Government of Canada announces call for proposals results to support Black communities

News release

February 29, 2024              Montréal, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Black Canadians have helped make Canada the country it is today. They have also faced historic barriers which continue to prevent many Black Canadians from reaching their full potential. Since endorsing the United Nations (UN) International Decade for People of African Descent back in 2018, the Government of Canada has made significant investments to supporting Black Canadians and fostering positive change in Black communities.

In acknowledgment of the UN Decade, the Government of Canada established the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI) in 2019. This initiative aims to strengthen vibrant Black communities across Canada and support Black-led solutions to address challenges such as discrimination, bias and anti-Black racism, while also improving organizational capacity, workplaces and community spaces to better serve Black communities.

Today, the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, Kamal Khera, joined National Funders under the SBCCI to announce the results of the third call for proposals under the Initiative. This call follows a recent investment of $21.5 million. Approximately 430 projects in Black communities across the country are set to benefit from this funding.

One example from a past round of funding is Femmes en Emploi, which is making a significant impact by uplifting and empowering women and girls of all ages from immigrant backgrounds. With the funding it received, Femmes en Emploi was able to broaden the range of services it offers to women, now including crucial psychosocial support. Another example is Racine Croisée Solidarité Sawa, which advocates for multi-ethnic integration through food security, leadership development, and personal autonomy. Racine Croisée used its funding to strengthen its organizational capacity in the areas of governance, financial management, operational and organizational management, and diversification of funding sources.

The funding resulting from this call for proposals will be distributed through the SBCCI National Funders Network, which includes Tropicana Community Services, Africa Centre, Black Business Initiative and Groupe 3737.

These investments build on the Government of Canada's commitment through the endorsement of the UN Decade, which runs from 2015 to 2024. Earlier this month, the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced the extension of Canada's efforts under the framework of the Decade until 2028. Since endorsing the UN Decade in 2018, transformative investments totaling $860 million have been committed to Black-focused initiatives – from racial justice to entrepreneurship to economic dignity.


“Today’s announcement builds on the consistent support our government has demonstrated for Black communities across Canada since endorsing the UN Decade in 2018. It is also the result of the tremendous work of our national funders in supporting Black-led, Black-focused community organizations that are delivering results at the local level. Thanks to the leadership of those 430 organizations receiving funding today, we will continue to empower Black Canadians across the country.”

– Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities

“Four years ago, we collectively undertook an important work of creating resources for the black community across Canada. The continued existence of SBCCI will not only continue the incredible impact it has had in the past years but will also strengthen and consolidate the much-needed capacity of the Black community across Canada and ensure its future.”

– Louis-Edgar Jean-François, CPA, CEO of Groupe 3737 and Co-founder of FACE Coalition

“Tropicana Community Services, as a proud member of the SBCCI National Funders Network, welcomes the Government of Canada's commitment to addressing the pressing needs within the Canadian Black Communities. The allocation of $21.5 million, combined with previous funding, has significantly impacted Black-focused community services organizations, catalyzing transformative change. Funding through SBCCI is paramount in sustaining and expanding vital support networks nationwide for people of African descent. We are dedicated to fostering collaborative efforts with our esteemed Government partners, including Minister Kamal Khera and all advocates of social justice. Together, we aim to dismantle systemic inequity and cultivate an environment of inclusivity and prosperity for all Black Canadians.”

– Anthony Grey, President and Chair, Board of Directors, Tropicana Community Services

“Today’s announcement underscores the unwavering dedication of the Government of Canada and national funders to fundamentally transform the status quo for the betterment of black communities across Canada. Our collaborative efforts, especially in Western Canada, signify a pivotal leap toward empowering communities of African descent. This partnership reflects our sustained commitment to uplift the most marginalized among us, including those with disabilities, youth-serving organizations and Francophone groups. By channeling support to more organizations, we are not merely funding initiatives; we are nurturing the pillars of our nation’s future. It’s a profound investment in creating a society where Black Canadians lead in fostering inclusivity and equity.”

– Samuel Juru, Executive Director, Africa Centre

“The Government of Canada’s steadfast commitment to supporting Black-led non-profit organizations and the broader Black community is truly commendable. We are grateful for the significant investment made toward empowering Black communities, and I extend my sincere gratitude on behalf of the Black Business Initiative. With this investment, through a third call for proposals, we have secured funding for an additional 244 projects, totaling nearly $10.8 million, aimed at advancing the goals and aspirations of Black-led organizations across the nation. We eagerly anticipate the continued support and collaboration as we work together to foster equity, inclusion and prosperity for all.”

– Matthew Martel, Chief Executive Officer, Black Business Initiative

“Black history is inseparable from Canadian history. From day one, our government has been committed to supporting the implementation of initiatives and solutions designed and led by Black communities. As Black History Month draws to a close, our government’s commitment remains firm: we will continue to support Black communities across the country and to resolutely fight against racism and hatred.”

– Emmanuel Dubourg, Member of Parliament for Bourassa

“It is with a great sense of pride and immense satisfaction that we celebrate the service delivery quality and major impact that SBCCI has had. We are particularly proud of the capacity that has been built within the Black communities throughout Canada.”

– Rustum Southwell, retired CEO of Black Business Initiative and the first Black Chancellor of Dalhousie University

Quick facts

  • The United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent spans from 2015 to 2024. Canada endorsed the Decade in 2018 and recently announced an extension domestically—until 2028—of the federal government’s efforts, within these frameworks, to promote equity and empower Black communities. 

  • In recognition of the UN Decade, since 2019, over $175 million has been invested through the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative to celebrate, share knowledge and build capacity in Canada’s vibrant Black Canadian communities. Most recently, Budget 2023 provided an additional $25 million for 2024–25, extending the program for an additional year and bringing the total commitment up to $200 million.

  • Through the SBCCI, the Government of Canada seeks to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of Black-led and Black-serving community organizations and the work they do to promote inclusiveness. Specific goals include: 

    • empowering Black communities and Black-led community organizations in Canada;
    • addressing systemic barriers; and
    • advancing the full social and economic inclusion of Black Canadians into Canadian society.
  • SBCCI has partnered with four Black-led organizations to support smaller Black-led and Black-serving, Black-focused community-based not-for-profit organizations. In the previous two rounds, these national funders awarded $50 million in grants to over 900 projects. Today’s announcement brings the total awarded through SBCCI National Funders to about $70 million to a total of more than 1,300 projects. 

  • The Government has also created the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund, which seeks to create a sustainable source of funding for Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving non-profit organizations and registered charities. Through it, the Government of Canada has provided the Foundation for Black Communities with an endowment of $200 million. The foundation is responsible for managing the assets of the contributed funds to create a long-term self-sustaining source of funding for Black community organizations.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Alisson Lévesque
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, Kamal Khera

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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