Presently the ACB Network has three volunteer run working groups. These working groups focus on key topics identified as primary areas of concern for the Black population in Waterloo Region. Results and recommendations emerging from the working groups will be presented to regional leadership on an ongoing basis.
Policing and Criminal Justice
Police interactions with black communities in the region have been called into question for many years. There has been active over policing in racialized neighbourhoods as well as disproportionate stop and checks for black and brown individuals. In 2019, visible minorities within the region still experience police checks at nearly twice the rate of non visible minorities. The Policing and Criminal justice working group will work on creating solutions that effectively address police interactions within our communities and the overall criminal justice system.
Economics and Employment
Historically, racialized Canadians have had higher participation levels within the labour marker however they still continue to experience higher levels of unemployment and earn less income in comparison to non-racialized Canadians. Based on 2016 census Canada data, Black peoples currently have the highest unemployment rate at 12.5% nationally. This rate is higher than the unemployment rates for other visible minorities as well as the rate for non-minorities. This working group will focus on employment equity and on ensuring that ACB identified people in the region have equal economic opportunities.
Health and Wellbeing
One of the primary barriers to understanding Health and Wellness within our communities is the lack of race-based data. The region of Waterloo currently does not collect any health statistics for Black communities thus making ACB communities under-researched, and under represented in scientific health findings.
Nancy Kreiger, an epidemiologist has studied racism as a determinant of health and identified 6 pathways through which racism harms health
- Economic and social deprivation
- Toxic substances and hazardous conditions
- Socially inflicted trauma (mental physical, and sexual, directly experienced or witnessed, from verbal threats to violent acts);
- Targeted marketing of commodities that can harm health such as junk food and psychoactive substances (alcohol, tobacco, and other licit and illicit drugs)
- Inadequate or degrading medical care and
- Degradation of ecosystems, including as linked to systematic alienation of Indigenous populations from their lands and corresponding traditional economies
The health and wellbeing working group will be will be using these determinants of health as a framework in approach as they strategize on resolving health disparities for ACB communities in the region.
If you are interested in joining one of the working groups, please fill out your contact information below and specify within your message which working group you are interested in becoming part of.