Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Initiative – Knowledge Mobilization Network

This invitation to submit an application is now closed.

On this page:

Section 1: Overview

The Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund ("the Fund") supports Black Canadians to develop more culturally responsive knowledge, capacity and programs to address mental health and its determinants for Black Canadians, including a focus on youth and their family and community environments. Projects funded under this Fund will address gaps in current knowledge about the effective, culturally focused approaches and programs for improving mental health, and will increase understanding and help addressing its key social determinants, including but not limited to anti-Black racism, for Black Canadians.

To ensure that evidence and lessons learned are broadly shared, and to strengthen networks within and across Black communities, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s implementation stream of the Fund includes a commitment to knowledge mobilization and capacity building. To support these activities, an open solicitation was held to support the development of a national knowledge mobilization network for diverse Black populations in Canada, regarding mental health and its determinants. Specifically, this solicitation aims to facilitate knowledge mobilization and capacity building across all funded projects and with the broader community of Black Canadian practitioners, researchers, organizations and the people they serve.

1.1 Context

Mental health is an important component of Canadians' overall health. In its 2016 Advancing the Mental Health Strategy for Canada: A Framework for Action, the Mental Health Commission of Canada noted that "mental well-being is deeply impacted by social determinants of health, such as precarious housing, poverty, social exclusion, and racism."

In particular, Black Canadians experience significant social and economic challenges that can have negative implications for their mental health. These challenges include experiences of interpersonal, institutional, and systemic anti-Black racism and discrimination which drive socioeconomic and other disadvantages, including barriers to educational attainment, higher levels of poverty and social exclusion, and disproportionate surveillance by and interactions with law enforcement, criminal justice, and child welfare systems; a lack of access to culturally appropriate and culturally competent services; and stigma related to mental health and to accessing support services.

In response, PHAC launched the Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund, with the aim of supporting more culturally responsive knowledge, capacity, and programs that address mental health and its determinants for Black Canadians, including a focus on youth.

Section 2: Objectives and principles

2.1 Objectives

The objectives of the Knowledge Mobilization Network are to:

In order to support these objectives, the Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund will support a national Knowledge Mobilization Network to undertake activities that align with:

2.2 Principles

This solicitation is being pursued under the Implementation Stream of the Fund and based on the overall objectives and principles of the Fund. An overarching principle of the fund is addressing anti-Black racism at systemic, institutional, interpersonal or individual levels, and its intersections with other types of social exclusion that affect Black Canadians (e.g., sexism, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, ableism, class exclusion, etc.). The key principles of the fundintegrate efforts to bring awareness to and reduce anti-Black racism and its consequences in Canada. Applicants must apply and demonstrate all of these Principles to their proposals when submitting a Funding Request Form:

Section 3: Applicant capacity

Applicants must demonstrate in their application the following organizational capacities and expertise:

Section 4: Funding details and requirements

4.1 Funding process

As part of the Implementation Stream, applications submitted under the Knowledge Mobilization Network solicitation must include rigorous plans for evaluation and knowledge translation. Applicants must demonstrate sufficient existing financial and human resource capacity to support the project’s implementation and evaluation.

Funding decisions for this solicitation are based on the results of a competitive proposal assessment process and available funds. Not all eligible applications will be funded.

4.2 Funding amount and duration

Proposed projects must be within funding and duration limits. The maximum funding available is $100,000 per year over two years, to a maximum of $200,000, with the possibility of an additional year of funding. Funding is available to support 1 project at the maximum level.

Section 5: Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must align with the Fund's Objectives and Principles, described above. Applicants must also clearly demonstrate how their funding request meets the following eligibility criteria for recipients and activities.

5.1 Eligible recipients

The following types of applicants are eligible for funding:

Priority is given to projects and organizations led by and serving Black communities in Canada. In all cases, projects must demonstrate Black leadership and collaboration with community groups, not-for-profit organizations, and/or researchers who serve the needs of Black Canadians.

Only Canadian organizations may apply for funding under this solicitation.

5.2 Eligible activities

All projects must be delivered in, and be of primary benefit to, Black communities and populations in Canada. Activities eligible for funding include:

Proposed project activities must address the following areas of action:

Activities may include, but not are not limited to: providing learning platforms and resources to support knowledge dissemination and exchange, facilitating information sharing and collaborative relationships among target audiences, developing knowledge products, tools and resources, and enhancing research capacity.

5.3 Eligible expenditures

Funding is limited to cash expenses that are pertinent, reasonable and essential to accomplish the objectives of an eligible project. The following expenses are eligible for funding:

A detailed budget is required as part of the application process.

No project expenses may be incurred prior to the acceptance of the funding agreement by all parties.

