Black organizations urge Feds to allocate $97M for long-term integration of refugees  

Claudette McGowan

A coalition of Black-led organizations and corporations are steadfast in their call for the Federal Government to prudently allocate the $97 million funding to ensure the effective and long-term integration of refugees. While acknowledging the commendable efforts of other black-led organizations in supporting newcomers to Canada, leaders of this coalition recognize the need for sustainable solutions that extend beyond immediate short-term assistance.

Black-led organizations like Tropicana Community Services, the Ontario intermediary for the Federal Government’s Supporting Black Canadian Initiative (SBCCI), have been at the forefront of providing essential support to asylum seekers in Toronto and across the country. Tropicana Community Services has worked very closely with the other SBCCI intermediaries, including the Black Business Initiative (BBI) in Nova Scotia, Africa Centre in Alberta, and Groupe 3737 in Quebec, to strengthen the capacity of the very kinds of culturally competent organizations that Black, Africa and Caribbean newcomers will need to facilitate and support their integration into the Canadian society.

Black-led collective believes that long-term solutions are crucial to addressing the challenges faced by asylum seekers in Toronto and other parts of Canada. There is an opportunity to invest in programs and initiatives beyond short-term support, focusing on comprehensive integration support that helps newcomers thrive as they choose what part of Canada to settle in and call home.

Commenting on the opportunities the funding presented, Raymund Guiste, CEO of Tropicana Community Services, said, “My team and I are driven by an unwavering commitment to empowering and uplifting individuals from diverse backgrounds. Our collaboration with the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative exemplifies our shared vision for aiding

Raymund Guiste

Black, African and Caribbean people in overcoming barriers to their progress. Extending that wrap-around support to facilitate sustainable refugee integration that asylum seekers in Toronto and beyond can find their footing, thrive, and become valued contributors to the fabric of Canadian society.”

Claudette McGowan, CEO, Protexxa and Co-Founder of the Firehood, concurred and added, “The successful integration of refugees is a collective responsibility, and we are committed to fostering a more secure and inclusive future for all. Together as business leaders within the black community, we aim to build a protective shield of support and opportunities, empowering asylum seekers to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the diverse tapestry of Canadian society.”

“Effectively integrating these individuals is not just a moral imperative, but a strategic one, said Tiffany Callender, CEO, Federation of African Canadian Economics.

“By providing them with the necessary support and resources to thrive, we unlock a wellspring of innovation, creativity, and untapped talent that will further bolster our country’s growth and prosperity.”