By Lincoln DePradine
As 2021 winds down, some organizations in the Black and Caribbean community already are announcing plans for early in the New Year. They include Black CAP that will be honouring Ontario politician Dr Jill Andrew and two others in February.
A member of the Official Opposition New Democratic Party, Andrew is MPP for Toronto-St Paul’s and the NDP’s critic on women’s issues, culture and heritage.
Andrew, who also is a founding-member of the NDP Black Caucus, is well-known as a leading voice on matters of gender, race, social justice and healthcare inequities.
Black CAP – the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention – will be presenting Andrew with a “Lifetime Advocacy Award’’.
“I am so deeply moved by this award and I am thankful to Black CAP,’’ Andrew said in an interview. “I cannot tell you how honoured I am, how proud I am, that Black CAP has seen my efforts, especially as I am still a work in progress and I have so more work to do.’’
Black CAP, Canada’s largest Black-focused AIDS service organization, is hosting a fundraiser on February 5 that it calls its “Harvest Moon Supper’’.
At the event, said a Black CAP official, inaugural Lifetime Advocacy Awards will be given “to individuals who have focused their efforts on the betterment of the community. Their dedication to advocating for the important and necessary work of the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention has not gone unnoticed. The organization appreciates their steadfast support and thanks them for all that they have done and continue to do for African, Caribbean and Black communities’’.
Awards will be presented to Andrew, as well as to Aina-Nia Ayo’dele Grant and Al Ramsay.
Ramsay is an associate vice president at TD Bank and is responsible for the bank’s LGBTQ2+ & Black Customer Segments. Grant is director of Community Resources at the City of Toronto.
Andrew, who has been a longtime Black Cap supporter, volunteer and donor, praised the organization for its advocacy, leadership, outreach and research that aim to “help Black lives’’.
“Black CAP is always there helping our community members,’’ Andrew said. “We need people to know that there are over 3,000 Black people in Ontario living with HIV and AIDS and there are tens of thousands of others who are at risk and it is critical that we support the work of Black CAP.’’
Meanwhile, the Ontario Black History Society has announced that it will launch its 2022 Black History Month program on January 30, and will be recognizing “the histories and achievements of Black Canadians’’.