 years.
New investments will be available in communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) that need it most.
Targeted investments will also be made in Ottawa and Windsor, communities with concentrations of Black children and youth and high need. The following table illustrates the distribution of Black children and youth in communities targeted for investment.
|Ontario’s Black Children and Youth Population Across
Major Census Metropolitan Areas
|Census Metropolitan Area||% of Children and Youth Population that is Black||Number of Black Children and Youth (Ages 0-24)|
|Source: Statistics Canada, 2011|
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Editor’s note: At time of publishing, we do not have details of the arrangements for disbursing these funds. We’ll make these available to readers when we have this information.