The month of February is known as African Heritage Month, or Black History Month in the present day is a time to celebrate and highlight the very best of Black history and to honour and appreciate the forefathers as well as upcoming leaders within the Black Community, their achievements and their ongoing struggle for freedom.
Alberta has a deep, complex, and long history of over 400 years. This particular month gives another chance for the people of Canada to reflect on and educate themselves about the history of Black enslavement, bigotry, discrimination and criminalization against people of African descent, and to give a fresh reminder that racism still exists.
Canadian society has progressed over the years, but the reality of differential treatment of Afro-Canadians persists. Over the last couple of years, over-policing crises and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Indigenous and Black communities have highlighted how much remains still needs to be done.
One such organization works tirelessly to create opportunities in every aspect of society, including social, economic, educational, and cultural endeavours, contributing to the holistic wellness and development of individuals, families, and communities. The organization is none other than the Council for Advancement of African Canadians in Alberta (CAAC).
CAAC (Council for Advancement of African Canadians in Alberta), operating as Africa Center, is the biggest not-for-profit, a pan-African organization that was incorporated in 2006 in the western provinces of Canada.
This organization serves as a hub by delivering services and programs from cultural awareness and expertise to different communities and populations in Alberta.
CAAC aims to provide opportunities for complete access and participation by Afro-Canadians residing in Alberta in every aspect of society. Their programs and services aim to be delivered in partnership with diverse heritage organizations and groups apace with established organizations to ensure that their services reflect a culture of collaboration.
A Brief about CAAC Core Values
- Integrity: CAAC believes that all their interactions with partners, stakeholders and members are reflections of their integrity, thus maintaining high ethical standards.
- Accountability: CAAC is accountable to their donors, members, partners, and funders to use resources to enhance the lives of their communities.
- Responsiveness: CAAC aims to be adaptable, acceptable, and responsive to elucidate a sense of urgency in all their services and the assistance they provide to their community.
- Inclusivity: CAAC fosters inclusivity in all walks of life by keeping an open mind and adopting positive challenges as their institutional culture.
- Respect: CAAC believes in dignity and respect for everyone. Thus, they are guided by respect for human dignity.
- Passion: CAAC believes that their professional actions will finally make the difference they envision in their community and believes that it can be accomplished through volunteerism and passion.
- Excellence: CAAC is committed and dedicated to investing quality time in providing excellent services that enhance the lives of their community.
A Brief about CAAC Approach
CAAC aims to create opportunities for full participation and access for every Albertan in every aspect of community life. They have four pillars that they use to accomplish their mission.
- Cultural Identity: CAAC promotes and preserves the unique cultural identity of African heritage through intergenerational cultural preservation and a sense of belonging.
- Advancement and Empowerment: CAAC reduces inequality by refining the life quality of the communities through empowering cultural heritages and diverse demographics.
- Integration: CAAC aims to enhance the social and economic participation of African descent into Canadian culture and society.
- Resource Diversification and Organizational Sustainability: CAAC prioritizes the integration and development of a detailed sustainability outlook into their long-term strategic plan in a manner that creates lasting value while also building public trust.
About CAAC Strategic Goals
CAAC has sketched out ten robust strategies to accomplish its goals:
- To support unity and a sense of belonging to the community by celebrating cultural diversity and heritage.
- To curb social isolation and facilitate cultural preservation between generations.
- To provide a nurturing ecosystem that promotes inclusivity, resilience and healthy relationships among the youth of African descent.
- To facilitate culturally affordable, relevant Childcare and Early Learning programs.
- To promote gender equality and development of African-descent women.
- To enhance employment opportunities via career support and skills development.
- To influence and refine the settlement experience and results with the help of partnership.
- To bolster financial sustainability and organizational resources.
- To create and manage efficient and effective governance systems.
- To make sure sound and informed decisions exist within the organization.
About CAAC Upcoming Events
CAAC has a range of virtual events up in their sleeves for Black History Month to help people map out their business ideas and help Afro-Canadians enhance their success when securing a spot in their programs.
- Business Model 101 with Tristam Ham: February 24, 2022.
Afro-Canadians who own a business or have a plan can register for this event by following this link.
- Ujima Fellowship Program: February 19, 2022, and February 23, 2022.
Interested Afro-Canadians can participate in this program and enroll themselves by following this link.
To know more about CCAB and their programs, one can scroll through its website and learn more.