Behind the Location: Why Toronto was Chosen for #ICBME17

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The annual International Colloquium on Black Males in Education (ICBME) will be held in Toronto, Canada this year. Toronto is considered one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world, making it a unique place to host this year’s event.

While Toronto ranks high in diversity among the world, the city itself stills faces a series of problems related to institutional racism and inequalities, similar to those faced elsewhere, including the United States. Opinion pieces reflecting on the city and Canada as a whole have addressed everything from practices in public art schools to racial profiling in policing.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission conducted a survey in 2015, with 1,500 Ontarians reporting experiences of being racially profiled, either by police or in other public settings. This includes places like shopping malls, retail stores, and private businesses. The survey provides an interesting starting point to look deeper into the current racial climate of the location of #ICBME17.

Systemic problems such as a lack of quality education and job security have caused deep inequalities to form in the area. According to one opinion piece by The Toronto Star, Canadians of color are likely to earn roughly 81 cents for every dollar paid to white Canadians, due to differences in representation in high-income and low-income occupations. This in turn had led to higher poverty rates, unequal access to quality housing, higher health risks, and crime.

Of course, local organizations and businesses have begun stepping up to address these issues. We believe discussions on how to improve diversity efforts and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed in society are meaningful and important. This is why, for the past five years, we have held a Colloquium to gather intellectuals, practitioners, students, teachers, and dreamers together to discuss the issues and find meaningful solutions to change the world.

We hope to see you at the 2017 Colloquium, held in Toronto in October, 2017. Please head over to the Colloquium website  now to learn more about the event and get involved! Stay updated with all of the latest news by following us on Twitter @_icbme.


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