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Learning from Afro-centric Values and Principles to Advance Systems Transformation

The long-standing systemic challenges confronting People of African Descent in Canada and world-wide cannot be addressed without tackling their underlying causes. As we seek solutions to address the systemic and generational challenges that face Black communities, it is critical that we recognize that effective solutions extend beyond individual efforts. Collaborative approaches involving diverse stakeholders, drawing upon collective wisdom, experiences, and knowledge, are essential to navigating our deepest challenges.

In our commitment to addressing systemic challenges within Black communities, the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC), CS Innovations, and the Nelson Mandela University’s Center for the Advancement of Non-racism and Democracy (CANRAD) have joined hands to co-develop, design, and implement a collaborative dialogue series that will provide a platform for learning and knowledge exchange between African and Canadian B3 (Black-led, Black-focused, Black-serving) organizations.

The dialogue series presents an opportunity to learn by unpacking critical elements of systems transformation through an Afro-centric lens, incorporating African principles and value systems. It will serve as a platform for knowledge exchange, featuring case studies, practice, and narratives from organizations and thought leaders from the African continent. Each dialogue will be a focused virtual event, featuring keynote presentations and discussions on relevant topics, exploring themes that examine various aspects of systems transformation.

These thematic areas will include exploring systems leadership as a key element in driving systemic change, shifting our relationships from transactional to transformational, and recognizing youth agency as a pivotal force for social change. Discussions around these themes are expected to lay a foundation for future collaborative initiatives and deepen efforts to recognize and embed Afro-centric approaches and perspectives into broader systems transformation efforts.

Addressing the systemic and generational challenges facing Black communities demands a united effort, and at NABC, we passionately champion a collaborative spirit, firmly rooted in the belief that collective wisdom, experiences, and knowledge help us move collectively forward. The first dialogue of the series will take place on April 30, 2024, and the following two will take place in June and July 2024.

We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support for this initiative.

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