Minister Gould announces funding for over 500 capacity-building projects under the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative

News release

February 17, 2023              Scarborough, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

In Canada, diversity is our strength. The Government of Canada is investing in initiatives that celebrate the stories and contributions of Black Canadians while acknowledging the unique challenges they face.

Under the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI), the Government of Canada is supporting Black-‑led and Black ‑serving community-based organizations across the country by bringing decision-making closer to Black communities to better meet their needs and priorities.

Today, Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced $31.4 million in funding for the Black-led national funders network, which includes Tropicana Community Services, Africa Centre, Black Business Initiative and Groupe 3737. Together, the SBCCI national funders network will allocate the funds to over 500 capacity-building projects aimed at empowering Black-led community-based organizations across Canada. With this additional funding, the national funders will have collectively awarded up to $50 million in grants to 939 projects. A full list of projects will be available on the national funders’ websites in spring 2023.

By working in collaboration with the national funders network, the Government of Canada is ensuring that its investments respond to the needs of Black communities in Canada.  


“The Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative was created to work alongside Black communities to build the capacity of Black-led and Black-serving community-based organizations and support the important work they do to promote inclusiveness. This initiative also aims to address the systemic barriers and challenges, including anti-Black racism, faced by Black Canadians. By working with the SBCCI national funders network, we’re ensuring investment decisions are made by Black communities for Black communities."

 – Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development 

“The Black National Funders Network continues to make history as we make this announcement of additional funding for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI), this Black History Month,” said Raymund Guiste, Executive Director, Tropicana Community Service Organization. “This new funding from Employment and Social Development Canada will help further the work that Black community organizations are doing to enhance their capacities, and directly impact the work they do to serve the community.”

– Raymund Guiste, Executive Director, Tropicana Community Services

“BBI is proud to be one of the four Black National Funders Intermediaries Network administering the SBCCI Capacity Building Grant, proud to be a part of this effort and is excited about the impact it is having. We recognize and thank ESDC for the impact of the SBCCI Capacity Building Grant in which goes far beyond financial support. It's about investing in Black voices, Black leadership, and Black excellence. The impact of this funding has been and will continue to be significant. Black led and black not for profit organizations have the potential to uplift and empower the Black community, providing vital services and advocating for systemic change”

– Rustum Southwell, CEO of the Black Business Initiative

“Capacity building requires an eco-systemic approach involving partners from different sectors and expertise. It is an immense pleasure to create sustainable impact alongside the Federal government and the National Funder network. We welcome this additional investment by Employment and Social Development Canada that will not only pursue the initial objective of capacity building for black led organisation but will also create impactful and significant growth in African descent communities”

– Louis-Edgar Jean-François, Chief Executive Officer of Groupe 3737

Quick facts

  • In January 2018, the Prime Minister announced Canada’s official recognition of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. To celebrate this recognition, the Government of Canada created the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI) to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of Black-led and Black-serving organizations.  

  • Since 2019, the Government has made $175 million available through SBCCI to support organizations that promote inclusion and celebrate the contributions of Black and Afro-descendant communities in Canada.  

  • On November 15, 2022, the new members of the SBCCI External Reference Group were announced. The first cohort consists of seven members of African descent from the not-for-profit, education, public and private sectors. The ERG members will work in allyship to support the Minister in ensuring the meaningful implementation of the SBCCI to help build capacity within communities by providing strategic advice, expertise and insight on the emerging priorities of Black Canadians.

  • As part of the SBCCI, the Government of Canada is also supporting the establishment of a national institute to advance initiatives that address issues affecting Black communities in Canada from a Black-led perspective.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

James Cudmore
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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