BCAN's First Annual Open House!

On October 27th, 2010, at the Hilton Garden Inn, McCallion Ballroom, 1870 Matheson Blvd, Mississauga, the Black community of Peel, its allies and supporters were out in full force to celebrate the Open House for the organization BCAN –Peel on a fall Friday evening.

BCAN, The Black Community Action Network of Peel, a community and professional network that develops capacity and advocates for the Black community members, professionals and causes related to the Black Community, opened its doors to share some of its recent achievements with the Public. Keynote Speaker Adaoma Patterson from the Region of Peel gave an engaging opening address. Additional speakers included: Activist Elvenia Sandiford, Teacher and Young Men's Coach and Scholarship Facilitator Michael George and Founder of The Village Keeper's Centre, Nicola Wheatle Harris.

BCAN has been an operating organization in Peel for four years and recently received a five year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to hire a Coordinator and expand their work within the community. Crystal Perryman Mark was recently hired as the Coordinator, Chair Melissa Toney and African Community Services of Peel as the Lead Agency direct the project. The addition of a Coordinator has allowed BCAN to develop some of the many projects that are needed to support, sustain and serve the Black Community in Peel.

The Event, co-sponsored by Fresh Co, Williams CafĂ©, Peel Police Diversity Unit, Knowledge Bookstore and a host of other local businesses, aimed to outreach to the community to unveil a new Membership Model, and share their publication, “Erasure: Anti-Black Racism Defined”, a multilayered piece on the current state of well-being for Black persons in Peel and abroad.

The event was a well-attended, smashing success. Over 150 guests arrived, including Executive Directors from the local Health and Community Centres, Superintendants of the School System, community members and many frontline and management level professionals invested in working for the Black community of Peel. The theme for the evening was “I Can, You Can, BCAN!” and the speakers emphasized the importance of the Black community working together to espouse African based values of collective solidarity.

BCAN is currently looking to expand their membership and is looking for community members, allies, and those who work in the human service field. Please email the coordinator at bcan@live.com to receive more info.

Stay Tuned for more pictures courtesy of Tantrum Media!