HIV emerged more than three decades ago and has been a persistent threat to Black communities in Toronto. In the late 80s, the Black AIDS Project was launched at the AIDS Committee of Toronto. Following this the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention steering committee was formed. Its objective was focused on generating awareness through education on the transmission and prevention of HIV within the Black community through a culturally specific and sensitive manner. The project grew exponentially attracting a fulltime project manager and a part-time support and outreach worker.
Black CAP received funding with Harambee as the sponsoring agency in August of 1989 and hired a project coordinator and an administrative assistant. Black CAP’s first home was located within Harambee’s office on McCall Street. The position of Education Coordinator was added in 1990 and the Support Coordinator in 1991. These four positions created a foundation for the organization’s fulfillment of its mandate of education and supporting the diverse Black communities on HIV/AIDS.
From the inception, the organization realized that in order to place HIV on the Black communities’ agenda, it was necessary to integrate HIV in both health and social spheres within the community. It was also clear that to foster support for the work, the organization had to work in collaboration with other AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) as well as participate on a local, provincial and national level around advocacy, education and support. Additionally, the linkages of Black communities in Toronto to Black communities overseas made it necessary for the agency to play a role around HIV/AIDS internationally.
We hope to build on this success in the coming years as we reflect on our history and plan and shape our future. The challenges continues and the needs within our community … We need your help and we need you to get involved in the fight as a donor or volunteer.