5.4 Ineligible expenditures

The following activities and expenses are not eligible for funding:

Section 6: Other Considerations

6.1 Official language requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada (Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec), supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. Projects must be accessible in one or both official languages depending on the reach and audience. For additional information, consult the Official Languages Act.

6.2 Gender-based analysis requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). GBA+ is an approach to help reflect on and better understand peoples’ multiple identity factors (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation), the interactions or intersections amongst these various identity factors and how that may impact their experiences with policies, programs and initiatives. Experiences occur within and interact with connected systems and structures of power, oppression, and privilege (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism, and cissexism). The aim of GBA+ is to develop awareness of the differential impacts on diverse and intersecting identities in order to enable the creation of equitable policies, programs and initiatives.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate that the above considerations have been incorporated into their project, using a GBA+ framework or other critical approaches (e.g., Afri-centric perspective, Black feminism) that seek to illustrate how experiences of diverse Black Canadians intersect with locations in other social systems and structures.

6.3 Research ethics approval

All projects that include research or evaluation involving humans must be approved by a research ethics board (REB) that adheres to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. In addition, project leads should consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement website before the research portion of the project begins. Projects can submit to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s REB if they are not in a context with existing REB infrastructure. Research is defined as an activity designed to test a hypothesis or answer a specific research question, permit conclusions to be drawn, and extend knowledge through the use of scientific methods and standardized protocols, systematic collection or analysis of data, or other types of inquiry. Evaluation is considered to be a form of research and it is anticipated that all evaluation projects will require ethics approval.

Section 7: Contact Us

For additional information about this funding opportunity, please contact:

PHAC is under no obligation to enter into a funding agreement as a result of this invitation to submit a Letter of Intention.

PHAC reserves the right to:

PHAC will not reimburse an applicant for costs incurred in the preparation or submission of a LOI in response to this invitation.

Section 8: Glossary of terms

Black Canadians
generally includes diverse individuals, populations, and communities in Canada that identify as having African or Caribbean ancestry.
Black leadership
refers to, for the purpose of this funding opportunity, the active and substantial involvement in leading the project of organizations, researchers, and coalitions whose mandate, leadership, and/or priorities include activities specifically designed to serve Black communities and benefit Black Canadians and have demonstrated understanding of the challenges experienced by these communities. Evidence that such organizations are based in, led by, and/or serve Black communities in Canada may include: organizational mission statements, operational plans, and other corporate documents; current and previous project work; and/or substantive senior organizational leadership by Black Canadians (e.g., Board governance, staff leadership).
Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+)
is an analytical process and intersectional approach used to reflect on how multiple identity factors of diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may impact their experiences with policies, programs and initiatives. Experiences occur within and interact with connected systems and structures of power, oppression, and privilege (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism, and cissexism), related to the multiple identity factors that make us who we are (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, age). The "plus" in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences and considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical (dis)ability.
Health equity
refers to the absence of unfair/unjust, systematic, and avoidable differences in health status or social determinants of health. A health equity approach seeks to reduce inequalities and to increase access to opportunities and conditions conducive to health for all. Heightened efforts to address the needs of populations that are at higher risk for poor health outcomes can help reduce health inequities between different population groups. For more information refer to the PHAC webpage on social determinants of health and health inequalities.
Knowledge mobilization
includes the synthesis, adaptation, dissemination and active exchange of knowledge.
Mental health
refers to a person's state of psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It is a necessary resource for living a healthy life and a main factor in overall health. It does not mean the same thing as mental illness. However, poor mental health can lead to mental and physical illness. Good/positive mental health allows a person to feel, think, and act in ways that help them enjoy life and cope with its challenges. Mental health can be positively or negatively influenced by factors at the individual, family, community and societal levels, including life experiences, social relationships, physical health, and social determinants of health. For more information on risk and protective factors for mental health refer to PHAC's Positive Mental Health Surveillance Indicator Framework.
Social determinants of health
are the broad range of social, economic and environmental factors that relate to an individual's place in society (such as gender, race, income, education, or employment) and that determine individual and population health. For more information refer to the PHAC webpage on social determinants of health and health inequalities.


Footnote 1

Where available, funding applicants should cite applicable peer-reviewed scientific data, research, and analysis and/or previous evaluation results that support the proposed project. However, it is recognized that significant gaps exist in the current state of data and evidence for Black communities in Canada. Other forms of acceptable evidence include: non-Canadian peer-reviewed data, research, and analysis on mental health issues, determinants, and interventions in Black populations; community needs assessments; organizational expertise and knowledge; and perspectives from individuals with lived experience.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

For more information on integrating health equity considerations into project activities, please see Toward Health Equity - A tool for developing equity-sensitive interventions:

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Page details

Date modified: