All the preparation and behind-the-scenes work paid off. We successfully launched Phase 2 of weSpeak: a survey of heterosexual Black men across Ontario (London, Ottawa, Toronto, and Windsor). We are still in the community keeping up the conversation on Black men’s health, well-being, and HIV prevention.
Since April 2018, we’ve attended community events and barber shops to offer the survey to community-members and engage in some meaningful discussions along the way. Already, we’re more than halfway to reaching our goal of engaging close to 900 heterosexual Black men.
With each survey and conversation, we learn more and more that heterosexual Black men need spaces where they can feel comfortable and supported talking about issues that affect their overall health.
Outreach at African, Caribbean, and Black businesses and organizations
To cover all of the bases, the Windsor team visited a variety of retail stores, restaurants and faith-based events (African and Caribbean churches) to share information about the study. Going beyond the city limits, the team also partnered with the AIDS Committee of Windsor (ACW) in late April for event outreach in Leamington, Ontario.
ABOVE: [Left] weSpeak Windsor Research Coordinator, Osagie at the weSpeak office with a participant, and [Right] with another study participant who completed the survey in an African retail store.
Inner City Outreach GalaweSpeak Toronto team members at the 7th annual Inner City Outreach (ICO) & Spring Fundraising Gala. The ICO Gala celebrates individuals making a positive impact in the Jane-Finch (Toronto) neighbourhood.
LEFT: Emmanuel, Desmond, Leondre, Andre [left-right]
Barbershops OutreachRIGHT: weSpeak Toronto team members are all smiles after a successful barbershop outreach session at East York.
Man Up Podcast LEFT: In March, Desmond and Andre [1st & 2nd from left] joined the ‘Man Up’ V.O.C (Voice of the Community) Podcast to talk about weSpeak and Black masculinity.
‘Man Up’ explores pop culture, black masculinity, and contemporary issues faced by youth.
Afrofest 2018 ABOVE: weSpeak was at Afrofest 2018 in Woodbine Park. We met wonderful people, had great food, and interested heterosexual Black men completed the survey on-the-spot. Huge thanks to African in Partnership Against AIDS (APAA) for teaming up with us.
Walnut FoundationRIGHT: Desmond [left] and Andre [right] with an attendee at The Walnut Foundation 4th Annual Walkathon.
The Walnut Foundation promotes health knowledge, proactive health practices, and raises awareness for black men’s health. Shout out to the Foundation for inviting us to Brampton to offer the weSpeak survey to walkathon participants.
York United Black Students’ Alliance (Still I Rise)LEFT: Andre co-facilitates a session on Black masculinity at 'Still I Rise'. Still I Rise is a safe space for Black male-identified people to speak about masculinity and issues facing the Black community.
Big thanks to York University’s York United Black Students’ Alliance.
Carivibe 2018 weSpeak Ottawa collaborated with Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) for Carivibe 2018 in mid-June at Petrie Island.
RIGHT: weSpeak Ottawa team members Chinedu and Tyler set up tablets for on-the-spot surveys for eligible participants.
African, Caribbean, and Black Canadian Multiculturalism Day 2018 LEFT: The Ottawa team again collaborated with SWCHC for outreach, recruitment, and engagement efforts at African, Caribbean, and Black Canadian Multiculturalism Day 2018 at Strathcona Park. Thanks to everyone and Chinedu, seen here, for their hard work!
Akalewold Gebremeskel Joining the Family!weSpeak is pleased to announce that Akalewold Gebremeskel will be joining the project as the Research Coordinator at Ottawa. He is joining the weSpeak family with an MSc. in Population Studies (Specialization in Reproductive Health) and significant experience in health/HIV research. Welcome aboard, Akalewold!
weSpeak Collaborator Gets Grant Congratulations to weSpeak London’s collaborating agency, Regional HIV AIDS Connection (RHAC) on being approved for a 2018/19 Multicultural Community Capacity Grant (MCCGP)! The grant, through Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration, will support health programming in the ACB community.
weSpeak Phase 1 Preliminary Findings (Quick Infographic Reference)Below is a short infographic summary, created by the weSpeak team, of emerging findings from the stories of more than 200 Black men and over 40 service providers who participated in Phase 1 of weSpeak.