TORONTO, OCTOBER 5, 2021 — Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Evelyn Amponsah as Director for the Centre for the Advancement of the Interests of Black People ("the Centre"). She started the role on September 20, 2021.
Evelyn brings deep knowledge and expertise in applying an anti-racism—specifically anti-Black racism—and anti-oppression lens to her work, as well as wide-ranging experience in community development and engagement, program development and management, partnership development and change management. She has worked as a program manager, policy analyst and researcher, learning and training consultant and a professor, and is currently completing a doctorate in social and political thought at York University.
She joined TCHC in September 2020 as the manager of the Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) Strategy Team and was responsible for leading the development of the housing corporation's CABR Strategy.
Since the inception of the CABR Strategy team in 2020, significant work has been done to identify and address anti-Black racism at TCHC. As well as the ideation and development of the Centre, some key accomplishments include:
- The TCHC Board of Directors approval of the CABR strategy and funding the establishment of The Centre to support the strategy's implementation.
- Creating divisional action plans, which contain 43 actions to help support the advancement of the CABR strategy over the next three years.
- Establishing the Tenant-Staff Oversight and Advisory Board to serve as an accountability group to support the Centre and TCHC in advancing the CABR strategy.
The goal of the Centre is to transform the operations and experiences at Toronto Community Housing and lead the sector in defining the experience of social housing for all tenants. As its core function, the Centre is intended to open a space for conversations about race and anti-Black racism, driving innovative responses and remedies that confront anti-Black racism and all forms of discrimination and prejudice.
With Evelyn in place as the Centre's Director, TCHC will continue to finalize the recruitment process for the other Centre positions. Once the Centre is launched later this fall, TCHC will work with the Centre to develop data collection and evaluation methods, and ensure actions to confront anti-Black racism are aligned with the organization's efforts to develop an equity, diversity and inclusion strategy. The make-up of the Centre's team has been designed around the needs identified through community engagement, ensuring that staff and expertise is on-hand. The Centre will continue to engage with staff and tenants to ensure that its operation—and a future physical form and location—is in-line with the needs of TCHC communities.
"Evelyn has made a major contribution to TCHC's commitment to confront anti-Black racism by leading the creation of the Confronting Anti-Black Racism strategy intended to increase tenant satisfaction and staff engagement by embedding anti-Black racism analysis into our culture and operations. Her appointment as Director of the Centre for the Advancement of the Interests of Black People will help us stay focused on developing and implementing proactive solutions to eliminate longstanding issues of anti-Black racism at TCHC."
- Jag Sharma, President and CEO
"Today's announcement is an exciting moment for me, as I come full circle with my own childhood experiences growing up in Toronto Community Housing. The chance to lead the Centre, reshaping and repairing the experience of Black tenants and staff, is both exciting and humbling. As an institution with influence in every corner of Toronto, Toronto Community Housing Corporation has a duty and an opportunity to make real change in the fight against anti-Black racism. I'm grateful to the organization, especially the Black tenants and staff, for their trust in my vision and I look forward to the work ahead."
- Evelyn Amponsah, Director, Centre for the Advancement of the Interests of Black People
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada's largest social housing provider. Toronto Community Housing provides homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city. Toronto Community Housing is wholly owned by the City of Toronto and its 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.
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