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Media Release

Brampton hosts its first virtual conference to address economic empowerment and anti-Black racism in Canada

​City spearheads formation of national coalition of municipalities to address these issues.

BRAMPTON, ON (November 10, 2020) – On Tuesday, November 10, the City of Brampton is hosting its first virtual Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Conference, forming a national coalition of municipalities addressing economic empowerment and anti-Black racism for Black communities in Canada.

The virtual one-day conference will bring together several municipalities from across Ontario, Black community leaders, and representatives, including Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, and Peter Flegel, Director of the Government of Canada's Anti-Racism Secretariat. Together, municipal representatives will discuss strategies to break down barriers for Black people. This conference is proudly supported by the following organizations:

• Region of Durham
• City of Hamilton
• City of Markham
• City of London
• Region of Peel
• Town of Shelburne
• City of Toronto
• City of Vaughan 
• Association of Municipalities Ontario
• Federation of Canadian Municipalities
• Network for the Advancement of Black Communities

Discussion will focus on how to begin working towards eliminating Black racism and developing a supportive and informative platform to access anti-Black racism resources, with the goal in mind of building strong partnerships that promote knowledge sharing and future initiatives. This conference is the first step in formalizing a national coalition of municipalities to address economic empowerment and anti-Black racism in Black communities across Canada.

This conference is one of two the City is hosting this year. The second will take place in December and focus on economic empowerment.

Learn more about Brampton’s initiatives on anti-Black racism and Brampton’s Black African and Caribbean Social, Cultural and Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit at

About Brampton’s Black African and Caribbean Social, Cultural and Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit

On June 10, 2020, City Council approved a Black African and Caribbean Social, Cultural and Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit. Led by Senior Advisor, Gwyneth Chapman, the Unit is responsible for developing and implementing an action plan for eradicating systemic anti-Black racism in Brampton. Guided by local community stakeholders, work is centered on uplifting the social, cultural, and economic position of Brampton’s Black community.

To learn more or to express an interest in being involved as the City develops the Anti-Black Racism Unit, please contact the City at


“Brampton is a Mosaic, and we pride ourselves on being a diverse and inclusive city. Earlier this summer, Brampton City Council approved the establishment of the Black African and Caribbean Social, Cultural and Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit. This is the first of two conferences Brampton is holding this year and I know it will provide a safe space for all to share ideas and collectively develop a supportive and informative platform for all to access resources. This event is key in understanding and working towards eliminating racism against the Black community in Brampton and across the country."

- Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton

“This Conference will bring together municipal representatives from across the province who champion diversity and inclusion, working to address anti-Black racism and ignite real change. The City of Brampton thanks its partners for helping make this first of its kind conference possible.”

- David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Brampton

“Our history has created systemic barriers that prevent Black people from fully participating in all parts of society. The City of Toronto will kick off this conference with an insightful presentation on the important work they have done in establishing an anti-Black racism unit, followed by a roundtable discussion with employees dedicated to this work. Anti-Black racism is a global, national and local issue, and we are happy to work with cities across the country to develop a national coalition of cities working towards the elimination of anti-Black Racism, and economic empowerment for Black communities in Canada. We can achieve unprecedented goals if we work together. We are the system that can change the system."

- Gwyneth Chapman, Senior Advisor, Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism, City of Brampton

“Establishing the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit in Toronto was not only necessary but a way in which we demonstrated our commitment to addressing and eliminating anti-Black racism in our city. I am pleased that staff from the City of Toronto are taking part in Brampton’s initiative to combat anti-Black racism in the GTA and sharing best practices with the region so that we can all take a concerted effort to tackling racism. I am always proud to see the CABR unit being recognized for its leadership and hard work as they continue to implement our action plan and ensure that the voices of Toronto’s Black community are being heard. Toronto is the most diverse city in the world, and we have made it clear that racism has no place in our city. In order for us to address this ongoing challenge we need to work together, not only in the city but as a region. Together we can empower Black communities and create a safe place to live with equal opportunities for everyone.”

- John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto

“Our strength as a province depends on our strength as a people. The path to a better Ontario that lives up to its promise requires widespread partnership and grassroots leadership. Our government is working to build a province where every Ontarian has an equal opportunity for growth, where everyone can thrive. The Ontario Government thanks all of our partners who are working together to help find effective solutions to empower Black communities.”

- Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism

"AMO is pleased to support the City of Brampton and all communities in their efforts on anti-racism and economic empowerment. Working together to do so is a necessary and much needed step."

- Petra Wolfbeiss, Director, Membership Centre, Association of Municipalities of Ontario

“The challenges that Black Communities in Canada face cannot be addressed if we don’t tackle economic exclusion and anti-Black racism. Such challenges are generational and systemic and require sustained collaborative ecosystem-level solutions. Canadian municipalities, as important sites of economic and civic inclusion, have a critical role to play. It all starts by action learning and supporting one another through an intentional national coalition or network of municipalities.”

- Amanuel Melles, Executive Director, Network for the Advancement of Black Communities

As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, Brampton is home to 650,000 people and 70,000 businesses. People are at the heart of everything we do. We are energized by our diverse communities, we attract investment, and we are embarking on a journey to lead technological and environmental innovation. We partner for progress to build a healthy city that is safe, sustainable and successful. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Learn more at

Christine Sharma
Media Relations, City of Brampton
905.874.2880 |