In May 2020 during the early months of the pandemic and after the death of George Floyd, Music Africa did a survey in which we asked our community to comment on our activities. Our aim was to ensure that we are aligned with the needs of our community and that we are playing a pivotal socio-cultural role.
The survey results showed that we could and are expected to do more. In addition to presenting cultural events and working with artists, we should:
- Play a more central role in the fight against anti-Black racism.
- Help cultural education in schools and the community centers.
- Help in the training and development of African Canadian artists
We have used this information to create a 2021 program which aims to address the concerns of our community.
Our goal for 2021 is to present a program which focuses on:
- Education and
- Social awareness
We have organized our 2021 program in such a way as to employ as many artists and entertainment workers as possible while leading conversations against anti-Black racism.
The goal of the educational element of our program is to educate the community and artists.
Artist education will be through webinars and training sessions led by industry professionals while community cultural education will be through round table discussions and art workshops.
Our fight against anti-Black Racism is also on 2 fronts:
1. Cross-pollination of audiences: We are working with non-African event organizers like the Beaches Jazz Festival, The TD Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival and MonstrARTity to have African Canadian artists perform to non-African audiences. This will help broader cultural understanding and acceptance.
2. Leading conversations between community leaders and politicians on what can be done on a microlevel to reduce/eliminate anti-Black racial tendencies at early stages. We will also try to understand what is being done and what can be done to reduce/eliminate systematic racism.