Connecting with Black health and wellness resources in downtown west.
Earlier in December I was invited to attend the Downtown West Black Health and Wellness Hub event hosted by West Neighbourhood House.
The event featured numerous community organizations offering a range of programs and services relating to well-being. On a whole, these organizations aim to advance health promotion, affordable housing, social justice, and Black legal representation in the city.
The introductions and connections were timely given current TDSB conversations about addressing community and school safety. As an elected representative and education advocate, I believe community organizations are valuable partners and that community engagement gives policy-makers the opportunity to match public interest, understand the complex needs of their constituents, and improve public buy-in.
According to the U.S. National Association of School Psychologists, ongoing trusting relationships with community providers who address mental health awareness training, crisis prevention and response, can improve student safety. Further, it is evident that the integration and coordination of school–community partners who also focus on suicide prevention, trauma recovery, and bullying prevention, will strengthen student well-being and learning.
Khalil Dorival, a presenter at the event, discussed similar strategies during his “Community Safety Workshop", sharing that school-community partnerships can play a vital role in successful schools, often providing resources that may not be available in marginalized neighbourhoods.
Whether for yourself or community, I encourage folks to consider the programs and services offered by these local, culturally-responsive organizations supporting the well-being of Black communities and diverse neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto.
Downtown West Community Resource List
|West Neighbourhood House||Non-profit, registered charity that works with the community to address critical issues through personal and social change.|
|Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre||Community-based non-profit health service organization serving south- mid-west Toronto.|
|West Toronto Diabetes Education Program||Promoting healthy community living with a focus on diabetes self-management strategies.|
|Greenest City||Builds healthy, inclusive neighbourhoods through education and empowerment to preserve, protect and improve the environment.|
|Black Legal Action Centre||Independent not-for-profit community legal clinic that combats individual and systemic anti-Black racism by providing free legal services, conducting research, developing public legal education materials, and engaging in test case litigation and law reform.|
|Toronto Public Library (Parkdale Branch)||TPL is the world's busiest urban public library system. The Parkdale location is one of four branches featuring the Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection.|
|Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust||Not-for-profit charitable organization that owns and manages land in a community ownership model.|
|Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention||Their work is guided by the motto, ‘Because All Black People’s Lives Are Important’, which serves as a reminder of our commitment to the human rights and dignity of all.|
|City of Toronto Community Crisis Response Program||Dedicated to investigating the impact a crisis event has on a surrounding community.|