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Black Food Sovereignty Alliance of Toronto (BFSAT)

In 2019, the Afri-Can FoodBasket initiated community dialogue about food sovereignty for Black communities in Toronto – the Black Food Sovereignty Initiative Toronto.

The Centre for Studies in Food Security (CSFS) is partnering with the Afri-Can FoodBasket (AFB) to establish the Black Food Sovereignty Alliance of Toronto (BFSAT). With the support of the City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism unit (CABR), the BFSAT will focus on leading and advocating through a collective framework around advancing food issues impacting Black communities in the Greater Toronto Area. It proposes to develop action research initiatives, an annual Black Food Sovereignty Symposium, and the development of food strategy and food policy recommendations.

Cultivating Black Food Sovereignty

In response to continued food insecurity among Black communities in Toronto, which COVID-19 dramatically exposed and exacerbated, the AFB organized a conference on Black Food Sovereignty on November 27-28, 2020.5 The conference brought together Black community activists, organizations, researchers, and policymakers to critically reflect on the food security crisis in Black communities, strengthen their understanding of food sovereignty, discuss the potential for a food sovereignty approach to addressing systemic food access problems, and commit to embarking on a community-focussed process to achieve food sovereignty.  

For the four months following the conference, the AFB will work with its partners and supporters to: 

  • Develop draft terms of reference for the Black Food Sovereignty Alliance. 
  • Publish three policy-oriented reports that will inform the work of the Alliance and the process to achieve food sovereignty
  • Organize a community roundtable in April 2021 where participants will discuss the policy papers, debate and accept recommendations based on the policy papers, identify the interim membership of the Alliance and outline a 1-year action plan.

The call for Black food sovereignty represents a new strategic phase in asserting our self-determination, addressing the structural roots of anti-Black racism, and promoting our health and wellbeing. This will be our collective effort.

Contributors

Primary Investigator: Anan Lololi, MES York U, Afri-Can FoodBasket 

Fiona Yeudall, PhD, School of Nutrition, Ryerson University

Cecilia Rocha, PhD, School of Nutrition, Ryerson University

Mustafa Koc, PhD, Sociology Department, Ryerson University

Winston Husbands, Ph.D., Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Ann Phillips, PhD, MES York U 

Nicole Austin, Black Student Engagement Coordinator | Ryerson Urban Farm

Sheldomar Elliot, Co-Chair Toronto Youth Food Policy Council

Email

anan.lololi@ryerson.ca

Project dates

Since September 2020

Funding

City of Toronto Confronting Anti Racism Unit, Caribbean African Canadian Social Services, People's Food Institute