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Empowering the Future: The Inaugural National Black 2SLGBTQI+ Futures Summit in Canada

Press Release

OTTAWA, March 01, 2024 — The Enchanté Network is thrilled to announce the launch of the first-ever National Black 2SLGBTQI+ Futures Summit, a ground-breaking event aimed at creating community and connection amongst Black queer and trans leaders. The sold-out summit will take place from March 1 to 3, 2024, at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada.

Guided by a deep commitment to anti-racism and intersectionality, this summit will shape the future of Black 2SLGBTQI+ communities. This historic event, organized by and for Black queer and trans leaders, is not only a platform for important conversations but also a catalyst for establishing Canada’s first national organization dedicated to addressing the unique systemic challenges faced by Black queer and trans communities nationwide.

“Let’s collectively activate our inner Marsha P. Johnson and advance the cause of justice,” said Tyler Boyce, President & CEO of The Enchanté Network. “It is time to build the infrastructure for Black queer & trans people to access the support they need. I am pleased to say this summit lays that groundwork.”

The summit stems from the Back to Our Roots Project – the largest survey ever conducted in Canada on the experiences of 400 Black 2SLGBTQI+ people. While there are numerous Black organizations and queer organizations, there has never been data collected at the intersection of the two identities in this way. Our consultation survey found 70% of Black 2SLGBTQI+ respondents reported experiencing hate crimes, underscoring that a national organization dedicated to this group of marginalized Canadians is not a “nice to have”, it’s a necessity.

Renowned keynote speaker Lady Phyll, CEO of UK Black Pride, will headline the summit, bringing together hundreds of Black 2SLGBTQ+ individuals from across Canada to engage in dialogue around the existing gaps and barriers in accessing housing, employment, healthcare, education, and safety, in the face of discrimination based on gender, sexuality, and race.

The summit will also include a policy panel featuring Deputy Premier of Manitoba Uzoma Asagwara, NDP MP Blake Desjarlais, and NDP MPP Jill Andrew.

“This summit is an incredible moment for our community. Bringing people from across the country to work together, share our stories and strengthen relationships to build a positive shared future for Black queer and trans Canadians,” said Deputy Premier of Manitoba Uzoma Asagwara.

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, said, “We are proud to support the National Black 2SLGBTQI+ Futures Summit, hosted by The Enchanté Network. This event stands as a testament to generations of Black queer and trans resilience, but also a reminder that we must keep pushing for progress. Together, let’s continue to amplify the voices that have been marginalized for far too long, and seize this moment to create lasting change.”

The National Black 2SLGBTQI+ Futures Summit stands as a pivotal moment in the movement towards empowerment and advocacy for Black queer and trans communities in Canada. For more information about the historic summit and the Back to Our Roots project, click here.

For interviews, including media availability at the NAC, please contact:
Annette Goerner, Director of Public Relations, spark*advocacy
annette@sparkadvocacy.ca
613-818-6941

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