weSpeak Bulletin - Issue 5
Summer (September) 2018

Summer brought lots of things – sunshine, rain showers, Ramadan and lots of community outreach. From weSpeak to you, here are some exciting project updates.
In This Issue
Phase 2 Launch: Survey of Heterosexual Black Men
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. 
Show Your Support: weSpeak Community Outreach
We are always looking for ways to share the work we do at weSpeak. And the ways we connect with community can take different forms, such as:
  • Teaming up with community organizations and groups to do outreach
  • Presenting about weSpeak
  • Facilitating discussions on black masculinities, health and well-being
  • Attending local community events
To get in touch with us or for more details about the survey, contact the weSpeak team in your city

London – Phone: 226-374-6410                      |   Email: 
Ottawa – Phone: 613-562-5800 ext. 8876     |   Email:  
Toronto – Phone: 647-700-5213                     |   Email:  
Windsor – Phone: 519-253-3000 ext. 4075   |   Email:
All About the Community
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.
Black History Month
The 16th Annual Opening Ceremony for Black History Month at Museum London was an excellent forum to promote weSpeak and invite men to participate for the survey.

LEFT: Team members Roger [left) and Martin also reminded community members about the Caribbean & Black Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (annually on February 7). 

SunFest 2018

At SunFest 2018, weSpeak teamed up with Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) under the theme “Knowledge is Power” to promote advances in HIV prevention/treatment.
ABOVE: Mercy, Multicultural HIV Prevention Coordinator at RHAC, promotes U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable).
African, Caribbean, Black Health Fair

In April, weSpeak was at the African, Caribbean and Black Health Fair: Building Health and Wellness with Diversity. Visitors to the fair had a chance to do on-site HIV testing.
Inner City Outreach Gala
weSpeak 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 Outreach 
RIGHT: 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 Foundation
RIGHT: 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.
Upcoming Events
Check out the events lined up across all weSpeak cites this fall. You’ll find weSpeak teams and partner organizations offering on-the-spot surveys and connecting with community members.

Keep an eye out for us at events, barbershops, restaurants, and community organizations in your neighbourhood!
Yoga Party: Marvel's BLACK PANTHER
  • Friday, October 12, 2018
  • 6pm-8pm (Eastern Time)
  • Location: Astanga Ottawa. 200-1/2 Bank St, Ottawa.
Workshop: Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Schools
  • Thursday, September 20, 2018
  • 6pm-8pm (Eastern Time)
  • Location: Taggart Family YMCA-YWCA | 180 Argyle Avenue (5th Floor), Ottawa.
  • November 15 to 24, 2018
  • Location: Grand Theatre, London, ON.
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.
African, Caribbean and Black Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 
Earlier this year, the 4th annual African, Caribbean and Black Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was held on February 7.  

To mark the date, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean Network (CHABAC) released an informative factsheet  Start a Conversation. Know Your Health Options. End the Stigma. Read it here: Fact Sheet: 2018 African, Caribbean and Black Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Stay Connected
weSpeak sites
Windsor: 519-253-3000 ext. 4075 | Email:
London: 226-374-6410 | Email:
Toronto: 647-700-5213 | Email:
Ottawa: 613-562-5800 ext. 8876 | Email:
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