City of Mississauga making historic progress in efforts to better support, include and empower Black communities
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Council received a report on Wednesday that includes close to 60 recommendations on how the City of Mississauga can further engage Black community members in the decision-making process at City Hall and ensure city programs and services are equitable and inclusive to all members of the community.
The report, “First Steps: A Community Driven Report on Making Mississauga More Equitable for Black Communities,” is based on the feedback, ideas and lived experiences shared by Black community members during six community consultations hosted by Mayor Crombie and Councillors in 2021. Over 900 community members, experts, and City staff participated in the consultations over a six-week period.
“I want to thank every single person who took part in this incredibly important process and I’m so proud that we now have a set of solid recommendations, informed and led entirely by Black Community members, that will help guide us on how to build a more inclusive and equitable city,” said Mayor Crombie. “And as the title suggests, these are just the ‘First Steps.’ We have a lot of important work ahead of us to ensure that Mississauga’s diverse communities feel included, supported, and empowered.”
The report was written by consultant Claudia McKoy, Principal of UpSurgence, who compiled the community’s feedback into the set of recommendations. The Black Caucus, a group of Black community members that advise the Mayor on issues affecting Black communities, provided significant input.
“This year-long process with the community has generated hope, trust, and excitement
for what’s to come. Moreover, we must maintain this momentum to ensure that systemic changes at the City of Mississauga continue to happen,” said Linden King, Chair of the Black Caucus. “We need to focus our efforts to eliminate inequities and recognize that it is a shared responsibility to improve better outcomes against racism, intolerance, and oppression. I look forward to next steps as the Black Caucus works with the City to implement the recommendations in the report.”
“First Steps” recommends that the City of Mississauga implement a variety of new, programs, services and initiatives, or adapt current ones, to respond to the needs of Black community members, including those that can create enhanced political inclusion and engagement, promote better health and well-being, and foster economic empowerment.
The report is part of the larger commitment that the City of Mississauga made when Council passed Resolution 207 in June 2020 to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, which have been identified as historic, pervasive, institutional and systemic
issues in Mississauga. A key part of this resolution was for the Mayor to lead in the creation of the Black Caucus advisory group.
“First Steps” recommends that the current Black Caucus form into a new independent organization empowered to oversee the delivery of the recommendations, working closely with the Mayor’s Office, Councillors and the City’s Senior Leadership Team “to create policies, structures, and initiatives to diminish the systemic barriers to the communal success of Black communities.”
“While some of these recommendations will be faster to implement than others, what’s important now is that we work to further empower Black community members to have a real say at the City of Mississauga. We are committed to change and committed to doing better,” added Mayor Crombie.
Mississauga City Council will vote to formally approve the “First Steps” report at the next Council meeting on April 20.
Read the report