416 740 1056 info@cafcan.org

Research and literature show that any interventions designed to address the long standing and current challenges that Blacks experience, must be culturally safe and relevant.  They must come from a place of understanding of the Black experience and in particular the various experiences and degrees of trauma that seems to have become part of our DNA.  Undoubtedly, the need for organizatons that are Black led, Black focused and who have Black beneficiaries is paramount for the times we are in when there are increasing concerns around  mental health distress, unemployment, homelessness, poverty and the like.

Interestingly enough, CAFCAN was incorporated as a non-profit charitable social service agency in the same year that the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent (UNDPAD) began. The pronouncement of the decade was a signal that the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) made the right decision to create an organization that expands on JCA’s legacy, with the added benefit of governing and operating from a mindset that is rooted in Africentric thought/philosophy.  Approaching its work from this lens presented CAFCAN with the opportunity to address anti-Black racism as well as how it is co-located with the social determinants of health[1]

Incorporating the seven cardinal principles of Ma’at[2] and the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba[3] (also referred to as the Seven Principles of the Black Value system) suggests that early intervention and prevention initiatives are culturally safe an relevant. Furthermore, the initiatives promote a strong sense of cultural identity which evidence shows is at the nucleus of healthy self-concept and positive view.  Practitioners argue that cultural identity is key to healing from hurts and that incorporating Africentric principles like the Nguzo Saba into practice is relevant to healing our families and communities, particularly in times of crisis.

Therefore CAFCAN is seizing every opportunity to make a paradigm shift towards being an example of an excellent evidence based model of service for the varying intersections of Black communities in Toronto; at the foundation of

[1] Aboriginal status, disability, early life, education, employment and working conditions, food insecurity, health services, gender and gender identity, housing, income and income distribution, race, sexual orientation, social exclusion

[2] Truth, Justice, Balance, Order, Compassion, Harmony, and Reciprocity

[3] Umoja/Unity, Kujichagulia/Self determination, Ujima/Collective work and responsibility,  Ujamaa/Cooperative economics, Nia/Purpose, Kuumba/Creativity, Imani/Faith

which are the tenets of Africentric thought and philosophy and out of which best practices and promising practices emerge.

Floydeen Charles-Fridal