Federal Budget 2024: Advancing Black Communities

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Toronto, Ontario - April 26, 2024 - The recent unveiling of Budget 2024 by the federal government has spotlighted a series of provisions aimed at bolstering support for Black communities across Canada. These initiatives represent a significant stride towards addressing historical disparities and fostering equity within our society, aligning with the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. The Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC) commends the 2024 federal budget and recognizes the Government of Canada's commitment to supporting Black communities. While these investments mark significant progress, NABC stands ready to collaborate with the federal government to ensure that they effectively address the needs of Black Canadians.

A principal part of Budget 2024 is the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP), a groundbreaking initiative with an allocation of up to $265 million. The BEP seeks to empower Black business owners and entrepreneurs by offering crucial resources such as loans, mentorship opportunities, financial planning services, business training, and comprehensive research on Black entrepreneurship within the Canadian landscape.

Additionally, the commitment of $200 million to the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI) reflects the government's acknowledgment of the vital role played by Black-led and Black-serving community organizations. While this funding acknowledges the vital role of these organizations, concerns persist about the sustainability of SBCCI as a program for Black communities beyond 2024. NABC is committed to partnering with the government to ensure that SBCCI continues to be a sustainable funding program for Black communities.

Complementing these initiatives is the establishment of the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund, which earmarks $200 million for community-led projects. These projects are strategically designed to combat anti-Black racism and drive improvements in social and economic outcomes within Black communities, serving as a source of support for transformative endeavors.

Furthermore, the budget also includes investments in scholarships and fellowships for promising Black researchers and mental health support programs for Black public servants. While these investments are notable, their efficacy in fostering academic excellence and addressing mental health disparities within Black communities merits continued evaluation in order to lead to lasting systemic transformation.

In alignment with the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, which Canada has endorsed and recently extended until 2028, these budget provisions reflect a commitment to promoting recognition, justice, and development for people of African descent in Canada, and NABC stands ready to support the government in fulfilling its commitments under the Decade.

amanuel melles, Executive Director of the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC), emphasized the need for coordinated and collaborative approaches to systemic transformation of Black communities. melles stated, "Ensuring equitable distribution and accessibility of resources, sustaining funding beyond the Decade's timeline, adopting a holistic

approach to addressing anti-Black systemic racism, and actively engaging Black communities in decision-making processes are critical considerations moving forward."

NABC also recognizes the importance of collaborative efforts to address systemic inequalities in the justice system. Through joint advocacy efforts with Justice Minister Arif Virani's office, alongside other Black leaders, significant investments in justice initiatives were outlined in budget 2024. These investments include:

  •  Impact of Race and Culture Assessments (IRCAs): The Government of Canada has allocated $2 million per year from fiscal year 2024-2025 to fiscal year 2028-2029 to fund IRCAs, aiming to address racial disparities within the justice system.

  • Renewal and Expansion of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund: A commitment of $62.9 million over three years starting in 2024-25 will support community organizations, with priority given to Indigenous and Black communities, in investing in local food infrastructure.

  • Continued Support for Mental Health Initiatives: $4 million over two years starting in 2024-25 will be provided to the Public Health Agency of Canada to continue supporting initiatives through the Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund, addressing mental health disparities within Black communities.

These investments underscore the government's commitment to this important work, and NABC looks forward to continuing working as a partner to ensure that these efforts are successful.

In conclusion, while Budget 2024's provisions signal progress towards empowering Black communities, sustained efforts and collaborative action are imperative to achieve lasting change. By prioritizing community-led solutions, promoting education and awareness, fostering collaboration, and conducting regular policy evaluations, Canada can continue its journey towards creating a more equitable and inclusive society for all.


About Us:

The Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC) aspires to build a strong and sustainable Black community sector by enabling the conditions for systems change. We do this collaboratively through network convening, knowledge mobilization, service coordination, evaluation, learning, policy, research, and smart grantmaking. NABC provides innovative support to organizations and groups to strengthen their adaptive capacity to be effective participants and leaders in driving positive outcomes for Black communities locally, regionally, and nationally. We care about the collective impact of NABC as a network. Critical to this endeavor is our ability to generate collaborative learning, policy analyses, and learning opportunities through the use of data, evaluation, and advocacy in the Black community sector.


Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC)

RaeChelle-Faith Ankamreddy,

Policy Analyst


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