A Statement on Anti-Black Racism From the TCA Board of Directors


The Toronto Council on Aging (TCA) strives to be a supportive, inclusive organization. However, we are currently, and have been, a majority white organization. A central mandate of the TCA is to serve all older adults in Toronto. One of our Strategic Directions is to Enhance Diversity. TCA is an organization that works as a team and takes care of one another and the diverse communities we serve. 

As an organization, we commit to actively fight against anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and anti-Asian racism, with concrete actions.  This requires that each of us starts with the process of personally unlearning our preconceptions and relearning how systems of oppression continue to permeate the lives of our Black communities. It also includes joining in peaceful protests and supporting those on the front lines of the movement through donations and signing petitions. 

We commit to:

  • individually educating ourselves about systemic racism; and 

  • collectively reviewing our own practices, programs and policies in light of anti-Black, anti-indigenous and anti-Asian racism; and 

  • critically examining which communities are benefiting most from our work and which are being left out.

George Floyd was killed by police on May 25, 2020 – because he was Black. Everyday Black men, women and children are terrorized by police, and killed. It would be a mistake for us to think that this does not happen in our own country to our Black and Indigenous communities and other communities of colour. Violence and systemic racism are pervasive within our country and city. In Toronto, Black neighbourhoods have been the hardest hit by COVID-19, with the City of Toronto’s Board of Health recently recognizing anti-Black racism as a public health crisis. 

We think it is important to talk explicitly about race, especially for us as a historically and presently majority-white organization. This is about power – who has it and who doesn’t, and why.  It’s important because a central mandate of the TCA is to serve all older adults in Toronto. 

We are led by the grassroots wisdom of older adults and committed to educating widely, by representing and serving diverse populations, providing leadership, aiding in the development of an age-inclusive city and building collaborative networks. Through our Strategic Plan, we have committed to engaging “with older adults and their communities from diverse neighbourhoods,” through a variety of actions, including representing the stories of older adults across the city through an intersectional lens, thereby understanding intersecting of social identities contributing to oppression. That being said, every day we make decisions about programming, policies, volunteering, and we need to critically examine which communities are benefiting most from our work and which are being left out.

Members of our Board have recently supported the Black Health Alliance and Black Lives Matter – Toronto, if you would like to do the same.

We invite non-Black folks to educate yourselves about these issues (see a list below to get started). We invite you to talk about these issues. Talk with your families, in your workplaces, in your communities, and with us. Please send us a message through our website or at tca@pathcom.com 

For our Board, it is critical that we as the TCA make clear and substantive commitments to what we will be doing within our organization to address anti-Black, anti-indigenous and anti-Asian racism. We owe these communities of Toronto our action and accountability. 

Chances are as we move through this process that mistakes will be made. There are no easy answers or a single solution, and our fear of making a misstep cannot deter us from working to ensure equal right and equal treatment for all. We need to stand in solidarity with the Black community. We will keep listening, self-educating, engaging, participating, and doing the work. This is only the beginning. 

Finally, if you are interested in educating yourself more about the movement, please take a look at the resources we have provided below. 

Take very good care.


The Board of the Toronto Council on Aging

  • Samantha Biglieri

  • Eric de Sa

  • Cathleen Edwards

  • Tashia Edwards

  • Karen Fox

  • Sheila Flynn McGrath 

  • Lori Gershon

  • Perry Lupyrypa

  • Kate Mossop

  • Jane Szilvassy

  • Diana Tso

  • Carrie Warring

  • Anne Wessels

  • Melanie Yach 



Black Organizations And Anti-Racist Groups Canadians Can Support Now

100 Black owned businesses in Toronto


OnePeopleTO: Healing and wellness studio. OnePeopleTO is committed to serving alternative wellness to BIPOC Toronto & supporting communities. 

Across Boundaries: Provides community mental health, addiction support and in-house programs from anti-racism/anti-Black racism and anti-oppression frameworks specifically for racialized communities. 

I Rise Yoga: Sliding scale accessible yoga classes that prioritizes BIPOC communities. 

Liberate Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness app for BIPOC communities.


White Fragility Lecture with Dr. Robin DiAngelo. Why it’s so hard for White people to talk about racism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrOFpaB-PQI&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1Zavfplh-ZNc7wONaaAAYRrnYxcptAfyRagkT9HK-0L2gb5IgDfCQE5Mc

Dylan Rodriguez, “It’s Not Police Brutality”


Cox, M. & Marlowe, J. (2020, June 10). I’m a young Black man in Canada and I’ve found my voice. Here I am. Toronto Star


Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an Antiracist. New York, NY: One World/Ballantine.

Available from the Toronto Public Library.

Maynard, R. (2017). Policing Black lives: State violence in Canada from slavery to the present. Fernwood Publishing.

Available from the Toronto Public Library.

Walcott, R., & Abdillahi, I. (2019). BlackLife: Post-BLM and the struggle for freedom. ARP Books. 

Available from the Toronto Public Library.

Cole, D. (2020). The Skin We’re In: a year of black resistance and power. Toronto, ON: Doubleday Canada. 

Available from the Toronto Public Library.

Diverlus, R., Hudson, S. & S. Marcus Ware. (2020). Until we are Free: Reflections on BLM in Canada. Regina, SK: University of Regina Press. 

Available from the Toronto Public Library

10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A Person Of Color To Explain Things To You. https://www.bustle.com/p/10-books-about-race-to-read-instead-of-asking-a-person-of-color-to-explain-things-to-you-8548796

Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus


Welcome to Black Canada: How to Take Action – A Resource https://www.quakelab.ca/blog/welcome-to-black-canada-a-resource

Grey, S. (2020). COVID-19 Puts Structural Racism On Full Display — Will We Finally Do Something to Correct It? Next City https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/covid-19-puts-structural-racism-on-full-display

Bouka, A. & Bouka, Y. (2020, May 19). Canada’s COVID-19 Blind Spots on race, immigration, and labor. Policy Options. https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/may-2020/canadas-covid-19-blind-spots-on-race-immigration-and-labour/

CBC Radio. (2020, Feb). ‘Being big and Black makes it hard to breathe in Canada too’: Why ‘I can’t breathe’ isn’t a foreign phenomenon. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/outintheopen/last-words-1.4512355/being-big-and-black-makes-it-hard-to-breathe-in-canada-too-why-i-can-t-breathe-isn-t-a-foreign-phenomenon-1.4512813 

Lakin Hutcherson, L. (2017, Sept 8). My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest. YES Magazine


Mock, B. (2020, May 26). The Toxic Intersection of Racism and Public Space. City Lab


American Public Health Association – Racism and Health Resources https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/health-equity/racism-and-health 

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