Free Black Community Health check-up hosted by the Toronto Black Scientists

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed some alarming statistics for the Black community in terms of health and wellness.

Dr. Upton Allen

In an effort to strengthen members of the Black community’s health, the Black Scientists’ Task Force (BSTF) will hold a Black Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, January 21st at Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East Toronto, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. 

The full day event will be split into two streams – a Black healthcare symposium to promote Black health and wellbeing, and a race-equity workshop series to educate the community and share lessons for the future.

“We need to move beyond this level of vulnerability; COVID-19 was a source of huge losses for Black communities. We saw lost lives and diminished health, loss of jobs, lost opportunities, lost relationships, and lost time,” explains Dr. David Burt, Co-Chair of the BSTF.  “Throughout the day there will be plenty of opportunities to learn practical tips about health and wellness as it relates to the Black community.”

The symposium and race-equity panels will be presented by trusted Black scientists and researchers, Black nurses, and community health practitioners, including Naturopath and Health educator, Dr. Candice Todd; Head of Infectious Diseases at SickKids Hospital, Dr. Upton Allen, and Executive Director at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, Angela Robertson.

The Black Healthcare Symposium will include: Free massages; free health checks provided by DynaCare; access to chiropractors; COVID-19

Dr. Candice Todd

vaccine clinic, and access to a variety of health booths providing information on cancer, sickle cell, and other high-risk diseases relevant to the Black community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long-standing, social determinants and health inequities related to poverty, racism, marginalization, and other forms of discrimination faced daily by the Black community. The impact of social determinants of Black health are well researched and have been found to negatively shape Black health outcomes across a wide range of illnesses.

The race-based workshops will discuss the following topics: The impact of social determinants on Black health; primary health care for Black health; structural barriers for Black health; crisis response and evidence informed recovery; economic equity, and food security.

“The Black Scientists’ Task Force (BSTF) urges Black Torontonians to not overlook this opportunity in protecting and advancing their health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Candice Todd, Co-Chair of the BSTF. “The figures are concerning, we expect that one in three Black women may be diagnosed with cancer and that one in five will die from the disease.”

The Black Health Fair will be an interactive event where the community can come together for free health checks, demos, expert health panels, information sessions, and more. There will be free activities for kids, giveaways, food and music.  All ages are welcome and encouraged to register online.

Angela Robertson

The event is brought to you by TAIBU Health Care Centre, the Black Scientists’ Task Force and the City of Toronto.

The Black Scientists’ Task Force on Vaccine Equity was created to build community awareness of the disparities in COVID-19 positivity, hospitalization, and mortality rates, as well as the need for comprehensive prevention efforts, including knowledge of the various vaccines. Its ultimate aim has been to promote the health and well-being of Black Canadians in Toronto through the pandemic, and to harness trusted community partners, health and medical professionals and academics to deliver fundamentals of vaccine development and immunization essentials.